This is the weirdest summer ever for my family.
- Both boys are very active and mobile this year.
- Adam’s taking less naps.
- I’m working two full days a week consistently.
- Charlie has swimming lessons every weekday since mid-June.
- Steve’s working Fridays and tons of overtime.
- My house is a mess.
- My kicker though…..the boys need some guidance in their play.
My kicker with the boys needing some guidance has thrown me for a loop. Charlie has always been fantastic at playing on his own. He has a great imagination and can pretend with anything. Last summer, just having the kids swimming pool and the sandbox filled with toys outside was enough. Charlie could entertain himself all day, in turn keeping Adam entertained for a large chunk of the time. Adam will play by himself, but he doesn’t have the same stamina as Charlie.
This summer, I’ve gotten the “I’m bored” and “Mom, watch this”, “NO, not like that.” Neither of the boys seems to be able to play for longer than 30 minutes without one of these phrases coming out. I do adore watching my kids, don’t get me wrong, but the incessant “watch this” before they do anything gets old for me. I’m not one to praise my children because they spun in a circle.
Others I know have schedules for their children with specific times for things. I thought about it. And decided against it. I like the freedom of summer.
Needless to say, I had to figure something out. Thankfully, Pinterest is in my life. I started picking out simple activities that could be thrown together in a matter of minutes by myself that might occupy the boys. First up, during a rainy day, I used painter’s tape and turned my living room floor and furniture into a racetrack for Hot Wheels (See my inspiration here). They do love this, but only for awhile. I’m pretty sure it takes me longer to create than anything else, BUT they didn’t fight for about 30 minutes.
Next up, sidewalk paint. Both boys enjoy playing with sidewalk chalk, so I figured sidewalk paint would be something different that they would still enjoy. Using this blog to guide me, I created my sidewalk paint.
The boys were occupied for again, about 30 minutes. They loved the painting piece of this. They were frustrated that when they painted the sidewalk, it looked like water until it dried. The color then appeared. Would we do it again? Yes, yes we would. After they got just drawing lines out of their systems, Charlie started teaching Adam how to write the alphabet. Super cute if you ask me. Steve’s reactions to our sidewalk paint, that does wash off with water, was to tell us that it looked like a unicorn died in our driveway.
Yesterday, the boys wanted to be inside so badly it was ridiculous. Unfortunately for them, they have Steve and I as parents who fully believe that you can play outside instead of watching t.v. during the beautiful weather. They played tag, did some swimming, made a construction site and built some towers in the sand, played basketball and had a water gun fight. And then they were out of ideas. They really wanted to play with the water guns, but couldn’t find anything productive to be doing with them, other than torturing each other. So, we dragged out a table and I gave them first five Solo cups and lined them up along the back of the table. I created a line for them not to cross with our orange tunnel. Once they figured out which squirt guns worked the best, they were sold on this activity. They were stacking the cups into towers, asked for more cups, added little army men to the towers and pretending that the mountains they were climbing were collapsing (not actually shooting the army men!). 45 minutes later and they were tired! So worth it and I will be doing this one again!
The boys have been enthralled with a having purpose to their play for a short time. Specifically, Charlie. I feel like it must be that school age thing where he’s been so used to working in stations this past year, that he’s finding it hard to free think. So, it’s off to the Dollar Store today to see what else we can find to entertain the masses, otherwise known as keeping a 5 and a 3 year old boy occupied.