Summer has arrived! (I say this in spite of yesterday’s rain and 60-degree high here in the Bay area!) Kids everywhere are wrapping up school, and moms everywhere are trying to contain their excitement at having their babies home for the summer. Either that, or bracing themselves with apprehension. For the last year, Trenton has only been going to four hours a week of preschool, but I’m still nervous (borderline terrified, actually) about three months without it!
My kids love adventure, so we get out of the house a lot. But because I also manage our complex of 53 condos, we get the joy of spending a fair amount of time at home. (“Office hours” of sorts.)
How many times have you too been caught in that late afternoon, it’s-too-late-to-go-somewhere-but-too-soon-for-bed black whole? It happens to us all the time! The minutes drag by, and I find that my boys’ attitudes follow mine. (Downward spiral!) Here are some of my favorite ways to turn the afternoon around—none of which involve any special equipment or trips outside of the house. (Warning: Some of them are pretty random, and some may be more geared to boys, because I admittedly know hardly anything about little girls!)
1. Tickle! Are you a tickling mama? I think it stems from my own childhood, when my older brother would make me say “I love Corey, Corey’s the man, Corey’s the king, Corey rules” before he’d stop tickling me. Do you know how hard it is to get all of that out of your mouth while being tickled? I’m more merciful on my kids, but tickling them will always turn bad moods around. (Mine included!) I love seeing their uncontrolled laughter and hearing my littlest exclaim, “Gen!” (for “again”) over and over.
2. Set a snack or meal at the table and start telling the kids they better not eat the food because it is mud. Then react BIG TIME when they eat it. My boys think this is rolling-on-the-ground hilarious. Bonus—it gets them eating vegetables without even noticing!
3. Give them some random objects and send them to the bath! Measuring cups, ice cubes, randomly large balls, lollipops, spray bottles, kitchen utensils, etc. For us, bathtime is a fun way to pass time. It’s just a happy coincidence that they get clean at the same time!
4. Move furniture around to make a fort. Let’s just say our sectional works HARD for us.
5. Use canned goods to get building! The only thing here is that canned-food towers can be a little rough when they crash, so Mom’s involvement is advised. (They’ll like it even more that way.)
6. Have an impromptu photo shoot! What little boy doesn’t love having his mother chase him around with a camera for an hour? Okay, so maybe this one is more for Mom. 🙂 But it’s all in the pitch. If you build the drama enough and do something that catches their interest (like pushing furniture out of the way and spreading a pretty blanket on the floor of the lightest room in the house), you’d be surprised at what you can pull off.
7. Have a picnic or a tea party outside. On warm days when my husband is working late or traveling, the boys and I spread a blanket on our little patio and have a leisurely dinner outside. The break from the norm puts them on auto-pilot happy, but I’m happiest of all because I don’t have to wipe down the table!
The next time you feel like the afternoon will never end, I hope a couple of these silly ideas pop into your head. They have a 100% success rate over here!
Happy summer, ladies! Thank you so much for reading and commenting on Let Why Lead. I cannot tell you how much it means to me!
Linked up with Grace at Home. Thanks, Richella, for featuring my chalkboard quotes!