I’ve been speaking to the lovely Sarah of Getting Stuck In the last few weeks as her Facebook and Twitter feed is always packed full of brilliant ideas to keep the kids entertained. So I approached her about doing a guest blog for me and she came up with the brilliant topic of keeping younger siblings amused once the older children go back to school. So if you’re a mum who is wondering how to keep tiny tots happy and smiley now that their big brothers or sisters have gone back to school here are Sarah’s top tips.
Websites and shops are full of “back to school” ideas to make the start of term easier for your children. But when the house is quiet again, when you can make it across the room without treading on a dozen toys, and you’re not acting as a UN peace keeping force …. have you thought about things for amusing younger siblings who have spent the past 6 weeks being entertained largely by their older brothers or sisters? I hadn’t … but that’s about to change!
Naively forgetting how much younger children learn from their older siblings, my youngest has grown wise beyond his years watching two 5 year olds for the past six weeks – the intensive commando training they have unknowingly bestowed on him has given him much greater determination than ability, and I’m realising that he’s unlikely to “play nicely” by himself for long, come term time!
With that in mind I’ve gathered together a few ideas for indoor fun which work well for younger children. With these in my repertoire I’ll be primed and ready for action … and we can both make the most of being “just me and him” for a few hours each day.
Buy a packet of digestives, some squeezy icing tubes, and some chocolate sprinkles etc.
Let your child decorate the biscuits, add sprinkles and leave to dry. Depending on your child’s strength, they may need a little help getting started squeezing the tubs – and be sure to put the lids somewhere safe, as it is easy to mislay them!
Passing pegs to put on the washing line
Let your child (or take it in turns if there is more than one child) pass you the clothes, one at a time and the pegs needed to hang it up. Let them count out the number of pegs you have asked for. Takes a bit longer than doing it by yourself, but children seem to enjoy this one!
Bread rolls from mix
Buy a packet of bread mix from the baking/flour section of the supermarket. Just add water and margarine, get your kids to mix, and then divide the dough into a lump for each child. Knead as per the instructions on the packet – for approximately 10 minutes, then divide into rolls. Spread out on a lightly greased baking sheet, cover with a wet tea towel, then leave for 1.5 – 2 hours until they have doubled in size. This is a great activity as the kids can go off and play and then come back to the rolls later. Cook in the oven as per the instructions on the packet, and then enjoy eating them!
When the children need to let off some steam and you’re lost for an activity, giving them a bath is a great way to break up the day. The novelty factor of having a bath in the middle of the day combined with the fact that they can splash about and release some energy, get clean and save you another job at bedtime is a win-win all round. Make bath time even more fun with some “mouldable bath foam”, which provides lots of bath time entertainment for children.
The fun needn’t stop here! For more ideas visit gettingstuck.co.uk – all ideas, tips and best buys have been tested by me and my children, so join me in making a plan of action now, and make the return to term time as calm and whinge-free as possible! I’ll let you know how it goes!
I love this guest post from Sarah, she has some brilliant ideas packed into her website and I’ve also signed up for her newsletter so that I don’t miss out on her special pick of the week and seasonal activities. I know that when half term comes around in October, there will definitely be some activities going on in our house from her website.