We found so many educational apps for the kids (mostly free) and also some for "mindless" fun. Not everything they do has to center around education.
It is such a nifty little contraption, but, if we're not careful, it is so easy to spend quite a bit of time on it. We have put our own time limits on it for ourselves, but we have also found ways to put limits on it for the kids that do not make them feel that something wonderful is being with held from them.
Enter the Bucket List.
Currently our "bucket" is a wonton soup container.
In the mornings while I am doing my morning tasks, if Addie wants to have a bonus time playing the iPad, she has to complete five of the tickets in the bucket to earn 20 minutes of Pad Playtime. (My oven timer moves quickly in increments of 10, so it is 20 minutes instead of 15 so I don't have to sit there and push each minute)
Our tickets are:
- Read to Ian 15 min.
- Play a game 15 min. (with me)
- Vacuum (hand held) Ian's high chair and under your area of the dining room table
- Quick dust the living room (Swiffer duster or a damp rag)
- Vacuum (hand held) next to the front door
- Help put away dishes
- Read a book for 10 min.
- Vacuum (hand held) the bathrooms
- Color 15 min.
- Put everything in your room away
- Play in your room for 15 min. (she takes Ian into her room to play)
- Play with brother for 15 min. (she was excited when she picked both of these in one day!)
- Read the flashcards set up around the house
- Put shoes away
- Play with Play-doh for 20 min.
- Do some puzzles for 15 min.
The five "tickets" that she pulls out are not returned to the bucket until all of the tickets have been done once. Then they are shaken up and put back for another cycle.
Addie also gets 30 minutes after completing her school time well, and if behavior has been good throughout the day, there is a chance for a little more time after dinner.
Her "tasks" are based on the list of things children should be able to do at certain ages listed here. The first time she did some of these things, I had to walk her through to show her how it is done. Now she just zips through because she knows what is waiting for her.
Now, if you'll excuse me, both kids are napping, which means it's my turn to play with the iPad!