Can you believe we are just days past Christmas and all those new toys have just been opened and you have just had your first….
”Mum I’m bored!!” conversation (read this in a really whiny voice to get full effect).
I bet you can’t believe the words that come out of your mouth sounded EXACTLY like your own mum….which mum was she?
Whatever you did say, I’m certain it won’t be the last time you say it over the school holidays.
To help keep you from going back to the list of responses above, I thought I would share with everyone my mum hack that helps to manage your child's time when they are struggling to entertain themselves. Plus, it provides you with some structure so that you don’t get the mum (or parent) guilts because you aren’t physically able to entertain them 24/7 for the next 5 weeks.
There is a little preparation required (about 5-10 minutes), but well worth the effort. You will need two dice – ideally two different colours (I use red and blue in this example), a pen and 2 sheets of A4 paper.
Step 1 - Write a list on A4 paper of 6 activities they enjoy doing, and they can do WITHOUT YOU – let’s call it the Blue Dice Activities.
Examples of this might be:
Do a jigsaw puzzle
Watch a TV show
Play Hoops in the backyard
LEGO or DUPLO
Jump on the trampoline
If it’s raining or you are in isolation make sure the list are all things that they are able to do inside.
Step 2 – On a separate piece of A4 paper list 6 activities that you ENJOY DOING TOGETHER, let’s call these the Red Dice Activities.
Examples might be:
Play a board game or Cards
Go on a bike ride
Cook Pizza or Muffins
Create a science experiment
Watch a movie
Kick a ball together
Step 3 - How the Mum Hack works
When your child says they are bored OR you notice they need a more structured activity because they aren’t getting along or perhaps haven’t been off the technology for a while, you choose whether they roll a red or a blue dice to determine the type of activity they will do (WITHOUT YOU or TOGETHER). The number they roll corresponds with the activity they will then do.
This not only means they now have a fun way to determine what they are doing, but you can also manage your time too.
Use the red dice if you are able to be available and engaged, or ask them to roll the blue dice if you are cooking dinner or have a work call, or need some down time etc. and aren’t able to be present and engaged for that time period. This way of managing your day will provide your child with a nice balance between enjoying their own company, and the time with you is quality time!
It’s that easy, and makes the whole process fun too, because they roll the dice!
4 Hot Tips….
- If your kids are younger – you may need four dice as their attention span is shorter, which means you will need to have 12 red and 12 blue activities to use.
- If your kids are older – ask them to write the two lists themselves, it is really nice to know what they enjoy doing with and without you too.
- Have two sets of lists one for wet weather and one for warmer days.
- You could also add a chore that needs to be done onto the list like "clean your room" or "pack toys away" so that those activities are managed too.