• Claudia T.

5 Ideas to Keep Kids Entertained when you're #Uberbusy!

How many times have you purchased the largest toy for your kids, and after opening the box, they end up forgetting all about the toy, and just end up playing with the box??? Kids can entertain themselves with simple, inexpensive #toys and activities.

They enjoy being busy, no matter how silly the activity might seem (to you!), as long as they feel accomplished, in the end you did your job, you kept them busy, and everyone's happy! Here are my twins enjoying filling up a bucket (even though my little boy is still deciding if he's going to like this game or not ...#hesathinker 😄.... later on, I simply gave each a small bucket and asked them to #waterthethirstyflowers for me! It took them long enough for me to finish what I was doing (probably #laundry...what else? 😒), the plants were watered, they felt good about "watering the thirsty little flowers", I gave each a juice (double whammy!) and everyone was happy! 🥰

The screens WILL tempt you, but choose activities both you and your kids will feel good about while you get some time to get other stuff done. ” 📵 DON'T cave in for screen time! You WILL regret it later.

Here are some pointers to get you started:

Don't expect to find the same things you are used to buy back home

As Jennifer Richler writes in this article from the #WashingtonPost : "There’s no #Target equivalent — a place where I can pick up everything from baby carrots to shin guards to #Disney-themed #BandAids. And shipping things here is expensive and slow. That means that sometimes I spend an entire morning going from store to store until I find what I need."

So, the only way to do this is by using your imagination. I remember my kid's grandma giving the twins two long strips of paper, which were leftover pieces from a package she brought from #walmart, and showing them how to build a paper accordion. Easy, quick, inexpensive, and kept them busy for about an hour, until she taught them to connect them together 😉.

Create Simple but Meaningful , Time-filling Activities - here's a few!

#Sidewalkchalk? Nah, done that - I don't know about your kids, but mine would get bored preeeety fast, and my daughter had an obsession about erasing sidewalk chalk - so that's a no for me. #Fingerpainting? Too messy, too much supervision needed (unless you are thinking of new colors for your walls).....and too much cleaning up afterwards 😩. So, what do you actually do to keep them busy when you're busy? Here's a few ideas - I won't go about describing each individually because they're pretty simple to understand (some of these require adult supervision, if you have little ones):

1. Use colored tape and draw car tracks on your floor, or open up one of your moving boxes and draw the tracks on the box. Here's an idea from Anna Ranson, a primary school teacher in the UK, from her blog The Imagination Tree.

2. Create a #tinfoilriver going down your driveway. Check this #idea by Ashley Greenwood, from her blog "3 Little Greenwoods". As she says in her post: "Oh my goodness! My boy children LOVED this Summer Fun Idea for How to Make Tinfoil Rivers. All they needed was a cheap roll of tinfoil, an incline of some sort, and running water."

3. Make Macaroni Pasta necklaces with thread. If you make them colored, that will buy you a few more minutes. Here's some clever ideas by Corinne Gill, in Real Simple. She writes: "Use fancy pasta shapes and gel-based or liquid food coloring in neon (available at craft stores) to create eye-catching hues.". That's a great tip for a mom back home, but for us somewhere in Botswana or Uzbekistan, if you can't find the right supplies, don't panic: just stick to the regular pasta colors, or get the kids to color them with the crayonsyou probably already bought from home - which is going to get you a few extra minutes.

4. Hide and seek with their favorite stuffy toy (you hide the toy, or they hide it from each other).

5. Look around you.....don't you have an empty box nearby? 🤩📦📦📦📦 Draw on the outside of the box with a #sharpie, cut out windows and doors, and they can be cars, buses, boats, houses, tents, tunnels for your kids (and pets!), they turn into fantastic toys and maybe they can build entire cities - use your imagination, or better, use theirs!

Got any ideas of your own to share? Leave me a comment!!

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Hello there!

I'm Claudia, freelance writer, blogger, follower of Christ, expat wife, mother of twins, Architect, Chef, golden retriever and cat lover.  I'm passionate about cooking, travel, piano, gardening, crochet. Read more


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