15 Kids Activities That Will Buy You 15 Minutes
Summer can be difficult, as much I love being around my kids I have to admit, I am not used to this activity and energy level anymore.
On top of that I need to mix in some work, some house, some kids and hello some me time too. How and where does that happen? I've had a ton of mompreneurs share these working mom tips to get a few minutes of free time.
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1. Coloring Pages
This is the summer of coloring pages in our house. I either print out a zillion coloring pages for the girls or we create our own pictures and color on in. I live and breathe by Washable Markers too. I feel safe with them around. I know if the kids get them on the sofa or bench then I can wipe them up. I literally had red marker on my light green ottoman and sure enough - it came out! Phew! Classic #momlife
We print pictures simply from Googling characters or seasons and then click on images and there are tons and tons of options for the kids. They have fun picking out what they want to color. I usually do 3-4 print outs at a time so they can just color away and I can work. Or we will together design a picture for a guest that is coming along. They design and color it. It's a special treat for all involved.
The girls love workbooks. They love to color and make pictures for their next visitor or playdate. Honestly, I Google their favorite characters, then I go to the Images link and hit print.
3. Sidewalk Chalk
My driveway is often covered with welcome messages and hearts and names of everyone we know thanks to tons and tons of sidewalk chalk. I keep some in my car too and sometimes break it out at the park. It's relatively mess free and let's them create create create!
4. Shaving Cream!
Don't look!! Let the kids run outside and DON'T Look! How much fun would they have running around after one another with shaving cream?! Let them scream and play and run! Or have them play strategically and add some color to the shaving cream! Let the kids make a mess and spray the hose - on them and the driveway - to clean up!
Helloooo Lego! And BRAVO! to them for finally having girl-based legos. I mean - who doesn't love Elsa & Anna? Now you can create a castle??
Even if you don't get this one no one has ever said they were bad to play with. The kids create create create. What better lesson than that?
6. Sofa bed pillows.
The girls love to make tents and forts. They play family, they play doctor, they create offices and shopping plazas. They knock on doors, they have doctors appointments and give shots. 3 Large Bottom Pillows a blanket and the corner of a room is all you need. Not kidding when I say they have so. much. fun.
7. Library books
Let the kids sit down and read some library books. Right now my girls are 4 and 5 1/2. One clearly doesn't know how to read and the other is learning. When we head to the library we do a mix of picture books and and early reader books for the kids. They love to sit there, to try to read and even just make up the stories. My little one will take her finger and move her finger along the words "reading" as she tells the story.
Ohhhh the things you can make! What kid does not love these things? My sister-in-law (who is 35 years old) can even get sucked in to Magnatiles too!! You can build castles and balls and so much more! The kids love them and are so proud at the end.
9. Stickers. Hello!
Do stickers ever get old? We buy them in bulk and make collages. Stickers, stickers everywhere!
10. Let them play in the bath
Assuming your kiddos are old enough they can play in the bath. We love the LUSH bath bombs. They make the bathtub a great bright pink. They have toys and do each others' hair. My kids would stay in the bathtub for an hour if I let them. I sometimes sneak into the next room where I can hear them play and keep an eye on them while also catching up on things from my phone.
11. Slip N Slide!
I remember a good ol' Slip N Slide as a kid. We would spend forever outside on that thing! We recently bought one of these this year for the girls. I am not even sure we set it up right and they just loved it. Played and played they did! What's with the water that makes the little ones so happy?!
12. iPad or a kids tablet
The apps are endless. As much as I try to limit screen time, I have to face facts that this is a new reality. It's true with my phone, that I don't just use it for making calls but for taking photos, for answering emails, for being productive in all sorts of ways. There are some really great apps for the kids. My kids are currently loving EPIC and Homer. They are both apps for learning and I am completely approve!
Also - kind of crazy but my husband just bought a like-new (maybe last year's model?) iPad on eBay for less than $200. And I have heard Amazon has these amazing tablets too.
I love how on Netflix you can create different profiles and even set limits to them too. The suggestions for the girls will never mix with the suggestions for me and vice versa. I love the age limits too, which I think you have to set through the web. But my girls are still young enough where I can block out cartoons I don't think are age appropriate yet. Netflix is so handy and the girls often request that over the regular tv.
14. Have them clean their room
After the initial complaining and they get in a mood of wanting to help, they do a great a job in cleaning their room or playroom. It's not perfectly straight nor is the bed but who cares?? The kids are doing something productive while giving you a moment's break.
15. Good ol' fashion play outside
Outside! Go! Do your thing! Be creative! Get dirty! I don't mind. Set the timer and a create a challenge for them! Keep the windows open if you need to listen in but let them go!! Let them play!
Enjoy! Now what will you do with 15 minutes??