How Do I Keep My Kids Sane In This Weather??
We’ve heard many times this week from parents, how tricky it can be keeping kids indoors in heat like this, and keeping them from going loopy or grouchy!
Here are a couple ideas to keep them occupied, without turning into baked potatoes outside:
1. Bathtime or blow-up pool fun
Why not keep them squeaky clean and schedule a couple of baths a day and try to keep them in the water as long as possible through play. Blow-up pools can provide hours of entertainment if you’d prefer all splashing to happen outdoors, just remember to place them under the shade. Keep up the vocabulary teaching while you’re at it. Water tends to drain our energy so a post-splash nap might also be in the books!
2. Encourage creativity
We all remember our own parents saying things like “go find something to do” or worse: “I’ll give you something to do if you’re bored!” This usually left us even grouchier and even more lost for something to do. Instead try directing your kids towards something to do, giving them some structure, and then let them be creative with it. For example, I wonder who could make the biggest Lego castle today? Do you think the living room or your bedroom would be the best place for a fort? You’ll often find that your kids will start gravitating towards that activity and then modify it into whatever they find fun, eg. building a big Lego spaceship together or making a long train down the corridor. Often framing things as a race or contest can be enticing too, particularly between siblings, so starter phrases like “who can…?” or “I bet you can’t!” can sometimes be more of a kickstarter than “why don’t you…?” or “you could do…”
3. Make a plan for tomorrow
Sit down with your kids before bed and brainstorm a plan for the next day; listing ideas and
even scheduling breaks for snacks and lunch. Getting them involved will encourage more excitement from the kids as they’ll feel they have some control over what they will do. When the morning comes around, having some structure can also prevent those long, meandering days spent plodding back and forth, doing a bit of something but not really doing anything!
4. Take advantage of out-of-home activities
Bowling, the movies, swimming are all great (air-conditioned!) activities that will get the kids out of the house. The ultimate in this weather is ice-skating if you’ve got the balance for it. There are many great holiday activities too, happening at community centres, libraries, even your local shopping centre. These are most often free and you may even be able to drop off your littlie for some finger painting while you zoom off to finish your Christmas shopping.
5. Swap kids
Don’t worry, we’re not saying to really swap your kids over. This is a savvy strategy we are seeing more parents, especially working parents, make the most of. Team up with your friends from kindy, childcare or any other parents you know, and work out which days will be your swap. For example, I’m working on Mondays and Thursdays (or just need some time to prep for Christmas), so Kate will take my kids on those days and they can have a play date with her kids. She needs Tuesdays and Wednesdays off, so we will swap then and I’ll take the group. You may need to schedule with a bunch of friends to work around everyone’s days, but it can be a very efficient way of helping each other out, the kids having fun socially and you getting all your work done.