Hats off to you DOG. Four under 6? You've been ill and puddle jumped? Are you a saint?
For me the more exhausted I am, the harder it is to remember inventive games, bribes, cajoling tricks, etc.
Just a suggestion but maybe you could have just gone out and made a game of tidying up when she gets back? I don't know what she's into but we used to turn it into some corny song, now maybe you'd interview them on camera: "Leading UK Headlines: Small girl tidies toybox with big smile on her face!"
I dunno, it could backfire - but would be great on Youtube...
I'm sure you'll get more sensible suggestions like Caz's
You're doing a great job - if everyone is up, washed and dressed by lunchtime that's an achievement. If I want to go out I sometimes just make sure thay we get out first thing before we get distracted - will the older 2 go on scooters whilst the others are in the pushchair? I always have a roll of lining paper and plenty of crayons. We sometimes do 'crime scene' figures where they lie on the paper, draw round them then they colour themselves in etc. When they are cut out and put on the wall they look fab! When mine were 6 & 4 they often liked a nice warm bath - get lots of toys to play with and would spend about an hour and a half just playing with water and stuff. Cinema afternoons are good, close the curtains, give one of them a torch to show you to your seat, get some nibbles, press play for the dvd and you might just get forty winks. Same with a disco - get them dancing and they can play musical statues - you just sit with the remote/volume control turning it up and down. Alternatively you can sit in the bathroom and cry - or is that just me?
befrazzled you need to start a blog or website or something
My dear friend sometimes used to babysit dd on a sunday (she was a party girl with an inevitable hangover). They played "cinemas" - darkened room, popcorn, etc. Worked a treat.
I have a very messy ds with asd. Because he eats paint, we prefer "food art" - yoghurt, rice, celery sticks, fruit, you name it it can also pass as lunch (preferably outside, then hose 'em down, dry them off, get them cosy and play cinemas, you go on mn make organic snacks, etc...)