3 days a wk DS has to go to an after school club, but the 2 days a week me and his nearly 4 yr old sisiter go to collect him - we just come home and he watches TV. He goes straight to it and veges.
I've tried after school things like gym which I've posted about elsewhere cos I've no idea whether he's too young for after school things or not. We don't have playdates.
He cannot, and does not, ever play alone.....if I ever try to play with them, like a board game with all of us, it's just hellish, with rowing and fighting galore. But surely, 3 hours of TV can't be good for him. I need to break it up and do something else but it's so hard.
If we try to do HW then his sister goes nuts. Even when it has been successful, this is only a 15-20 min activity!
I'd love to hear what others do? Especially from those with a small age gap like me... Thanks guys...
Get in, straight to kitchen table for drink and snack. While he's there, I get something out for him to do like drawing, sticking and pasting, plasticine, craft kit, whatever he's interested in. We do it together until I have to cook (about 4.30/45 I start) and then he watches something. We only have DVDs, no telly so I pick something up that will fit the length of time it'll take to cook. About half an hour normally.
OP I'm struggling a bit to remember but I had six born in very quick succession and when we got home they all had milk and biscuits and then I think (except in summer when we went to the beach) they did veg out in front of the telly, which was fine. None have suffered obviously I don't think. I certainly never ever did baking or craft with them since I'm short on patience with that kind of stuff though I did always make time for their reading.
We also always ate pretty late and the bedtime routine was them on the sofa falling asleep as they watched the Beatrix Potter videos which they loved. Then one of us would carry them up to bed - 8 or 9pm? It worked, and that's all that mattered.
Do they not play together? I'm clearly wrong but I would have imagined that two so close in age would be easier to entertain together rather than different ages?? I've got 3, one in yr 2, one in reception snd a 1 year old. I find it hardest to do stuff with the 1 year old rampaging around!
How about snack and drink when you get in, then reading (we have a no tv till reading has been done rule and once you get used to the rule there's no grumbling at all, they are actually keen to do reading so that they can get on with other stuff after!) With your two close together but one is learning to read and the other not, I'd imagine your dd is a bit jealous. How about involving them both in the reading. Don't call it ds's reading, say let's all do our reading now. Let dd choose a book and you read if to her. Let her 'read' the pictures. Then it's ds's turn with his school book. Then I'd let them watch tv while you cooked tea but have tea early at say 5ish, so they only watch an hour of it. Tv off for dinner, all sit together. Dinner lasts a good 45 minutes in our house as we use it as a chance to talk about the day and school and plans for the weekend etc. then after dinner it's bath time, then stories (and playing upstairs while I put washing away in their rooms etc) and bed for 7-7.30 on a school night
Catsu - good point about involving younger child in reading.
DS1 is the oldest - he's in reception. We do his reading after the bath, before I read their bedtime story. We call it 'DS1 reading us all a story' and we all sit on the bed to listen. No-one's being excluded then and it's more of a communal activity. Sometimes DS2 (age 3) wants to read us a story too - he chooses a book and talks us through the pictures. DD (20 months) used to wander round the room, but has taken to coming and sitting on the bed to listen as well. Then I read them a chapter from whatever bedtime book we're doing, then everyone gets into bed.