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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.

MrsHoneybean Sat 16-Mar-13 23:38:40

What brilliant to share ideas on this. I shall join too. smile

I struggle to spend quality time with my 2 ds's. I always seem to be doing chores and cooking tea and never doing anything with them.

The only thing I manage is bedtime stories.

I do feel really guilty and get a bit anxious because my 2 are growing up fast and are 6 and 8 already.

Very occasionally I play board games with them or do some junk modelling which they love too.

Anyway looking forward to being inspired!


comeonbishbosh Sun 17-Mar-13 08:16:07

Here's the imagination tree play dough recipes

I make the no cook one, don't worry about adding glycerine. I do double quantities so there's plenty to go round, and have found it keeps for over a year in a good ziplock bag. For 3 year olds I think one big chunk of one colour less stressful as don't need to worry about getting colours mixed up, and easy to tidy away without cramming into little tubs.

comeonbishbosh Sun 17-Mar-13 08:23:35

And today... Sunday... If you live near Wigan - Manchester - marple - hope valley - Sheffield. There's a double headed steam train going through. Go and stand at your nearest station or bridge and wave excitedly!

Times here:

mummy2benji Sun 17-Mar-13 12:44:15

Great thread! I have good days when I feel pleased that I have managed some quality time and play with ds1 (4) and feel completely knackered but satisfied by evening and days when all I seem to have done is try to do housework (why does the house only look marginally better after a morning of cleaning??) and nag and shout at ds. The latter days are more frequent. I aspire to increase the proportion of good days but am so often too exhausted, stressed if dd2 (5 months) is being difficult, and lacking in imagination. So on with Cbeebies! (or Numberjacks website - full of games and episodes!)

This morning I managed some reading and writing practice with ds, whoop! (Now sound like pushy alpha mum - this happens rarely I swear). And I put on silly voices to play with his cars toys while also cleaning the bathroom. We are about to go out to a kids' puzzle cafe as sometimes we all need a bit of help (dh working). I realise I have failed to contribute any good ideas sorry but I will post again when dd isn't on my lap and dribbling on keyboard while I type with one finger. smile

Louise85 Mon 18-Mar-13 13:33:49

So we've been successful in reducing how much time Dd is in front of a screen (she's having screen time now, but its the first time today - and I need a break!)...we went out to a tots group this morning which was great to get rid of energy, but at home here are some ideas that we've been doing...

Putting her teddies & dolls in 'dangerous' places so that Fireman Sophie can rescue them (this was great coz it took me 5 mins to put them out and her about an hour to find and rescue them :-)

Crafts - I order things from craft ideas
tea party's
baking biscuits
icing baked biscuits with different colours & sprinkles
tea party's
dressing up & role play (doctor doctor is a hit -raisins as tablets)
dancing to an action cd

Dd is almost 3, so I'm guessing this wont be helpful to most of you with older children.

Goingdownthegarden Mon 18-Mar-13 17:12:17

Mine are 7 and 4. Things we´ve done recently are paper mache landscape to drive cars over, have animals living in. It took quite a long time - a bit every day for a few days - so that could be good or bad depending on what you need! We paper mached half a balloon, then found an old piece of wood from a drawer, put the paper mached half balloon on it as a hill, put odd bits of egg boxes etc on the wood and paper mached over the top of it all. Then we painted it as hills and a harbour (blue paint! - unfortunately no real water) and painted a road over it. It has been played with quite a lot.
A great activity our childminder did when ds was 2 was drawing round small toys so there were "silhouettes" of the small toys on a piece of paper. She then hid the small toys in a big bowl full of dried beans or rice. Ds then had to use a spoon to fish the toys out of the rice - like a sort of lucky dip. Then he had to work out which toy fits on which "silhouette". He loved the game. It kept him going for days.
As for slime, have you tried cornflower mixed with a little bit of water? - solid if you "push" it with a wooden spoon - and liquid if you drip it.
With dd and a friend (when they were 6), I drew a map of the living room to explain to them what a map is (I explained it was what you would see if you were a bird flying above it). Then I got her and her friend to draw maps of the garden. They really got in to it and enjoyed it. Then we chose a toy and I kept hiding it in the garden and they had to find it and then run in and mark the spot (with an x of course) where they had found it. They really enjoyed it. We could have done it in two rooms of the house.
Recently we´ve had a lot of fun as a family playing "Grandma went shopping and she bought..." - even 4 year old could really remember a lot of the shopping.
Making pictures like a mosaic by sticking things into a flat piece of clay or playdough. We´ve used stones, dried beans, lentils, dry pasta (different shapes and colours), leaves, bits of bark - and pushed it into the rolled out clay to make a picture (well, it is usually more like a pattern than a picture! - but the process is more important than the result!).
Another good one is a bit christmassy but making a pomanda - dcs can spend AGES sticking cloves into an orange or a satsuma - somehow it´s a bit like bubble wrap!

Goingdownthegarden Mon 18-Mar-13 17:16:16

Just remembered another one: put various fruits/vegetables into a non-see-through bag and each child has to reach in and feel one and either describe what it feels like: smooth, bumpy, long, knobbly, round etc. so the others have to guess what it is or the child just has to guess themselves what they are feeling. Of course, a "right" guess means you get to share the fruit.

RunningKatie Mon 18-Mar-13 20:04:18

Great ideas here, I have a 2yoDD & 4thDS, I had people tell me I'd be able to feed DS whilst reading to DD - but it just doesn't happen as she's more likely to be climbing on him or bouncing around the room.

I've been using packet mixes for baking, which is an awful cheat but she likes them so I figured it's a start. We also go on walks in the buggy and try spotting different animals, it's just such a shame the weather's still so rubbish. Last week we went to the library too and got some books out, I'm ashamed to say we've not done that since DS arrived.

Louise85 Tue 19-Mar-13 21:20:33

goingdownthegarden - great idea about rice game hiding things - kept dd busy for nearly an hour this afternoon :-)

FullOfWoe Tue 19-Mar-13 21:29:25

I'd like to join. DC 6 and 8. I'm currently trying to sped 10 mins focused on them after school as often as possible after school. I also spend 10 mins witholdest one at bedtime every night. Chatting, having a cuddle etc.

issimma Tue 19-Mar-13 21:43:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

issimma Tue 19-Mar-13 21:43:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KatherineKrupnik Tue 19-Mar-13 21:49:32

what a great thread. Marking my place to return.

redwellybluewelly Tue 19-Mar-13 23:07:31

Theres a blog called 'Rainy Day Mum' which I get a lot of ideas from

I also use pintrest.

I'm expecting dc2 in the summer and can see I'm going to have to get creative as to how to entertain dc1 who'll be almost 3.

At the moment we play farms, shops, push cars around and look after baby doll. I also work FT at the moment so she gets a lot of fun from childcare but we often bake or go for long walks at the weekend.

I also read to dc1 every night before bed, I hope that won't change.

ISpyPlumPie Thu 21-Mar-13 21:06:27

Can I join in too? I have two DSs - one aged three and one aged three months. Although we do quite a few things (reading, library, parent/toddler groups, baking, painting etc) I'm very concious that since DS2 arrived DS1's screen time has increased significantly. He also plays lots of quite involved imaginary games (which are heavily influenced by the tv programmes he watches blush), and although it's great in some respects he has very specific ideas about how I should get involved and I often fall short of his standards.

I would like to do more outdoor stuff. I'm naturally more of an indoors type so find this harder, though we do go for walks and 'bear hunts' in the local woods. As others have said the weather isn't helping atm.

Some great suggestions on here for crafts - this is something else I try without much success as DS1 never seems keen to do anything crafty for long (he's also not keen on drawing or colouring in). I'm hoping that some of the ideas on this thread might hold his attention a bit more effectively.

Must admit I'm struggling to think of what to do during the Easter holidays with no pre-school and most of our groups being closed. Will do some days out, but don't want to bankrupt us. All suggestions gratefully received grin.

comeonbishbosh Fri 22-Mar-13 16:39:51

Today a snow induced whole day in with both kids. Thinking of this thread I have tried to keep positive! Cbeebies has of course been on abut but we have also:
Play dough
Rolled things down cardboard tubes
Put up the 'circus tent' (ikea win)
You choose
Watched a bit of toy story
And.. My most inventive thing, we put a few small things (pegs, tin foil, coins) in a couple of plastic bowls, covered with a cm of water and put them outside to freeze. Am about to go outside and see if the experiment has worked and we can hang the ice disks off the washing line!

We are still in our pyjamas. smile Granny back up has just arrived so may even be able to save the magazine til tomorrow.

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