I thought I would just add a few ideas that might help you motivate your children on difficult days. If all else fails- give up , smile, have a cup of tea and try again tomorrow. Did you know, boys find it harder to sit still than girls as they have different skeletal development. Children can only sit still for roughly 1 minute for every year old they are. So a 4 year old can sit and focus for about 4 minutes.
- Always warn your child that something is about to happen- 'in 2 minutes we are going to stop the playdoh and do some drawing' etc
- Try playing the game you want your child to play with a teddy or toy ( make the teddy or toy do the activity wrong) eg 'Can you count teddy? 1 5 3 7 5 9. Your child will love to correct this and you can use it in many different ways.
- Make a fuss of your child's efforts however you feel they did- this gives them a good feeling in their tummy and they will be more likely to want to do it again. They especially love it when you say things like 'Did daddy do that for you, you cant have done that. You are so fantastic at ..............
- Display their work, even if its just in their room to make them feel proud. I used to tell my children that I loved it so much I would keep pictures on the inside of my wardrobe doors to make me smile each morning. My children covered my doors with work.
- Try doing the activity in smaller slots eg instead of a 10 minute phonics activity where your child has to sit still, do through the day, eg at lunch- what does sandwich start with? Can you see something on your plate that begins with? In the bath, can you write a letter sound on the tiles for me to guess? Can you draw a letter on my back for me to guess?
- Give your child choices- Shall we sit on this seat or this seat to do our drawing? Shall we do counting or listening to sounds?
I hope these are helpful. If I can help with any more drop me an email