The art of killing a day with your kids
I’ve been there countless times… you look at the clock and it’s ONLY 9.45am. You have no energy, the house is a tip and the kids are bickering, or moaning about how bored they are. How on earth are we going to get through the day?! Some days are harder than others and you somehow need to get through it. Here are a few of my go-to tips to kill time (on a budget no less!)
1. Give the kids a bath
No matter what time of the day it is, if you are stuck, let them have a bath. Bonus time if you have bubbles (always worth having a bottle of bubbles even if it’s for times like this), or just bottles for them to tip water out of (preferably in the bath and not out of it like in my house. FFS).
2. Let the kids help with house chores
Summon up the energy to make it into a game (or bribe them with whatever you’ve got!). My kids get given the ‘fun’ job of cleaning the windows, sorting out their piles of clothes and bringing (dumping) them in front of their closets.
3. Make popcorn and watch a movie
Okay this might be more from me than the kids because I love popcorn! It’ll take you 10-15 minutes to make from scratch but most times, my kids love getting involved. It’s easy enough to make and they like waiting for them to pop. Sweet and salty is our favourite, although my daughter has been on a mission to try and get me to agree to trying chocolate popcorn.
We had a dry patch of baking when my daughter went egg-free, wheat-free, sugar-free, diary-free (seriously.) But we are now down to ‘just’ egg-free, which I can totally handle. When the kids are younger, expect a complete mess. A saying that goes on like a loop in my head whenever I bake is ‘I don’t know why I bofer’. But it kills time and you get something delicious at the end of it, so grin and bear it. As my kids have gotten older they’ve learnt that if mummy ends up shouting, they don’t get to lick the bowl… Find what will get them to listen to instructions and use it. Ready… steady…. bake!
5. Take them to get groceries
I contemplate with the idea of going to the shops in the evening without the kids, when I can roam the aisles in silence. However, it’s such a good way to kill time during the day. I make it a big deal that I need them to help me and they generally like being given some responsibility. My 5 year old and I now have chats on how to check the eggs, and how to choose things like avocado, which is really sweet because it reminds me of when I was a little girl and my mum used to show me these things.
6. Dance to music in the kitchen
It’s not always easy to remember that music lifts the spirits… turn on the radio or get your favourite playlist on and show your kids your crazy mama moves!
7. Let the kids get crafty
Paints are a biggie in our house, and the kids get to experiment with normal paints and watercolours, which they can help themselves to. I’ve set up a craft station using one of these with paper, as well as cheap stickers, makers, crayons and glue so they can get them on their own.
8. Get them to tidy up their toys
Admittedly when I say it’s tidy up time, I’ve probably lost my rag by then and am shouting it instead of making it into a game. I mean how do these little beings manage to make such a freaking mess.. in every freaking room?!? My husband has managed to make this fun for the kids but setting a timer on his phone and challenging them to clear everything by the time the beep goes.
9. Give them some telly time
I do actually believe that kids should be allowed to space-out every once in a while (whilst I collapse on the sofa!). Is this bad? Possibly… but when I know they’ve used their brain cells from something like reading or cooking with me, I do let them switch off for a bit by watching some telly for a certain amount of time.
10. Leave the house
Whether it’s the garden, the park, a friend’s house, a walk around the block… just get out. Oh but it’s so much effort I hear you say. Alas friends, this is true. Never is there a worst time when we are trying to get out of the house, but a change of scenery clears the slate.
How many days before they go back to school????