Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Room Time

Have you considered implementing room time into your daily schedule for your kids? For younger toddlers/babies you could use their play pen or crib as their room time and for older toddlers/preschoolers you could use their rooms for time for them to play by themselves.

I was having some trouble getting my daughter to stay in her room for room time, until yesterday when I actually pulled out and set up some toys for her to play with. Even after her timer went off she choose to stay in her room to continue playing.

The other thing that has been helpful, which I shared with you yesterday, was putting painters tape on the floor right outside each of the kid's room so they knew they weren't to cross the line while it was room time. My son typically does great playing by himself in his room, but yesterday just hung right by the line for pretty much the entire 30 minutes.

Here are some ideas to make room time fun for you and your kids:
* First, make a big deal about how much fun it will be to play in their rooms until the time goes off. Stay up beat and excited and most likely your excitement will be shared with your children.

* Use a timer and place one in each of the kids room so they can see how much time is left. My son knows that he needs to stay in his room until it gets to zero.

* You can use room time as structured play time where you actually give your child toys to play with or you can just tell them to play in their rooms. I found that for toddlers and younger, it is best to give them some toys to play with and set things up for them ahead of time.

* If you are just starting out room time, start with just 10 minutes and then steadily increase your timer each day. And yes, the more you have room time for your kids, the more they'll expect it and understand that is just part of the day.

* To help you kids understand they are not to come out of their room, put some tape on the floor so they know where they are not able to cross over. For younger toddlers you may have to put up a baby gate to keep them in their room. And babies should be placed in a play pen or crib for their room time.

There are many benefits to room time - mainly it gives your children an opportunity to entertain themselves and not always needing someone to be with them. Also, it gives you a break and are able to do some things around the house. And for me yesterday, when the kids where getting at each other - I just sent them to their rooms for room it gave both kids a chance to unwind.

Let me know some of your ideas and practices for room time in your home!

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