Friday, June 20, 2008

Time Management with preschoolers!

These are some of methods for managing time with a preschooler.
All work and no play makes a mommy quite crabby and a preschooler whiny. But all play... well... I've never been very good at that. Are you? Do you find it easy to sit and play all day? I'm way too high strung for play. Type A. nerd. workaholic. whatever you want to call it.

So, to keep everyone happy, I came up with a little system for when Emily and I get to spend the whole day together. Since my idea of fun is: working, and her idea of fun is: playing. We do a little of each.

1. I set the timer for 12 minutes. (Why 12? I'm not sure. It seemed like the right amount. Maybe because there are 5-- 12 minute sessions in an hour)

2. For the first 12 minutes, we play. We play trains, legos, or "fun thinkers" or whatever she wants to play. It's actually good for me. If I start to get antsy, I know the timer is set and will ring soon.

3. The next 12 minutes are work. I can work (without interruption) by myself or she can help. She usually wants to help, since it's so much fun to work. (Yes, I like working, and I make it fun!) There's a lot of praise, "Wow! Did you fold that washcloth by yourself?" "Look how hard you are working!"

4. We take a potty break before the next play session. Then we repeat the process.
5. After a few sessions back and forth, we need lunch.
6. Before you know it, the whole day is passed. We got a lot done, and had plenty of time to play too!

This is Toby. Trains are her favorite way to play! What a neat treat for a job well-done!

11 comments:

Netta said...

What a wonderful idea... I'm getting another timer (my older daughters use my other timers for "computer time," their own laundry reminders, etc.)
Thanks!

Russ&Nic said...

What a wonderful way to teach your child the importance of work. When she grows up she will have learned how to balance her time between fun and work well.

Org Junkie said...

Great idea! I can only sit still for so long myself :)

My little guy LOVES trains too!

The Happy Housewife said...

Great ideas. This would probably work especially well for little boys who have trouble sitting still for any period of time.
Thanks for sharing!
Toni

Miss Jen said...

Ummm....I am *in love* with this idea! I am going to try it today! Thanks and good luck with all of your 12 minutes!

Miss Jen said...

Ummm....I am *in love* with this idea! I am going to try it today! Thanks and good luck with all of your 12 minutes!

Jo-snazz said...

That is cool mommy. This works with big kids too, you just need a larger amount of time. :-)

Veronica said...

awesome idea!!

Veronica

Shannon H said...

I've been seeking out all sorts of advice on time management lately and found this post--and I put the idea to work on Friday. I didn't use a timer, but I alternated playing with my son, housework, and "me" time (like email) in 10 to 15 minute intervals, in between essential child care (baby's feedings, bath, nap ritual)--and I felt productive, my son was happy, I was taking frequent breaks. In short, it rocked, so I did it again today and plan to keep up with it. Thanks so much for the idea!

Happy WAHM said...

This is a great idea! I would have to modify it since I work from home but I am thinking working for an hour & then taking a 1/2 hour to do something with my daughter & setting the timer. It will be a nice break from working for me & quality & fun time with my daughter! Thank you for the wonderful idea!

ChecklistMommy said...

Great idea! I have four-under-five, and am often looking for ways to play more ... I'd much rather run around organizing our stuff! Thanks for the insight ...