Are your kids begging for you to leave them alone? Do you need ideas to get the conversation going, or something going? Well, I can’t help you with that . . . you’re on your own. But I can share some of the weirder activities I have done with my kids that did keep their attention for more than five seconds. These days, with computers and smart phones constantly engaging and entertaining your kids (I know! Those pesky technologies!), parents who actually want to spend some time with their kids have to get creative . . . or crazy . . . both work.
Activities you can do with your Kids:
#1: Stalk your teenage neighbours
My daughter won’t walk with me anymore since our last outing. Let me explain . . . since my daughter took up drumming, I have been eager for her to meet other musical people. While on a walk one evening, I heard a rhythmic beat and crash of cymbals drifting out from under a garage door. As soon as I returned home, I asked my daughter to go back out with me, because I had something exciting to share. She reluctantly agreed – you see, she is still not totally convinced of my insanity, so I can still trick her into doing things she doesn’t want to do. I told her about the elusive percussionist and I suggested she introduce herself as soon as I could find the damn house. She stood staring dumfounded at me . . . ”What?” I kept backtracking because I couldn’t remember the exact house, and then the rain started. My daughter was not impressed. She told me how uncool I was. I suppose it isn’t like when she was three and I set up play dates for her. But, there’s got to be an easier way to meet other drummers; they seem to be as shy as Big Foot! Then I can arrange a “jam” for her. Won’t that be cute? Meanwhile, I shall have to come up with a devious way to get her out walking again; but you get the point . . . be creative!
#2 Enjoy a candy date
Love candy, but tired of watching my daughter sort her Nerd candies into groups based on size. OCD candidate or future Quality Control Officer? Don’t care as long as she shares with me!!
#3 Reminisce about special toys
My kids had hobby horses when they were in kindergarten, named Puke and Vomit. I had no input into the name choosing, but they love to talk to me about them . . . over and over again, and come up with equally distressing and disgusting names. Parental participation level: Low (you just have to listen and have a high tolerance for crudities).
#4 Brother dot-to-dot
My daughter has always been gifted in art and I take all the credit. I would often walk into the living room where I had left Amy and Henry placidly watching TV, and catch Henry stripped to the waist while Amy connected the moles on his back with a marker. So creative, always a new picture; though I wish she’d not used the permanent marker from the kitchen drawer! Warning: This activity will not be popular after your kids graduate elementary school. Believe me, I tried. Sorry, but I thought it would be cute to take pictures of a mole doodle, but my fourteen-year-old son was horrified and called me a “Perv.” And that’s why you will not see many photos of my kids. They have to be vetted before I post them.
#5 Critique your favourite movie
I suppose a better word would be “criticize” your favourite movie. We spent a whole afternoon rewinding and pausing Harry Potter to see how many times Daniel Radcliffe does that strange double blink. No matter how much you love a movie, you know you’ve watched it too much when you start wanting to do shots every time a character blinks . . . and Harry blinks a lot! 😉 Can’t wait until my kids are drinking age . . . does that make me a bad mom?
#6 Create food art
My kids were asked to make food art when they were younger and a story unfolded…”The detective interviewed the mourning widow after she found her husband shot through the head…” Their favourite part was stabbing the toothpick through the head of the penguin. Then they ate the penguins. Twisted kids = great imaginations . . . at least that’s what I tell myself. I am sure your kids will enjoy this activity without the grisly murder scene.
#7 Search through Momma’s purse for receipts with amusing item descriptions
I had to explain what almond butts were. “You know, when you do too many squats, and your butt gets all wrinkly. That’s why momma doesn’t exercise,” I told my curious kids.
#8 Dance naked in the rain
Okay, I did not participate (you may if you wish), but I loved watching my little tykes skip through the garden in a summer rain shower with nothing but an umbrella and a smile. Eventually the umbrellas were discarded as they reveled in the mud, and the phone would ring and a nosy neighbor on the other end would say in a bored voice, “Your kids are outside naked again.”
#9 Butt painting
I seem to have a nude theme going here; but, what can I say? My kids hated clothes and it was easier on the washing machine and my sanity. I would fill paper plates with paint, spread rolls of newsprint on the floor and set my kids free. Inevitably, the body parts would be dipped, and the paper covered in suspiciously shaped prints.
#10 Create a Wall of Shame
Pick a family member, sort through photo albums, find the most embarrassing photos and create a framed collage. Who wants a poster of something pretty when you can be admiring your uncle in drag or your papa who always seems to be shirtless or pulling a face (we have several Wall of Shame collages featuring different family members). Tip: You might want to switch out the collage for a Robert Bateman when the honoree shows up for dinner!
Your kind comments are welcome, and feel free to share your ideas!