Today I am thrilled to have one of our lovely Mumpreneurs do a guest blog for us, Sharon Pegrum. Sharon has a wealth on knowledge on easy activities for the work at home Mumpreneur. She home schools her children and was a family day care educator for 5 years. Sharon home is strewn with glitter, paint, books and more to make a wonderfully full and engaging environment for her children. Sharon runs her own Executive Virtual Assistant Business called Black Cockatoo Business.
Thank you so much Sharon for all your wonderful ideas.
5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur
It seems being a Mumpreneur is a constant balancing act of meeting your kid’s needs and meeting your business needs. I discovered long ago that I need to be well prepared to avoid either failing to complete my work or whinging kids all day. Luckily those 5 years I did in family daycare gave me a knowledge bank of activities to engage the kids in, and free up my time. I want to share with you my favourite 5 types of activities that give me a solid period of work time.
- Messy/ Sensory Play
- Includes Playdough, Magic Sand (check out Red Dot for the cheap stuff!), Gloop (purely cornflour and water) and Cloud Dough. You will find heaps of recipes on the internet
- Preparation Required: High – requires you to have made it or bought it in advance
- Mess factor: High – I usually include a bucket of soapy water and explain how to use it to clean hands and a towel
- Supervision: High – you really need to be nearby for this one
- Additional Materials: rollers and playdough toys are great but you can totally get away with raiding the utensil drawer
- Fun factor: High – probably one of the activities that I have seen children engage with for the longest time. You need to weigh up the mess/ supervision/ preparation requirements against the fun factor!2. Water Play
- Includes Outdoor Kitchen play, soaker hoses/ paddle pools in summer, water beads, small world play with water (ie fish, animals with watering holes), baby or doll bathing and water walls
- Preparation Required: Low – water play is probably one of the quickest activities to set up
- Mess factor: Medium – keep some towels nearby, make sure you are outside and be prepared for very wet kids
- Supervision: High – children can drown in a very small amount of water, anytime there is a container of water children should be supervised at all times
- Additional Materials: containers for pouring, filling and tipping. Small toys that they can get wet
- Fun factor: High – I have never met a child that didn’t like playing with water3. Large Loose Parts Play
- Includes any open-ended, large objects that children can use their gross motor skills to carry, stack and create with – logs, planks, pvc pipe, rocks, branches, tyres. Remida (http://www.remidawa.com/wordpress/) is a great place for materials in Perth and once you have a membership you can take anything for free
- Preparation Required: Medium – you will need a collection of parts but it’s a one off job and you can then leave in one area of the yard
- Mess factor: Low – Due to the nature of large, loose parts it’s really an easy clean up, it’s even better to have the children create in an area where they can create a WIP that they can go back to
- Supervision: Low – gauge it by the age of your children but you should be able to observe from afar and leave them for some time
- Additional Materials: you could add smaller objects to the area or materials to assist ie cable ties, small rocks to roll down planks, decoration pieces ie feathers, fabric
- Fun factor: High – this is a fantastic activity for engaging children in an experience that involves gross motor skills but more importantly executive function, social skills and problem-solving
- Includes Dress Ups, Cubby/ Den Building, Props, Storytelling
- Preparation Required: Low – it’s easy to whip up a cubby with an old sheet or create a den by pulling out a couch, a box of dress ups can be easily sourced from an op shop
- Mess factor: Low – they may be a tidy up at the end
- Supervision: Low – this should be one the kids can be left to
- Additional Materials: the sky is the limit with this one, my boys use all kinds of random things for Imaginative play. We have had a fallen tree branch as a “bird hide”, an old cymbal made into a shield. Imaginative Play is….well imaginative
- Fun factor: High – find your child’s area of interest and this will engage them for hours
- Includes Sandpits, Trampolines, Swings but also parks and playgrounds
- Preparation Required: Low – if you don’t have a great backyard setup just grab your laptop and hit the local park if you can find a fenced in one even better
- Mess factor: Low – other than sand it’s pretty non-existent and it’s all outside anyway
- Supervision: Medium – at home you should be setup in a pretty safe environment, a public park will require more supervision
- Additional Materials: nothing though I am a fan of 2 sandpits to allow children to explore the schema of transporting
- Fun factor: High – not only is outdoor play really beneficial and fun but it’s great as an adult to get out in the sun and fresh air as well.
Using these 5 areas to put some new ideas in your “I have to get some work done” magic kit will help you ensure your kids are exploring, learning and having fun while you work on your other passion in life – your business!
Sharon Pegrum operates a successful Exective VA Business in Toodyay, WA. She supports Heart Led Women in Business with a commitment to business growth and a connected interest in the goals and vision of their unique business. Sharon provides a professional service that meets the needs and creates space in her client’s business’ so they can share their important work more extensively with the world. A passionate writers she publishes 2 blogs – Black Cockatoo Business (www.blackcockatoobusiness.com/blog) and Natural Living with Sharon (sharonpegrum.wordpress.com)