5 Quick Ways to Keep Your Children Busy

With the summer just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about ways to keep your kids busy while they’re not at school. Here are 5 quick solutions.

1. Set Up a Staring Contest

This tip is great. You just tell your kids that they have to have a staring battle, and the winner gets an amazing prize. All being well, they’ll spend the afternoon (or 10 minutes at least!) staring at each other in silence.

You may think I’m joking, but if you can pull this one off, you’ll be thanking me later. If the plan fails though you can still salvage the situation. Try turning it into an arm wrestling contest! Make sure it doesn’t turn rowdy though.

2. Start an Art Project

If you give kids a pile of paper and a set of paints, they’ll be satisfied to play for a good few hours. You’re probably going to have an almighty mess to clear up afterwards, but it’s guaranteed to keep them busy for a while.

It’s always good for children to be given the chance to get creative though, so don’t let the mess involved put you off. You set them specific tasks to complete if you want to make a whole day out of it.


3. Let Them Play Games

Don’t listen to those parenting books that warn against letting your children sit in front of screens. Yes, they shouldn’t do it too much. But every parent sits their kids down in front of the television or computer sometimes. It’s a good way to keep them busy and distracted!

There are loads of free online games that can keep them busy nowadays, so you don’t even have to pay for the games. Use sites like Playberry and they’ll be engrossed while you do other things.

4. Use Them as Car Washers

This isn’t slave labor, honestly. Every child loves washing the car, so why not let them go for it? You keep them busy for a while, and, who knows, maybe the car will even end up a little bit cleaner by the end of it too!

Fill a bucket with warm soapy water and give them a couple of sponges and let them get to work! It’s how I spend many summer days as a child. If you’re particularly protective of your car, you might want to supervise it though.


5. Tell Them to Make a Movie

There are so many new opportunities afforded to parents by modern technology. So, make sure you use them to keep your kids busy. You probably have loads of video cameras around the house, on your phone or tablet. Give them to your kids and set them the challenge of making a movie.

This is great fun and will keep them busy all day long. It also inspires them to get creative, forcing them into using their imaginations. And that can only be good for their overall development. Use these easy tips and you’ll find that keeping your kids busy is easier than you might have thought!

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How To Turn Spring Cleaning Into A Family Fun Day

The next few weeks will see the last opportunity to get a bit of spring cleaning done. And, if you've left it this late, the chances are that you are going to have to plan on doing it with the kids around.

Bearing this in mind. I've been thinking of some ideas of how to tackle spring cleaning when you have the kids around. The solution is simple: just get them to help! Children just love helping out and getting the home ready for summer is a great team activity that creates a bit of bonding time.

Not only will you get things done, but you will have fun doing it. Here are some simple tips that will help you get things up to scratch and keep the whole family busy.

photo: Ryan Harvey

1. Make a plan of action

Split up your tasks amongst yourselves and the kids. Younger children will have to team up with a parent, but the older ones can be given the honour of having their own rooms to take care of. They will also appreciate more grown up tasks.

2. Set expectations

It's important for everyone to know their jobs, but also how much they are supposed to do. If one of the kids is going to spend a couple of hours cleaning the bathroom with you, then it isn't fair if another only spends a minute hiding all their mess in a sock drawer. 

3. Talk about products

Before you start, it's probably a good idea to talk about the dangers of cleaning products. The idea is to clean the house ready for summer, not end up in ER! 

4. Let them have a say

Also, let's not make this a dictatorship. Give the kids some say in what they want to do. Perhaps they want to spend some time with mummy, some time with daddy and, for the older ones, as little time as possible with anyone.

5. Draw up scorecards

Younger children's minds wander in various directions all the time, so it is a good idea to have some form of overarching strategy to help them stop getting bored. Try drawing up scorecards that they can tick off every time they complete a task

6. Organize DJ sets

Music is a great way to set the tempo of a big clean up. Make sure everyone has an allotted time for their preferred music. And that includes the parents, too. That will provide some musical education for the kids and some relief from the CBeebies theme tune CD.

7. Take breaks

Make sure the kids have regular drinks breaks. This will keep them hydrated and keep the day separated into easy chunks. However, as everybody probably already knows, breaks do not apply to mum and dad. 

8. Organize rubbish collection

Once you are done, it’s time to think about rubbish removal. You can get someone to collect it, or bring everyone and everything to the most exciting theme park in the world. This is also known as the rubbish tip.

9. Dish out your rewards

All hard, honest work should be rewarded, and this is a great time to show a vital life lesson to all of your children. So, when you are done, take the kids straight to Granny’s house and leave them there for a sleepover. After all, you and hubster deserve it.

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