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 🙂