Does anyone have a suggestion for something productive and useful and 5 yo boy could do (besides cleaning his room!) My husband is “threatening” to get a game system for my son because he needs something to keep him busy. I want to avoid electronics and I know there have got to lots of other things for him to do. I am open for suggestions…quick! LOLCindySParticipant
A good resource is Keepers of the Faith; they have lots of craft ideas for children. Also the Nature Friend and Timberdoodle catalogs.
You are probably already be doing this, but keeping him with you as much as possible as you go about your routine is helpful in that he will learn to be industrious. See how much you can allow him to do.
Collections are good at this age – anything. My 5yo has recently taken to collecting moss because she heard me say I liked moss. Other ideas might be cutting up old cards to make new ones, fingerprint critters, bookmaking, Legos or other building sets, an aquarium, woven potholders, simple sewing, being outside just as much as possible… A fun thing we like to do is what we call ‘doing a book.’ We select a book of activities from the library on any subject and do the projects in it until we’re ready to move on or have completed it. Perhaps your husband would give you the money he’d spend on a game system and let you spend it at a nice school supply store! 🙂 Five can be hard because there is not a ton of things they can do all by themselves and if you have other responsibilities (who doesn’t!), the little ones can find themselves spinning off into boredom. Pray that God will give you ideas.
I have three boys and I’m always ready to wave the warning flag regarding game systems. I have found that boys, especially, really have a hard time not becoming addicted to video games. I truly believe it is the enemy’s attack on this next generation. Not that you wanted to get this deep into the subject, it’s just dear to me since my oldest son struggled with it. We were given a game system by a well-intentioned friend and now my son (20) is wanting to get rid of it all so that his younger brothers do not fall into the same trap.
I really like the felt puppet sets from Lauri for young ages. “Sewing” practice is good for fine motor skills for any child, IMO, even boys, and these have pre-punched holes and big plastic blunt needles and decorations and there are “cool” ones like dinosaurs and medieval characters and stuff.
My kids love Lego Contraptions with their lego sets. I consider those a craft if they build something! My kids rigged a message system between the up and down stairs with legos, Gears Gears Gears gears, and twine. 🙂
Gardening is great–give him a little plot and show him what to do and let him pick what he wants to grow.
My kids have SnapCircuits and other science kits with electronic components and they are always building something interesting with those.
There is just something very fun about getting to play in clay. I bought my kids a simple book showing how to make animals out of Sculpey, and they made a whole zoo.
Leatherwork has been something the boys have enjoyed at early ages.
Try setting him up a “science station” in a safe place–I love the bathtub! Give him plastic measuring cups and containers and let him make vinegar fizz with soda, and have fun with simple science experiments using everyday ingredients. If the mess is all in the tub it’s easy to clean up. Warning–don’t try the Diet Coke and Mentos in the tub–it refuses to stay there. LOL
Simple origami is fun and good for fine motor skills too.
If you scrapbook, give him a few inexpensive things and let him use extra photos to tell a story.
I have to agree with the NO VIDEO GAME system! I have three boys, and constant offers from well-meaning relatives to buy one when they find out we do NOT have one, but I watched my youngest brother (from afar, I was already married when he was a teen) and he really limited himself by his addiction to video games. I promised myself NEVER NEVER NEVER! I even worry about the basic computer games, and we limit those severely too.
Just a few ideas! Boys are fun!
I don’t know what your housing situation is, but we have a mini-farm of 2 1/4 acres, and having animals that require chores has been a big plus! There is the work, but they also get to play with some of them (my younger girls love to let their baby goats out while they’re running around doing their other outside chores–the goat kids are bottle fed so they follow their surrogate “mamas” everywhere!) It gets to be quite comical at times! 😀
I agree with both Cindy and Michelle’s wonderful ideas! I have had my little girls have some time at the sink, I fill it water,(well, not FILL!) and let them use measuring cups and plastic bottles to fill.
My boys are only 3 and 17 months, but I definitely caution the game system, too. We have friends who have 9 dc, 4 of them boys, and the mom said that boys’ temptation is entertainment, and for the girls, it’s vanity. I’d have to agree from what I’ve seen of young men (and even dads!) that are addicted to the game systems. And I am so sad to see the “blank gaze” from many of these dc that stare at tvs, computers and game screens for much of their day. 🙁
Let him help as much as you can, give him real work (and yes, it will mean MORE work for you in the beginning, but trust me, it will get better! 😉 ) to make him feel his contribution is important (which it is!).
And I had always thought I’d get some of those neat building type stuff from Timberdoodle! Right now ds is happy with duplos! LOL!
Wow ladies! I knew you’d bail me out! The main reason for the post was that I DO NOI want my son baecoming addicted to a game system. I agree with Cindy that it is a successful tool of the enemy to keep kids isolated, lazy and not relatignt to their families. I don’t want to start him down that path at only 5!!! He loves to help out around the house and actually gets upset with me when he can’t help me do something! The ideas are wonderful and I will begin implementing this weekend. I would love to hear more ideas too…there are as many ideas as there are people and I am way way open to hearing more. Thank you all so much for caring!!
Oh, I forgot. All my boys have done Cub Scouts/Scouts. They have all kinds of CHEAP craft/handwork kits for Cub Scout aged boys that you might look for. You don’t have to have a Scout to buy the kits, and they keep them cheap so den leaders can buy one for each boy. We used to buy these sorts of things for birthdays and Christmas–there are simple woodworking kits, woodburning, leatherwork, making little boats and cars that run on balloons and lanyard lacing and making a radio or a flashlight or a camera, leatherwork, science kits. There is a website, I think it is scoutstuff.org or .com, can’t remember, and many hobby type stores will carry the stuff.
For in the future, look up and get The American Boys Handy Book, and The Dangerous Book for Boys, and when he’s a little older, get him Backyard Ballistics and The Art of the Catapult. OR you could do it now if Dad was willing to help him with it. There’s nothing quite like a kid with a potato cannon or a working catapult. 🙂 My boys have made homemade kites, you name it.
Enjoy that boy!
Michelle DDoug SmithKeymaster
How about photography? Children seem to naturally enjoy taking photos and looking at what they’ve captured.
A cheap digital camera and some rechargeable batteries can go a long way. Sometimes you can find an older used camera cheap or free when someone upgrades. They’re great for kids to learn with and you don’t have to be overly concerned about it getting broken. (We have an old one that may be taking a trip on a kite soon.)
The hobby can lead to other benefits:
- Patience and observation when attempting nature photos.
- Responsibility in taking care of the camera and keeping the batteries charged.
- Attention to detail. Encourage taking photos of tiny things to see them better. (Some examples)
- A little science as you learn about light, perspective, and optics. Our kids had a book about trick photography that they loved when they were younger.
- Helps develop a steady hand.
Wow, Doug and Michelle! These are wonderful suggestions! I’m going to look up the boy scouts thing right now and Doug your answer just turned on a light bulb. My son walks around the house taking pictures with anything he can find that makes a clicking sound! (D’uh, maybe he wants to take pictures!) It would be espcially fun since he could see the photos right away! (Not like the dinosaur days when I had to wait 2 weeks for photos to come back from the flim lab!!!) Michelle I love the catapult idea…and I will not share it with my husband because he would probably do it!! How fun! How many boys do you have? I only have 1 and I am completey confounded by him!!
I have three delightful boys. No daughters yet, so I’m “specializing” 🙂 My mom says it’s my just desserts for being a tomboy. LOL I have a lot of fun with them, wouldn’t trade them for anything. We spent all day yesterday trekking around in muddy woods, geocaching, and got gloriously dirty and had a blast.
Michelle DRachel WhiteParticipant
Never underestimate how much a 5 yo is capable of doing around the house, in the yard, etc., chore/responsibility speaking. The earlier he learns how valuable he is as a member of the family and how important it is to serve others-starting with MOMMA, the better.
Is he a builder? An artist? Plays w/animals? Like trucks, trains, planes and autmobiles? The older the toys, I believe the better. He needs to have to make them come alive and work . Nothing that entertains him without him putting in the effort. It’s Spring now (well at least down here in GA,)and so much to explore! Blocks, Trains, cars, Wedgits, Legoes, Lincoln Logs, Lauri sets, wooden stuff, puppet making (with your help), lots of art stuff, playdoh, wooden animals and a forest to play with them in. What about dress-up? Does he like to color in coloring books or design his own pictures? I never did invest in anypredesigned coloring pictures beyond some good quality coloring books-bile based and creation based. Dover has a multi-tude of choices. Does he have an real live animal that he has to care for? What about starting a container garden or finding a plot of land for him to choose some plants and care for through the growing season? I have a 7 yro and he’s great fun!
BTW, there’s book out there called “Preparing Sons” with accompanying website
concentrating and encouraging us to seriously consider the types of “entertainment” we provide.
Another author to consider is Dan Beard, co-founder of the Boy Scouts. His books are here:
Hope this helps alittle
Wow! That’s a lot Rachel, thanks! He’s not really interested in building or coloring or typical things like that. He loves play doh and he likes to plant things. I’m going to have him plant sunflowers this weekend so he can watch them grow. We have fruit coming in on a couple of our trees and he’s watching them like a hawk! One of the biggest challenges with Caleb is that he LOVES to be outdoors and we live in the city (suburban subdivision). Lord willing, we are looking forward to selling our house late this year and moving into the country (a couple acres or so) It will be wonderful to have an outdoors that he could do all his exploring, animal raising and whatever else he needs to do outside. I totally agree with the older toys idea. I prefer he grow into them so they will 1. last longer 2. be more challenging for him. My husband has completely given up the video system idea for now knowing that I am so adamant about it. Thanks to everyone who responded…my idea book just gets bigger and bigger!
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