Things to do with Fed-Up Kids

My kids need a lot of stimulation or they just fight each other for fun. Maybe that’s by my own doing. We tend to go out a lot and have lots of varied experiences. The downside to that is that they probably don’t get enough time to face their boredom, which I think stifles their creativity. I’m making a conscious effort to let them entertain themselves more, but here are a few ideas for the moments when they’re climbing the walls and you’re about to crack up 🙂

1. Get out and go to the nearest beach. Bring snacks and drinks, get a net so they can “fish” in rock pools, make castles and collect pretty shells. Get a special box for them to put their treasures in.

2. If they have a tent/house in the garden, or if not – picnic blanket,  bring your kids milk in teacups and biscuits on a tray. There’s something about getting a delivery when they aren’t expecting it that puts them in a good mood 🙂

3. Draw pictures with crayons and paint over them with watercolours. You can also use candles instead of crayons to make “magic pictures” too.

4. Have a no electricity day. Turn off the TV, the lights, light candles (out of their reach!) and read stories together by candlelight and give them a glimpse of life before technology.

5. Let your kids dress up in your clothes and do a fashion parade/ play with your jewellery collection. My kids are like magpies and love shiny things and trying to pinch my stuff.

6. Bake bread together. Show your kids how to knead it and they’ll enjoy eating it more because they’ve made it themselves.

7. Watch old musicals and make popcorn. I find it hard to get my kids to sit still for any movies without cartoons in them, but for some reason, if they are music-based, they sit for longer and it holds their interest.

8. Give your kids old magazines to cut up and make collages with. If they are learning to write, get them to practise writing the words underneath, or get them to write an accompanying story.

9. Speaking of stories, my daughter likes if I make her a “book” by folding paper or card and tying it with a string. She comes up with phrases to write and I help her spell them. You can give younger kids an idea and they can draw it for you.

10. Have a treasure hunt. Hide a toy/a treat, draw a map or give clues to help them find them. When I was little, my grandparents used to hide a thimble and we had to find it using “hotter/colder.” It was one of my favourite games and didn’t even involve toys 🙂

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Simple Activities With Kids: Mint Tea and Popping Bubbles

Simple Days with Kids: Mint Tea and Bubble Popping

We have spent a lot of time indoors this week and I’ve been working to combat cabin fever. I think I need a directed activity as much as the girls do. We decided to have mint tea, using fresh mint from our garden (or what was left of it after the snails made their happy way through my greenery.)

My daughter enjoyed helping to identify which herb was mint, picking it and smelling it. She even excitedly ran to get her sister to smell it. It always makes me happy seeing them getting inspired by something simple. We put it in a teapot and let it steep while my daughter prepared the snacks: Cadbury’s fingers and buns made by my talented baker-friend. My daughter loved assembling it all on a tray and bringing it to her sick sister. We put a picnic blanket on the living room floor, since she was a little too tender for a real picnic. We listened to Française Hardy and my kids showed their first interest in vinyl. (Unfortunately this means I’ll have to keep a close eye on my stylus now.)

We made extra soapy bubble solution and blew bubbles that stayed put until you’d popped all of them. My kids really enjoyed the simplicity of what we did and it went down better than any more complicated activity we’ve done lately.

32 Ways to Write Lists for Fun

Lists are always something we make in a hurried manner, with a feeling of obligation as we write them. Usually they are reserved for to-do lists of things we don’t want to do: grocery shopping, bills to pay, appointments, reminders of things we resent doing; they just number our responsibilities.

I think they should be transformed into something we do for therapy. There is something soothing about scrawling on paper in a measured way, rather than in a final frenzy  to get out the door.

Here is a list of lists you can make just for fun:

  • Your favourite moments in the last month.
  • Kind things that you have seen people do recently.
  • Small things that make you happy.
  • Your favourite quotes (look up things that inspire you and make a list to refer back to in a low moment.)
  • Ideas of gifts for upcoming birthdays/things you could make for people you know.
  • Specific things you want to buy for your home.
  • Look up a genre of music you like, write down every band you haven’t heard of and then find out if you like them.
  • Your favourite things about each season, eg, marbled autumn leaves, cuttingly-cool Christmas air.
  • Things you have done that you are proud of.
  • Qualities you admire in people you have met.
  • The best ways you have spent a day.
  • Movies you want to see by a director you like.
  • Things you want to research for fun/skills you want to acquire.
  • Good things that have come from the mistakes you have made.
  • Records you want to buy.
  • Mini goals for the next month (only fun things are allowed.)
  • Places nearby that you haven’t visited yet, eg, a bookshop, a nature reserve, a restaurant.
  • Search for free local events and make a list of the ones you want to attend.
  • The seemingly insignificant moments of your week (eg, a kind word from someone, hearing a good song somewhere, the taste of buttercream, the sound of rain.)
  • Your favourite items that you have ever owned.
  • Things you could easily live without.
  • Ways to simplify your life.
  • Things you want to add to your day.
  • The most memorable gifts you have received.
  • Your favourite scents, sights, etc.
  • Your favourite words in the English language.
  • Your favourite writers.
  • The best books you have read since you were a kid.
  • Things to do that don’t involve technology.
  • Your favourite places to go for a walk, eg, a stretch of a city street, a pebbled beach.
  • The funniest things that have happened to you to date.
  • Things you want to save for that you will cherish.

List-making can be really cathartic and emptying your mind on a piece of paper needn’t be done only by necessity. Enjoy listing for relaxation 🙂