Life with kids doesn't have to be pricey!
Okay, so it's a bold statement but don't be too quick to judge! Now before we start let's get a few things straight!
I'm not about to solve your money problems.
I don't guarantee my suggestions. 😉
I don't take responsibility for any of your parenting decisions!
I'm a mum and a wife with a love for 'going on a bit', I've been skint, I've wasted money and I'm interested in surviving a simple but happy life.
What am I rambling on about?
That my dear readers, is the big question! 😆
I'm talking survival, I'm talking entertaining kids without applying for a loan.
I'm talking patience, lots of patience.
Read this post and get some tips.
Tut your way through this post.
Giggle your way through this post.
But whatever you do, do not sleep your way through this post! Why?
Because that would be rude! 😉
Here are my 5 top tips for entertaining kids for peanuts.
1 Dig deep into your core & grasp that patience!
I'm a patient person, I can rock screaming babies without panicking and I can enjoy a relaxing day without spending money, rude people - now there's a test!
So my very first tip is essential. Stop stressing about the inevitable anxious day ahead. Drink some coffee and plan your project! (Is it wrong to call your kids a project? Nah!) You can and you will entertain your kidders without needing to re-mortgage your house!
Instead of digging into your purse, dig deep into your core and grasp onto that patience! That's it, grasp it, keep hold of it and nurture it.
Take a deep breath, you're ready.
2. The Picnic
A dry day in the UK is a small miracle so get outside!
You can whizz through an hour of your day by simply clinging to your patience and getting the kids to help.
Get them packing the picnic, choosing their treats and packing their 'UK dry day' toys!
(Hour 1 TICK! - I know about hourly survival!)
Don your picnic filled rucksack and go.
If your patience doesn't extend to counting snails/flowers/slugs while walking with squashed butties warming your back, then take their scooters or bikes.
Then you have both arms free to heroically save them/steer them/thrust them 50 metres ahead while you plod behind pretending you're somewhere else!
Set down your blanket, plonk yourselves down and tell the kidders what a great idea it is to play while you get the food out. (& discreetly eat some stuff before it gets covered in grass, snot and spit!)
Engage in some child friendly chatter while you eat - which games you'll play, how many daisy chains you can make and all that jazz.
Post picnic, fill the rubbish bag, wipe the kids down (to avoid them attracting insects!) and play. Play football, play catch, play hide & seek. Take intermittent breaks whilst entertaining the kids with thumb wars. (A sit down game 😉)
Be warned, once a thumb war participant, always a thumb war participant!
The picnic day: you'll enjoy it (Just try will you!) and they'll love it!
(They'll also be knackered - winner!)
3. The 'see who's the quickest/quietest/tidiest' game
It worked for Mary Poppins and it can work for you!
'No darling it's not chores, I want to see who's the best at...'
'No sweetie, it's not mummy getting some quiet time, it's who can be the quietest for the longest...'
You know where this is going right? You have children, yes I know they're not slaves and inciting competitiveness may be questionable (I think it's healthy)
But if you can convince them to help, that it's in their interest, you have your very own team of helpers!
And kids love being helpers!
So challenge them to see who can clear the toys up the quickest.
Challenge them to see if they can reach the wheelie bin lid, the vacuum, help with dinner, watch a film in silence. 😉
Don't feel bad, you're busy, you're wonder parent and helping gives them life lessons and makes them feel valuable.
Be aware: There's a fine line between getting them to help and having them run your house while you sit with a G&T in hand watching a box set!
4. The Rainy day
So you planned another picnic and the UK-ness of the UK kicked in!
Rainy days are do-able with more patience and effort!
While the kids are entertaining themselves (it's good for them) drink some coffee.
When your veins are caffeinated, tell the kids to bring the toilet roll tubes that are littering the bathroom floor (because the toilet roll fairy has been on a break!) and set up an arts and crafts table. (Your dining table covered with something, anything. to preserve its life for one more day!)
Now remember primary school, sure you can remember that far back! Reach into your imagination and lead by example.
Toilet roll tubes make trumpets, telescopes, binoculars. The creative juices will flow and the creations will be multi functional - entertainment for the kids, gifts for loved ones and easy on the purse!
You'll have an unlimited supply of handmade gifts to present to your friends and family!
(made with love and all that)
Handmade creations done, (yes of course you can spend an entire morning doing this) it's lunch time. Remember that picnic idea, homes have floors, floor picnics are really exciting. (Make sure you sound convincing when you say this to the kids)
Your going to have your lunch on a blanket on the floor and yes you'll be forced to engage in more thumb wars.
I told you, once a thumb war participant, always a thumb war participant!
As the excitement of the floor picnic subsides, refer to point 3 to encourage a tidy up. (told you it would work!) Time to move on to baking.
Stay with me, google a recipe, mix the stuff and then the oven does the work while you lick the bowl.
Once baked, get a film on and enjoy an afternoon kids film while eating your baking efforts.
Tea, bath and story and the kids will be knackered.
5. Make it someone else's problem.
Referring back to point 4, that very last sentence...'Gin time', it's at that moment when you should consider your connections.
I'm talking friends, God-parents, Grand-parents anyone with a connection to your child/children.
They have responsibilities right? They need to build relationships right?
Of course they'll want a day with the kidders! Get making contact. They're not baby sitting, they're spending time and that's how you need to get your point across.
"Would you like to spend a day with your grand-child/god-child/favourite little person?"
Trust me, I'm a mum, a Grand parent and a God-parent, I know how this stuff works, I've been on both sides of the responsibility coin. 😉
Pack the kidders off for a fabulous day (with someone else) and the day is yours.
A spontaneous spa day.
A day in your PJ's watching tv.
Eating all the junk food in the house without worrying about the rustling noises.
Did I help? Are you even still awake?
I'd just like to clarify, I don't drink gin daily and insist you be a sober parent! I love being a mum, a Grand-parent and a God-parent.
Kids are amazing, tiring and testing, and that's why a little bit of hysteria (or a crazy blog post) can go a long way.
Don't say I didn't help.
Simply Sarah xx
(blogger, connection to many children & gin drinker - responsibly obviously)
Hi I'm Sarah!
Blogger in The Lakes
I live in the beautiful Lake District...
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