Some days I just don’t feel like doing anything. Especially if I am not feeling well, or I’ve had little sleep the night before.
Some days I just don’t want to set up an art activity, or take the kids anywhere.
Some days I just don’t want to play, but the kids always do.
So here are five easy activities for the kids to do on days when you really don’t want to play.
Roll out a length of paper on the floor and dump out the crayons. Those long rolls of Ikea paper have save my sanity again and again. With the paper on the floor everyone can reach, no one argues over chairs or crawls on the table trying to get the green crayon, and I can lay on the couch or fold the washing with only a quick reminder for the toddler not to draw on the floor.
Going outside is one of the last things I want to do when I feel lousy, but once we’ve found hats and boots I can pretty much just sit in my hammock and watch as the kids muck about in the back yard. It’s even better if the sun is shining, the fresh air helps everyone’s’ moods improve, and I can’t possibly clean the house if I am outside ‘supervising the children’.
Quick and Easy Imaginative Play
A green rug or towel, some stones or wooden blocks, a couple of twigs with leaves and animals or dinosaurs or fairies or cars… dump it all in the middle of the floor on the table and let the kids do the rest.
A Fiddly Toy
You know what I mean, one of those toys or activities that has little bits that require some concentration. I know it sounds counter intuitive to get out something with little pieces when you are feeling less than 100% but I’ve found those are the kind of activities that engage my kids, quietly, on their own, for quite a while…. especially the four year old.
Things like peg boards, threading, tap-tap, or puzzles. Make sure it is a challenge but not too hard for your child and then wander off for a little peace.
We love audio books at bedtime, but they are also great when you just can’t face reading yet another story. See if you can find some CDs or MP3s of stories that you already have in book form so that your child can ‘read along’ or provide a few ‘props’ that match the story – like some animals for Who Sank The Boat. Play School CDs are great for reading well known kids books.