It never fails that as soon as I start making dinner, my kids are immediately at my feet telling me that they're hungry, and they start opening the fridge, and the pantry, and trying to get cups down for a drink.... all while I'm trying to open a package of chicken and dump it into the frying pan without a) trying to touch any of the raw meat (gag) and b) trying to make sure the empty package makes it to the garbage pan without contaminating anything.... yeah, it's quite the scene. And not always a pretty one.
So, I came up with this idea of having a dinnertime journal. This little journal serves serves a few purposes. While I'm preparing dinner, it gives my girls something to do and therefore keep their mind occupy from their said hunger pains.... and it also helps them think about their day and remember what they've done. I am a firm believer in journal writing and I want to help my girls keep a little record of what they've done.
For these little journals, I didn't do anything super fancy.... I simply went to Target and bought the cheapest notebooks I could find and slapped their names on the front.
Then, while I'm trying to prepare a somewhat *cough cough* nutritious meal for my little brood, my girls draw pictures about their day. I love seeing what they come up with. They draw things that I would have never thought of.
These are drawings from my almost 4 year old... She mostly writes her name and her sister's name, or draws random smiley faces, like the one below.
I just love looking at all her drawings! They are so cute and funny! The other day, she drew me a random picture of a lemon and a bar. Not a lemonbar.... on one side of the paper was a lemon, and on the other side of the paper was a brown rectangle that she said was a bar. A bar of what? I don't know... just a bar!
My almost 6 year old is a little more advanced with her drawings......
I love that picture! We had gone to pick up a bucket of strawberries from a ladies house, and I was impressed that Ava had remembered that it was at the end of a circle. She drew the lady standing outside, and she drew our van.... love it!! It is pretty funny because her pictures are of the places we go.... and it seems like every day we are at a different store... Wal-Mart, Winco, Target, Bi-Mart, Goodwill.... sheesh! We go to a lot of different stores! Ha!
After dinner is fixed and we are all sitting down at the dinner table, we go over their journal entries. They each tell me what they drew and what they remember about their day, and I write a couple of sentences down for them.
As a family, we have also been trying to be a little better at reading our scriptures daily. Mornings are out because my husband leaves for work before we are even thinking about waking up, and nights are out because my husband is gone either doing church stuff or umpiring. Plus, at night time, I morph into some sort of monsterous beast.... All my patience is seriously gone at the end of the day, so all I want to do is hurry up and get my children in bed as soon as possible so I can just sit on the couch and play Candy Crush. :)
Ok, that makes me sound like a lazy and mean parent... which I try not to be... All I'm saying is that the end of the day is not my prime time for trying to have a spiritual moment with my girls.
So, we have started reading our scriptures at dinnertime! After our meal is finished, instead of jetting off to do whatever we do, we sit and read 5 verses and talk a little bit about those verses. Right now, our scripture time lasts all but 4 1/2 minutes, and it usually consists of me telling Halle to be quiet and listen to daddy read about 28 times. Are my kids getting anything out of it? I don't know, but at least we are trying.
I have ended up keeping their markers and our scriptures in a little basket on our table so that we all remember to write in our journals and read our scriptures.
What are some ways you keep your kids entertained while you're cooking dinner?