So it’s the last few weeks of summer, and you’ve been to every park and zoo and playground and bookstore and library with a play area, and you’ve worn out your welcome at every yard in a ten-mile vicinity. You’ve even watched your living room become a massive fort/castle/pirate ship. (See example –>)
Perhaps you’ve given in to the boob tube a few times, and maybe (just maybe) you’ve let your kids watch Toy Story 2 and Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure a few times. But now you’re sure that the glazed over looks and references to Hamm and Iridessa in their sleep are becoming a problem. How does a parent manage to stay sane while saving the children from atrophy of the brain?
Sure, there are flashcards and more books and coloring books and projects and more playdates, but what if summer vacation has sucked all the joy out of those things by the middle of August? Yes, indeed. What if?
Here’s what this well-meaning, but sometimes kind of lazy, mom of pre-schoolers turns to on occasion:
Poisson Rouge – Talk about guilt-free computer time. Between the music, various languages to learn, puzzles, and math games, this site will make you feel just dandy about letting your kid steal your computer time. It’s free, but if you can manage it, throw them a few Euros or buy some products at their shop. I donated ages ago, but I really want one of their t-shirts for myself.
Brave Dave – This is a super-cute, interactive book about a brave mouse named Dave. Simple enough for your four-year-old to show to his two-year-old sister, it’s by animator Dave Palmer (Blue’s Clues, Backyardigans). The narration is provided by Kathy Najimy. The end of the story includes a monster creating game that my kids love to play and giggle at.
For a locally created diversion, check out a silly kids song – Jollity Farm – from a local dad. And don’t forget the eBook app from another local dad – My Daddy. It’s an interactive book that your child can read alone or with you.
Nick Jr. also has one of the easier to use Free Draw sites. It’s true that you have to steel yourself against the onslaught of cute cartoon characters beckoning your children back to the television. Stand firm: tell them Diego is on a business trip and Wubbzy has a cold.
And then, after a little while enjoying the super-educational games, lead them back outside into the squint-inducing sunlight to play with truly 3-D toys and live in the absolutely real world.
Or at least the kinda real-world of make-believe Super-Hero Peace Pirates.