So, it does help that I have an 8 year old who can pretty much entertain herself and her brother and sister for hours on end (if she is in the mood for it). But there was a time in my life when I felt like all I was doing was entertaining kids all day. And I still do to some extent because I still have a 3 year old at home. And I'm just going to admit right now to the entire blogging world, that playing pretend with my kids is NOT my favorite thing in the world to do. Somewhere along the way I lost my imagination and sometimes a ten minute tea party is the equivalent of watching golf on T.V. I'd rather wax my upper lip!
OK, so I know some of you might love getting on the floor and playing cars with your little boys, but for the rest of us, here are a few things that I've found to be great boredom breakers, and can give Mom a few minutes to shower or fold some laundry without helpers.
1) A package of dry beans, and some pots, cups, and large spoons. Set your kiddos up on the kitchen floor and watch them spend an hour dumping pouring and stirring beans. You'll probably also see beans flying in every which direction, but they sweep up easily! I used to have a special bag of dried pinto beans just for this game. When they were done we put them all back in the bag for next time. Just don't forget which ones are for playing with and which ones are for eating!
2) Colors in the sink. My youngest still asks for this one all the time. We put a few big bowls or pots in the sink and fill them with soapy water, then add a few drops of food coloring to each bowl. Give them some cups and spoons to play with, just don't forget to put a towel on the floor!
3) Make a fort. Sometimes we pull out the kitchen chairs and throw a blanket on top, and some times we pull out the hide a bed from the couch and they crawl under there. Either way, we always make sure to have a few flashlights involved and this is one of the only times I let them take a snack out of the kitchen. Anything to make the game last longer!
4) Make a train. Next time your kids are bored, pull out all your kitchen chairs and line them up in the living room, and see how long it takes for them to make it into a train. This is one of the few games I don't mind playing for a few minutes, as long as my stop is somewhere like "in the kitchen so I can load the dishwasher."
5) I think popcorn and a movie go without saying, but I'll say it anyway. Sometimes we do 2!
6) Dress up clothes. If you don't already have some, start investing! They don't have to be store bought either. I've made a lot of ours as Halloween costumes and after Halloween they hit the dress up box. When we were little my Mom actually collected fun stuff she found at garage sales or vintage stuff my Grandma gave her, and that's what we dressed up in. The best way to get your kids wearing them is to watch a movie together and then show them how to make themselves into the movie characters. Yesterday I told the kids we were going to see Tangled after Dad got home from work and suddenly they just had to find our Rapunzel costume at the bottom of the dress up box.
This game of climbing Rapunzel's hair lasted a lot longer than I ever would have thought possible.
If any one has any other great ideas I can implement on our next three day weekend, please share. We have another one next week!