Ideas to keep the kids busy when you have no energy left
It’s been three weeks since the schools closed in England. No doubt you have heard family or friends complaining about being bored and not having anything to do. I always find this slightly irritating, as I’ve found the social isolation period incredibly intense as a mum with young kids. Trying to fit homeschooling, housework, my own work and keeping the kids busy at home, without any help or a break and without going out anywhere isn’t easy.
So as we approach another weekend, I thought it’d be a good idea to publish this blog, originally written by Sally at Harrogate Mumbler. I hope you find a few useful ideas here.
There’s nothing harder than looking after kids when you’re tired or poorly. Much as we love them, they’re not the most sympathetic of creatures and will still want to bounce off the walls – and expect you to join in too!
The Duracell Bunny’s got nothing on my kids, but I’ve learned a few tricks along the way to buy peace and quiet when I’m desperate. Here are our favourite things to do with little ones when you’re shattered, poorly, or just need a bit of time to yourself.
Build a cushion fort: Pull the cushions off the sofa and let the kids get busy! They will enjoy bouncing around on it all and it only takes a few minutes to put away later.
Have a dance party: Sit back, play some music on your phone and let them bust the moves. You could also blow bubbles, or break out some glow sticks.
Soft furnishings obstacle course: This is great if they’ve got the energy to burn! Tell them to make tunnels with cushions and other obstacles to climb and crawl across. They could pretend the floor is crocodile-infested water and leap from cushion to cushion to escape!
Start a cupboard of cheap toys: My mother-in-law is a master of stashing away cheap toys and crafts for emergencies or rainy days. She often has a few of each, so no squabbling about who gets what. It works a treat and I have started my own with sticker books, fancy pens and colouring stuff, playdoh and joke toys. A Whoopie Cushion was a big hit recently!
Set a design challenge: Can they build a boat using only paper? Or an airplane from matchsticks? A tower from straws? Add glue, sticky tape and scissors, then sit back and enjoy the creativity.
Let them put on a show: An old cardboard box makes a great theatre, but kids are inventive and will figure something out. They could enjoy acting, use puppets (or make their own!), or their hands to make shadow animals.
Have a bath with regular toys: Baths are always a brilliant distraction for my kids, especially if they choose toys that aren’t usually allowed in there. Obviously, don’t use anything electrical, and only things that are okay to get wet.
Do Yoga: Cosmic Kids is a great yoga channel on You Tube, with lots of themed yoga sessions especially for kids. Some of our favourites are Frozen, Moana and Harry Potter. Even the three-year-old gets stuck in!
Play with a flashlight: Close the curtains, turn out the lights and hand out torches. They can make patterns on the wall, shadow animals with their hands, or go on an indoor scavenger hunt.
Build a tent under the table: An old blanket draped over the dining table makes a cool tent for the kids to hang out in. They can take in cushions and pillows to make it extra comfy, as well as a torch, snacks and water bottles, toys, colouring and anything else to keep them busy, all while you relax.
I hope you’ve found these ideas useful. Is there anything you’d like to add? We always share useful tips and ideas on our Facebook Community. Please join us today!