My best friend Selma told me months ago that I should do "stations". You put a different activity in each room for the kids to do and have them rotate every 15-20 minutes. I've had intentions of trying this, but never got around to it.
Yesterday morning I decided we were going to give it a try. So while I was in the shower, I decided what the stations were going to be. This is what we did.
Station 1: Craft Station - I cut a bunch of shapes out of different colored paper. I had them make a picture out of the shapes. Both decided to make a house. So that there wasn't a huge "glue mess", I put glue on a paper plate. They used a Q-tip to apply the glue to their shapes.
Station #2: Pretend Play Station - I set up their Pl*yMob*l Animal Clinic and they played with that for the 15 minutes.
Station #3: Building Station - At this station, they built with L*g*os for the 15 minutes.
Station #4: ABC Station - I put several toys/tools in a basket that help teach ABC's, their sounds, and how to write them.
Here are the rules:
1. One kid per station. I assigned one station to each of them to start, then rotated in a circle.
2. Stay at the station until the timer goes off. I set the timer for 15 minutes.
3. Clean up station before moving on. When timer goes off, it will be set again for another 2 minutes. This allows for finishing up and clean-up.
4. Do not ask Mommy to help. I wanted them to figure things out on their own. (Plus I wanted to get a couple things done.) They still wanted to show me their projects, etc. And I still got to "praise" them. But I didn't have to sit there and help the entire time.
The kids LOVED it! Princess of course wants to do it again today, "but with different stations". Buddy sometimes had a hard time staying at a station for the entire 15 minutes. Like, he built his L*g* tower and was done. So I had to help him think of something else he could build.
I will definitely be doing it again because the kids loved it AND because it was over an hour of "no fighting or tormenting each other".