to need someone to teach me how to parent(38 Posts)
My DC are 5 and 6 and I still haven't got a clue what to do with them at weekends. When the weekend roles around I feel sick to my stomach with anxiety over how to entertain them. I'm a single parent student so not rich.
I dread weekends I know this isn't normal btw so don't jump on me. I'm asking you "normal" people what you do with your children at the weekend. I feel out of my depth.
Aww bless you, What did you like doing as a child?
Have they got bikes/scooters? Go for a bike ride, take them out on scooters
Painting/making stuff ( put paper, glitter, sticky stuff on a table and let them go for it)
Have you got a local park? On a warmish day take a picnic they can play on the swings then have a picnic after
Take them to the local swimming pool?
Have you got a Library? Them can pick a few books to borrow
Baking? A few simple fairy cakes/cookies/brownies
Would they watch a film in the cinema? ( some do cheap child tickets on Saturday mornings)
Do you have any zoos or castles near you for a treat day out?
On a hot day if you live anywhere near a beach? That is a day out
Put a film on tv and give them some home made popcorn ?
Remember it's OK for children to be bored sometimes
Library, park, play with friends, crafty stuff, movie time (make a den to make it more fun), junk modelling, swimming, play in garden if you have one, drawing, toys, go for a walk/picnic, make easy cakes or pizza for dinner? Hope that helps a bit...you won't be alone in feeling like this I'm sure. Have you asked them what they'd like to do?
What did you like doing as a child?
During my childhood I was pretty much left to my own devices (like most kids in the 80s). We played out on the street in groups.
Times have changed
How do normal parents these days know instinctively what to do?
You could also try joining up to a website like mummy social. Let's you contact mums in your area and could then expand your days out. Always easier with more people. My works most weekends and it us harder as most my mum friends have partners so are busy at weekends. All of the activities suggested are great btw
We never seem to have spare money to do things with DC at the weekends unless we save for a specific activity so we spend weekends going to the park, playing board games, having movie nights, going to the beach (only a few mins in the car), walking through the woods, and generally just letting them play.
I've handed them chalks and let them write and draw over the pavement or gave them cups for a water fight (all our water guns end up getting blocked!)
I've started following lots of pages on FB like the library and local parks and council pages as during half term lots of free activities are listed.
Thanks everyone. Some really great suggestions there.
Outbackshack I've just joined mummy social, but there's only 6 mums in my area and they all have small babies.
Get them out in air to park, woods, etc. Doesn't have to be warm for that... If its too wet, have u free museums or art galleries near? Can be perfect afternoon entertainment. Dont get stressed trying to ensure they see / learn from main exhibits, just follow their lead and talk about what they're into.
A lot if time can pass dropping wooden twigs at one side of bridge and seeing whose comes out from under bridge first.
Playing with toys... Sending hot wheel cars from one side of room to crash into figures on other side... Sort of like bowling. Making Lego, if you've variety of blocks, make robots ie tall towers of lego and then have robot fight is bangobgveavh to not into other, see who wins.
Drawing can be great esp if u do it too.
Read them story, even if they can read, reading to them is great.
Football in park
Best of luck!!
Just playing, with action figures, dolls, animal figures or whatever they're into. Follow their lead, let them tell u rules of game etc
Download an app called Hoop. It collates results of what's going on for kids in your proximity with details of whether it's free or not and who it's appropriate for. Lots of Easter related things going on at the mo
It is harder now as kids aren't given the same freedom to play out in the street with others in the neighbourhood.
You don't sound like you need someone to teach you how to parent at all. I think your thread could have been headed "Can I have some ideas for cheap/free things to do with 5 and 6 year old at the weekends/ in the school holidays.
The suggestions so far sound great. You don't need to spend much, if anything for them to have a good time. Trips to the park, playground, a container full of water and toys in the garden if you have access to one, library story times combined with choosing some books to take home. There's nothing wrong with a movie night cuddled up on the sofa watching something good on TV with some pizza or other treat.
And hopefully if you google whats on for family's in your area, there will be lots of cheap/free activities, ideas.
And forgot to say,if you can face it, a bit of baking or helping make a meal. There are lots of easy recipes for little kids to help make.
Indoor picnics on a mat in the living room if it's chucking it down,or in the garden/park/wherever if it's nice.
Masking tape and old cardboard containers, yoghurt cartons etc and let them make models. Once they've been on display for a bit,most can be returned to the recycling bin.
I used to dread weekends alone with my small child, so I understand.
Where about do you live? And are you under 25? You said you were a student, but I didn't want to surmise?
Oh I feel your pain. I find the weekends can seem to stretch on forever. My children are a bit younger but some of the same things might suit. We tend to:
Visit free museums, and time our visit for when there's storytime or some sort of activity
Go to the City farm/park
Baking/cooking (DD loves peeling carrots - IKEA do a child sized peeler! - so it's really just meal prep. dressed up as a fun activity)
Craft stuff. I hate this but DC seem to love it. Tiger and Poundland have some good stuff and I always ask for craft stuff/stickers/activity books for birthday/Christmas if family ask me what DC would like)
Snuggle up and watch a film. Particularly useful for the witching hour before bed.
Definitely recommend Hoop as a PP said
Definately get bikes. After the initial outlay, biking is virtually free. Get nice fairly lightweight ones with good brakes if you can afford to. Or take up hiking suitable for that age. Then get them into nature watching, join RSPB for the youth magazine, or BBC nature for inspiration on what to look for on bike rides. Gives bike rides a purpose. Get an I spy book for nature. Join Beaver scouts also. Gives something to look forward to and work towards. Make sure you have food about your person for hangry kids.
Also, sucker in another parent of similar age kids. Much easier for kids to entertain each other plus both adults get real grown up conversation!!
Do you have any outside space at home?
I would say aim to get outside at least half an hour each day, longer if possible.
Football, scooters, bikes etc all good tools for taking to the park.
Have a look at geocaching and see if there are any sites locally that you could cycle/walk to.
Have a look on FB, council websites etc to see what is on locally. Join local FB selling groups and put a post asking what is on locally.
My town has a [townname] mums group on FB and people are always asking what is on for kids. There may be one for your local area, if not, start one!! I bet there are loads of other parents in your situation who are lost for ideas on the weekends.
If they are active kids, maybe see if there's a junior park run near you? Always good to have activities to wear them out!
We don't tend to do loads on an average weekend. Mostly as per suggestions above; we do swimming and the park a lot. The kids love a picnic if the weather's good. Now my eldest is at school it feels ok to have a more relaxed pace at the weekend, kids need some time to play at home and rest after a busy week.
My favourite thing to do was den building, can either use sofa cushions/brooms/chairs/blankets inside or if you have any cardboard boxes laying around let them build a fort/den each, just need sellotape, then they can draw on them with felt tips.
Lots of good ideas here. My contribution is just to say take snacks/picnic/water in a small rucksack when you go out, even if it's just to the park. Otherwise you'll end up spending money.
So far today we have watched some Moana music vids on YouTube, they've topped a pizza, played 'mummy and sister' together and are now painting at the table. I don't think you need to do anything fancy.
Well I def wasn't a "natural" parent, but I had an early riser, and so every day I tried to wear her out so she'd sleep in an extra hour or so in the mornings (rarely worked).
Any swimming pools near you? Try googling to see if there are any (free) events near you at weekends.
Playdates with friends?
And remember to "sell the sizzle" EG, no matter what you're doing, make it sound exciting and your kids will think it is!
And please, please, please don't under-estimate the massive value of your time to your children. Giving them your time, your energy and your love is a great gift. I'm very sad it took my until mine was about 7 before I realized that being me wasn't the worst option for her.
I find weekends work best with some regular activities and free time in between. So, mine (similar ages to yours) have a routine that goes like this
Fri evening - some screen time (video games) then dinner, then a family game (board game type thing) or reading together.
Sat morning - breakfast, then kids entertain themselves, then swimming lesson, then lunch, then variable activity (e.g. park in nice weather), then home, dinner, film (they take turns choosing), story, bed.
Sun morning - church, lunch, then variable activity again (sometimes just playing at home, sometimes going out and doing something). Sun late afternoon -- getting stuff ready for school, doing any homework etc. Dinner, then bath with hair washing, then stories in bed.
Not very exciting but they seem to like it. I think the routine elements make them feel comfortable, and they are pretty good at entertaining themselves in the 'free time' bits - usually dressing up & running around together shouting, or making a mess with craft stuff, or Lego).
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