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Parenting support thread for doing more with your kids

(41 Posts)
TheMaskedHorror Mon 11-Mar-13 10:56:01

Would anyone like to join me in aiming to spend more time with your kids?
I've got 3 dcs. Since I've had no.3 (almost 5 months), I really feel that I'm just not doing anything with the older two.
They are well looked after but all I seem to do is bark orders at them at the moment.
I've stopped reading to them and don't seem to do much else except on the odd occasion here and there.

Ideally, I want to start reading a chapter book to them again every night, playing a board game once a week and baking for their packed lunches once a week to just start things off.

I'm open to other ideas if anyone has any and any advice on how to spend more time with older dcs whilst dealing with a demanding baby would be most welcome.

LizaRose Mon 11-Mar-13 11:00:05

I'll join this one! I don't have a baby ( well, my 6 yr old is my baby!) but the baking one would be good, and I should get back into the habit of reading with DD at bedtime, although she likes to read to me now.

I need to get my DSs (9 and 11) to spend a bit less time on their iPad and computer and have more family time.

TheMaskedHorror Mon 11-Mar-13 12:12:49

Hi Liza.
What are your ideas for more family time?

Jibberoo Mon 11-Mar-13 12:44:42

great idea. i sometimes struggle to find things to do especially on bad weather day (i'm an outdoors kind of mum and can easily find activities out and about but struggle with at home play).
Some of the things I try are: board games, baking (i make gingerbread men as when i make the doh i make enough for 3 bakes and just freeze 2 pieces for next time), basic cooking, basic experiements (volvano, making slime, freezing water/turning it into steam etc), games on the ipad together, reading (but running out of good books for 3.6yo DS), some crafts but DS isnt into it much, lego and random dinosaur/ben 10 play.
this weekend with the weather bad we were stuck inside for a lot of the weekend (did go out to zoo for 2hrs) and DS was a bit bored.
some of the ideas i've come up with (havent tried yet) are:
- going to library together to get books but also read there
- trying to come up with learning sheets for places to visit (e.g. local museum trip is boring for DS so am hoping a 'can you find' kind of activity will interest him)
- expand on cooking and try some of the recepies on Let Cook (cbeebies)
- find some more indoor experiments to do
- letter collage making (he's just getting into letters so want to encourage that by having a letter of the day and pics of things that correspond to that letter)

For older DCs I have one idea but not sure how they would work
- make a home movie (get them to write it, choose costumes, and get parent to play a part)

def looking for more ideas though so please keep them coming

AnnIonicIsoTronic Mon 11-Mar-13 12:48:20

Forget baking but do make time for reading.

It's a time saver in the long run - once they're in the habit they start reading to each other, & diassapearing off for quiet reading time in their room.

I think start with a picture book every night though. Chapter books are harder for DC to focus on, & you may be discouraged if they mess around.

AnnIonicIsoTronic Mon 11-Mar-13 12:50:30

Re: baking - again start small - get some of those value sponge mixes from tesco which the DC can pretty much make alone. Decorate with smarties. Smiles all round.

Me - I'm teaching my DC to clean! DD1 washes up, DS1 hangs out laundry & Ds2 does the dusting. Surprisingly convivial.

Oscarandelliesmum Mon 11-Mar-13 13:07:00

Please can I join too?
I also.have three. Baby of 8 mns, three year old and six year old. Horrible endless winter hasn't helped but I have definitely let standards slip and let the screens go on too much. Off to stop neglecting them now and serve lunch!!

LizaRose Mon 11-Mar-13 13:17:56

Family time- anything that involves interacting with each other instead of staring at a screen! Board games possibly, don't know how keen they will be. Craft activities, perhaps card making together? DH's birthday is coming up, home made cards would be nice smile

Baking we can manage, they need a bit of help weighing out ingredients but a basic sponge mix is easy enough. 10 minute banana bread from overripe bananas.

Jibberoo, how do you make slime? I can see that being popular!

TheMaskedHorror Mon 11-Mar-13 14:04:47

My older dcs are 7 and 5 and they do enjoy chapter books. We've done a fair few Roald Dahl. 7 yr old does read his own books but still enjoys being read too. I'm sure there will be a time soon when he won't and I'll be really upset that I didn't bother when he wanted me too.

As for the baking, I usually bake quick biscuits/cookies for packed lunches anyway so theres no reason why they cant help out really. I've just been a bit lazy about it all.

Another request for slime details please!

Jibberoo Mon 11-Mar-13 18:36:57

I bought a horrible science kit and it has about 6 experiments in there and all the stuff. To make slime you actually need the slime powder that came in the kit and hit water but I'm sure you can buy the powder online.

Here is a homemade recipe but I haven't tried that
Sorry cant do links on phone

LizaRose Mon 11-Mar-13 20:44:07

Well, I've made the effort and started a book with DD! She was given a box set of fairy books for her birthday so we read chapter one of volume one, let's make it a habit smile

MrsHowardRoark Mon 11-Mar-13 20:55:13

Can I join too?

I came on to see if anyone had any suggestions for activities to do with a toddler.

My DD is 16 months and although we go out and do an activity every morning I feel like I'm not doing enough with her in the afternoons. I'm very lucky in that she can and does entertain herself for hours on end but this has made me rather lazy. I need to structure in some more interactive time together, so any ideas would be most welcome.

Emski76 Mon 11-Mar-13 20:56:52

Hi all. Ive been feeling the same with ds1 who's 5 (I also have ds2 aged 2). Feel like all I ever do is tell him what to do and tell him off for not doing what I tell him!so tonight after school we counted and sorted the money in his many money boxes the read his school book before collecting his brother from nursery. We're also planning a dinosaur project where we make a book about them starting this week with T Rex. He was so excited and enthusiastic about making it that I can't wait either!!
Either myself or my husband read to him every night before bed, tho he has been losing this for misbehaving a few times the last few weeks!!

StitchAteMySleep Mon 11-Mar-13 21:05:46

I have two kids (3.8 and 1), but I also have a large number of nieces that stay frequently at our house.

We have a book called 365 Things To Make And Do by Usbourne, but they have others (see link).

Things we have done over the years:

Blown and painted eggs, painted stones, made wooden spoon people, made modelling clay jewellery, sock puppets, puppet theatre using cardboard box and cardboard people stuck to lolly sticks, made pirate ships out of large cardboard boxes plus eye patches etc... And then played pirates, made masks, made dens, made a shop, baking cakes and biscuit, making pizza, made a den out of blankets and pillows, playdough (even with my older nieces when they were under 10), painting, chalk pictures (hairspray needed to fix), made perfume (bubble bath plus essential oils and food essences, made boats/rafts to sail in the bath, tried to make a water mill that will turn properly using plastic cups, done floating and sinking experiments, made badges, brooches, decorated rings.

If you are really feeling adventurous and have stairs, a makeshift slide made from single mattresses and sliding down in sleeping bags is great fun. Just remember a crash mat and to remove breakable objects.

TheMaskedHorror Tue 12-Mar-13 09:29:44

Lizarose Well done. Its a good habit! I started reading Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator last night. Dcs loved it. I'm hoping to get back into the habit too although baby was getting a bit fed up towards the end.

stitchatemysleep thanks for the ideas. I actually have that book but I've been too lazy to use it much. I'll have a look through it again and see what the kids might like to do from there and then buy stuff next time I'm in the £ shop.

I cant wait for warmer weather. I'm so much better going out and about with the kids. One of our favourite things to do is a walk in the woods with the baby in the sling and a flask of hot choc. I really enjoy it as we end up talking a lot.

TheMaskedHorror Tue 12-Mar-13 09:35:56

I'll check out that slime.

MrsHowardRoark I remember at that age my dcs liked water a lot. I'd give them a shallow bowl of water and let them was their cars and dinosaurs.
Ripping newspapers was fun too otherwise we loved playing with blocks and stacking cups.
I was better at taking them out than doing activities at home!

comeonbishbosh Tue 12-Mar-13 09:41:42

Can I join in?! I've got a just turned 3yr old and a 7 week old. So am a bit on survival mode, and am relying on Cbeebies far more than I used to. The good news is DD1 is starting to really get into imaginative play. The tricky thing is any craft type stuff can require a bit more dexterity than she can manage yet.

Some things that have worked well recently:
Putting up a small (2 person) tent indoors - great novelty factor.
A Cbeebies magazine called ''Art". We were given this as its got lots of things in as well as the usual stickers and pitched well for her age. We ended up fashioning a scuba diving costume which I never would have thought of doing on my own.
'The imagination tree' blog has lots of good arty ideas across different ages ( and good play dough recipes)

comeonbishbosh Tue 12-Mar-13 10:43:05

Also, a blog I came across recently, two posts I liked.

10 things to do while waiting in a restaurant:

25 mini adventures in a library (mostly for school aged kids I would say, but some adaptable for younger ones)

MrsHowardRoark Tue 12-Mar-13 11:50:10

We're snowed in today so I made some cloud dough, which is flour and baby oil mixed together to make mouldable sand.

I had great fun making little castles and digging in it but DD wasn't so keen. Once she realised it didn't taste very nice she went back to destroying the sitting room hmm

This afternoon I plan on making Flapjack so hopefully I can engage with her more over that.

Sometimes children make it very difficult to be the amazing parent you know you can be grin

LizaRose Tue 12-Mar-13 11:50:51

DS1 is out at his performance group tonight rehearsing for Bugsy Malone, the younger two want to make a rainbow cake so will let you know how we get on!

comeonbishbosh Sat 16-Mar-13 08:04:19

Was feeling unable to summon up much energy yesterday, but a small thing that worked was reading 'You choose' with DD1. More interactive than reading other books, she does most of the talking so I don't need to think that much, and compatible with nursing a newborn!
Good for those times when even simplist 'making' activity seems like too much work.

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Sat 16-Mar-13 08:10:48

Can I join? I have a very independent 2.10 DS and I feel like I neglect him a lot because he plays so well by himself!

Good play dough recipes would be fab, and I'm sure we would all find it helpful if those awesome mummies who do lots could provide some links/details about the activities so I can shamelessly copy them for inspiration?

tasmaniandevilchaser Sat 16-Mar-13 11:17:56

great idea for a thread, I've been thinking the same thing. DD is very independent in playing and will happily while away an afternoon with Netflix on the iPad. I am starting to feel guilty but being heavily pg + terrible weather doesn't make going outside very attractive, so need some ideas for indoor activities. Just marking my place and will be back...!

Louise85 Sat 16-Mar-13 16:26:31

Can I join as well? Realised that dd is spending 6/7 hrs a day on pc shock blush...with a newborn have been slack but need to get this down to an hour.

Serotonin, I have a great no-cook playdough recipe - will dig it out and post asap

LackingNicknameInspiration Sat 16-Mar-13 22:48:42

Can relate to this one - DD1 is 5, DD 2 is 3 and DS is 11 months but seems to be convinced he's a newborn at night...

So, we bake after school once a week, which always feels it will be a hassle but it lovely.

Currently doing stuff with Easter stencils - decorating pictures, sticking them on cards and turning them into bunting with ribbon

Scattering lots of 'gold coins' round house and finding them - not always ideal with mobile baby - one day I'll do a map ..,

Play doh always popular, as is cutting and sticking

Stick a cd on and give them instruments (pickers etc) - they now line the toys up and have a band

And if we're all Knackered and only telly will do, then we sometimes close blinds, move furniture and turn it into a cinema with pot of sweets or similar

I do still spend much time shrieking from kitchen but find that if I start them off they'll keep going when I have to do tea.

Oh and bedtime they choose a pic book each then we have 1 or 2 chapters of Faraway Tree or similar after teeth clean once in bed - they share a room which helps.

So looking forward to some better weather though!

Good luck!

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