As our first day of summer holidays arrives, so does the heat. Yesterday and today were both high 30's which is great if you are a fish, but not when you have 3 children (1 still at school - Yikes!) plus 2 of their friends for a play date at home. What are the options?
For many people, a trip to a pool or the beach or other water location is great. But sometimes we need to be at home - whether it is because of transport, work or just needing a day at home. I have found a little bit of child-based creative thinking is great to come up with solutions to keep them entertained.
Let me just clarify a couple of things:
- I don't organise my children's entertainment too much. I give them ideas, guidelines or boundaries then let them come up with ideas themselves. I find this often leads to play that I would never have thought of - although I must admit, sometimes I cringe at the mess-potential, but I usually suck that up. Which leads me to point #2
- If my children go to a friends house and part of the play means toys scattered everywhere, then I expect them to also be part of the tidy up before we go. Same applies at my house.
- I'm not a very good "get down and play" type parent. I never have been. A friend gave me good advice once: give your children toys that YOU also would enjoy playing with. So our children have lots of lego, we cook and they go outside. Other than that, they are pretty much self directed with play.
So with all that in mind, after a good Nerf battle around the house, it was time to get REALLY active. So every soft toy that could be found was brought into the lounge room to set up a huge pillow fight. But the problem was where? Lounge room - luckily they discounted that one. Upstairs living? Nope as that is my office and eldests lego area. Their playroom - HA! Too much lego on the floor. So they engaged that creative thinking part of the brain and decided to move all the toys onto the trampoline. Brilliant! It was a great idea and lots of fun and laughter - not to mention great to watch.
Next idea was to clear all the toys back inside and turn the hose on and load up water blasters. Again, total winner. They got saturated (on this very hot of hot days), play was contained and they couldn't go too crazy with jumping as it was wet, which actually minimised the injury risk (well the risk of collisions, not of slipping over...).
All in all a great day.
And how do we finish off this day of laughter, mirth, soft toys and jumping fun? With Gluten Free* Chocolate Cupcakes of course, the receipe to be found here, loads of water (to drink) and a platter of organic fruit.
Enjoy your summer holidays - they are just beginning.
* I make up Gluten Free Flour in my thermomix courtesy of Jo Whittons Quirky Cooking and substitute it in most of my baking.