half term hacks?(11 Posts)
At serious risk of outing myself, but...
I have 3 DS, aged 6, 4 and 20 months. I am finding it more and more difficult to keep them entertained and happy during school vacations because of their differing needs. By this I mean that if we go somewhere for a craft activity, for example, the 6 and 4 yo still need and want some input from me, but 20mo just wants to pull everything on the floor and wander off. Parks are a similar experience but not as bad, however everyone is on antibiotics for various chest/ear infections at the moment and it's bloody freezing here. Soft play is an option but expensive.
They do have access to an iPad and Xbox which they would play on all day with a fair amount of sibling squabbling. Obviously we don't want them to do that.
What can I do with them that will keep everyone occupied and amused without turning me into a gibbering wreck??
Have you looked online at what is on in local area? Many places have half term activities at museums etc.
Invite a friend to play for the six year old so you only have to amuse the other two.
Go for at least one good walk a day, like an hour or more. Older ones can walk, younger one can walk a lot then go in sling/pram when tired.
I have a 3 year old and 18 month old. The 18 month old can walk almost a mile before needing to be carried - everyone arrives home tired. Win win.
We have a 6yo and a 2yo. My aim this week is to have one activity planned a day. Today we're meeting friends at a park. Other days are family visits and meeting friends. These are mostly morning or afternoon things, so the other half of the day will be a walk if we're inside otherwise, or some sort of messy / craft thing. Junk modelling (me piling toilet rolls, glue sticks, any scrap cardboard I can find, and bun cases on a plastic table cloth, then sitting back with a cuppa and letting the carnage unfold), glow stick bathtime, and playdoh session. Doubt we'll actually get round to it all, but I find it helps having a back up plan for when they get bored of playing, or start fighting. Right now though, they're watching TV in a blanket den, and I'm mumsnetting.
If you do not want to go out too long bc of ear infections/colds. Just do a short 30 mins out in morning and afternoon. So they at least don't go stir crazy being inside all day. You could spend the 30 mins in a park or taking a walk, feeding the birds bread, kicking a ball around, bubbles outside. Dont beat yourself up too much about letting them watch some tv or ipad. Also, cant they play together? I have a 2 and almost 4 year old...they play together for an hour or two. Dress up, jumping on the bed, dolls, hiding from monsters, wrestle, dancing etc. One is a boy an done is a girl I understand what you mean about the younger one ruining crafts by wanting to throw everything around. My youngest one is JUST starting to get out of the phase...but not really lol. So I try to keep crafts to nap time. You could do some in door water play? Fill bath tub with water and let them play w some toys? Mine can do that for an hour! Of course you must watch entire time...but u could clean bath room, read etc. As long as you can see them and make sure no one falls in bath. You could also go library or bookstore to read new books.
Try not to worry. My mother never entertained us much as children and I had a happy childhood. Maybe in a weeks holiday we would do one trip to the library when they had a craft activity on, go to the supermarket another day, visit a relative on a Sunday and the rest of the week we just played with our toys and watched TV. It was probably the same for most people back then. Our mothers were busy cooking and cleaning. It's only a recent thing to entertain your children.
One of the best tips I read on here was to do nothing for the first day (or more in the summer holidays) so that they learn to amuse themselves...I think access to a garden helps for this though and slightly older children.
Other things that help are:
Ocado - I only take the DCs to the supermarket if it's raining and we need treat food and felt tip colouring books
Batch cooking the week before so that you don't need to actually cook in half term
Chocolate (for you)
National trust membership - they always seem to have a cafe and baby change facilities
And remember the mantra 'all fed-none dead'
I also try and get DH to book at least one day off each half term
Thanks everyone, vvv helpful and reassuring! We mooched around a lot today, they alternated screen time with "playing" (yy to jumping off various bits of furniture ) then when DS3 went up for a nap we broke out the craft box and the junk box which has really become part of the decor so they loved that. We also played a board game so by the time DH came home we weren't too badly off.
Have identified some places to which we can probably manage to go with only one vaguely responsible adult (ie me) and sent out some messages inviting play dates. Hopefully DH will be off on Thursday too.
I can do this!
Ps. Jareth - loved the planner.
I can completely empathise. I have a 6 yo, 5 yo and 2month old. It's so hard work at the mo and seems to be particularly due to the younger one as she is literally into everything and difficult to reason with.
I'll be honest I always find it easier to get out the house although this still has its own challenges. But helps to meet with family/friends to share the burden too.
I have resigned myself to it being hard and tiring but it's ok sometimes too. I agree with PP have at least one thing planned then I don't feel so bad when we all watch a movie all afternoon.
*Not 2 month old 22 months old.
2 month old would feel a breeze now!
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