I have so much fun spending time with the kids but sometimes they get this crazy idea that their mom is boring. So maybe cooking dinner or doing homework aren’t the most exciting things to do, but every 0nce in awhile I have to remind them just how cool and interesting I really am. So here are 5 free ways I keep in my back pocket to do just that.
Find caches, add your name to the logs, mark them found on your app, and check out the map for where to go next. Downloading the Geocaching app and check it out. The free version only lets you check out the easier finds, but that may be all you need. Check out this post about the first time we went geocaching.
- Camp in the backyard or build a giant fort in the house
Right now we are living in a condo so we can’t throw the tent up in the yard. But we can still build all sorts of forts in the living room! We’ve always loved tying string to tables and chairs. Then we clip sheets to them with binder clips. Boom! Fort. We also have made them out of couch cushions. We’ll get sleeping bags and pillows and have a family sleepover complete with movie and popcorn.
- Take interest in their interests
They will find it hilarious, embarrassing, and also awesome if you take part in the things that they enjoy. When they want to take the scooters outside, I might just grab the scooter and scooter around too. They think it’s pretty hilarious to see me scootering towards them. My daughter, the diva, loves to act in plays. So in the fall, when she tried out for Mary Poppins, my son and I let her convince us to try out too. We were all in the play together. It was a ton of fun. This spring, my daughter is doing 2 plays, but we’ve decided that my son’s energy would be better expended in other ways.
- Make something out of boxes…seriously anything.
Kids like boxes. Fact. There are so many things you can do with them too. They can be elaborate gingerbread houses or, for older kids, they can be quiet reading nooks. If you have a bunch of them – like after the holidays – you can even string them together and make mazes. With a paper plate (or construction paper) steering wheel, a box can become a car, truck, or rocket ship. We’ve also made cardboard gravestones out of deconstructed boxes. Have fun coloring, painting, or pasting things onto the boxes. Time to let your imagination take over.
- Make a papier maché volcano
Use a bottle out of the recycling bin or use a tall cup for the center of the volcano. We place it in the center of a shallow box or pan. Then we use tape to create the bones of the structure. Use a flour and water mixture for the paste and strips of paper to create the actual volcano. I know little hands can get overzealous with the paste. So just remember the more paste used, the longer it will take to dry. You can paint it when it dries, or just get down to business erupting it with a baking soda/vinegar mixture. I use a ratio of 1:1. Sometimes we just use clear glasses and erupt baking soda and vinegar with food coloring or other fun twists. Or experiment with putting them in the glasses in different orders or different ratios.
Bonus Not-too-Expensive Way:
- Laser Tag
We got these* laser tag blasters for a present. They are not too expensive and are so much fun to play with. We can easily let an hour or hours pass by without realizing it when we are playing the game. And it’s a great way to encourage a bit of physical activity even if you can’t go outside because of the weather or for whatever reason. Note: I do want to mention that the first laser blasters we got did not work. There was something defective about the batteries of one of them. This appears to be a fairly common complaint. Customer service was really nice and immediately shipped out a new set of blasters that worked. So we ended up with 3 working blasters which is actually even better because now we can all play together. But it’s something you might want to be aware of if you are thinking of giving them as a gift or something.
What do you like to do when you are hanging out with the kids?
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