My kids are 4 and 7. For over a year we have had a LOT of stressors. The last month is the first time I have actually not been stressed. I have time for my kids. We could now start doing hands on activities.
The thing is, I don’t want to. It may be that I am still recovering from the last year. It may be that before our daughter was born I did TONS of stuff with our son and I now feel like I’ve got the t-shirt so don’t want to keep doing that.
We are on the unschooling spectrum. Our son is doing well with that. He uses the computer a lot to explore the world and that’s all good. I just don’t think a 4 year old should have much screen time. (If he’s doing ooka island or happy scientist she wants to as well.)
She sometimes gets tired of his screen time, and goes and plays by herself, but I feel like I should be offering her more opportunities. It’s all complicated because our daughter’s dietary restrictions means I’m cooking a lot. We eat very little processed food so I either cook or we eat pasta (one of the few processed things she can eat.) This means less time to do stuff with her. And the only thing we haven’t set up in the new house is the craft area. We have lots of stuff, but we’ve run out of money to get shelves or a dresser to make the supplies accessible.
We have weekly park day and open gym, monthly craft and nature group, plus we’re doing a small farm group right now. Still there’s LOTS of open time in our schedule.
Then there’s play dates for my son. My daughter is shy and pretty much never plays with anyone but her brother or me.
I also think it’s important to do these activities because she didn’t crawl so doesn’t “cross” her hands and she’s got a speech delay and needs more attention from me.
So, how do I get myself interested in doing hands on stuff with her—stringing beads, making crafts, doing experiments, counting, etc. (The way we unschool we believe in offering opportunities.)