What to do when you don’t have any activities planned and the kids are ______ (insert any mood that you don’t enjoy -wild, whiney, irritable). Some days you are just tired or lazy and you are not up for an art project and clean up afterwards. You don’t want to go out but you don’t want to stay in either. You know the days I’m talking about. You need easy entertainment for young kids!
Try just sitting on the couch or laying on the floor. Chances are your child will come snuggle, crawl on you, huddle up or just talk to with you. Do not turn on the TV or have your phone, except to capture a photo maybe. Just BE together, go with the flow…enjoy. Your kids need this kind of time and you need this too.
Trying to get the dishes done or breakfast prepared? Give the kids a few paper towels and markers. These two colored until I was done washing up and then I sat on the floor with them and colored too. I think it was the different texture of the paper towel that made this keep their attention. It’s slightly different from coloring on paper. They used the towels for blankets for a Grinch toy after they were decorated, which lead to them making a whole Grinch bed. You never know what one thing will lead to.
Never, never, never throw away bubble wrap. Let the kids stomp on it and pinch it and twist it. They will go until every bubble is popped. Just trust me. Even older kids will fight for a turn.
Instead of coloring with dry sidewalk chalk, give them a bowl of water to dip the chalk into. It makes the color deeper and more vibrant. This can be indoors with dark cardstock or outdoors on the sidewalk. (if you can, always buy card stock instead of construction paper. The quality, color and thickness is so much better and its usually the same price as construction paper)
I wish you could hear the giggles from both of them as they put the chalk into the water and said “abracadabra” and pulled it out a darker color. For some reason, they both thought it was so funny. And Brinley couldn’t really say “abracadabra” but she tried and it made us laugh.
Give them cotton balls! I actually thought they would want to pull them apart like clouds and glue them to the above mentioned chalk pictures but instead they had a snowball fight. Brodey (4 years old) especially liked playing with the ‘snowballs’ and gathered and threw them over and over again. (See the slow mo video at the end of the post)
I would like to add that I don’t think there is anything wrong with kids being ‘bored’. If they are content, and enjoying the down time, I believe it is really good for them to have time for ‘nothing’ but daydreaming and imagining.