So it’s been a few weeks now here in the UK where we have been on lockdown and honestly still don’t think I am used to it yet.
I’ve comfort eaten, I’ve had a birthday on lockdown and cried about all sorts.
Anyway, while I am not expert and you will never seen me as a pintrest type of Mum on any of my platforms or even crafting every day creating masterpieces or grabbing the paints to decorate immactulate window displays. However I do have some experience of being ‘stuck’ inside the house. Although people are saying safe inside rather than stuck, whick is fine but I do sometimes feel like I am stuck or even trapped some days and I honestly beleive that if that’s how you feel then it’s ok to feel like that.
If Brenda (this is a completely made up person by the way) wants to get up at the crack of a sparrow fart and clean the house, do a work out, make everyone a healthy breakfast with smiling faces on and be ready to teach all said children at 9am sharp with a strict schedule then that’s fine. If that’s what your after though then my friend this week’s blog is not for you!!!!
So my aim of this blog is to try and give you a few tips when being inside with children. I’m not saying it will change you life but hopefully it might help a little bit.
I can already feel the dread and tension as you read that word lol. Don’t panic though. If I can cook with a wild child you can do it too.
The easiest and quickest way to baking with children is quote simply to use a packet mix. We have been big fans of Betty Crocker for a long time now since I developed FND. It’s easy enough to follow and I can stand long enough to make them and it’s short enough to hold Alfie’s attention.
If you can’t get hold of a packet mix you can still bake with them. The trick for this is to get everything ready in the kitchen for them before they come in. That way your not measuring stuff and getting things out of the cupboard while they are in the kitchen, because lets face it they will get bored and give up. Then that’s when raised voices start, tears happen and feeling like your not a great parent because your cooking segment didn’t turn out like Mr & Mrs Perfect down the road. So get everything out and ready and measured before hand. Also stick to simple things, your not getting ready for the next British Bake Off with your child no matter how much they love it! Unless they are at Mary Berry’s standard at age 4 stick to flapjacks, rice crispy cakes and simple cakes/cupcakes.
Now I know what your thinking, they are all closed, but what’s stopping you creating this at home? William has a tv in his bedroom (if you don’t know this already William is my 15 year old step son who stays with us every other weekend), so at the moment he isn’t coming over to stay because of the pandemic as it is safer for me this way (decided by Ste and William’s Mum). So while he isn’t here we are making the most of having another room to spend time in with a tv. It’s not got much in it and he’s got a pull out bed. So a few weekends ago I decided to create a cinema experience. I made some cinema tickets, made some popcorn, got some other snacks which was a mixture of healthy and treats. We had hot drinks. Now I don’t know about your house but in ours it takes us ages to pick a film, so I chose a film we hadn’t seen so it’s just like it is in the cinema. No option of which film to see! Honestly it was really good and we all loved it. We also had a no phones policy like at the cinema. If you don’t have another TV in the house then just use the living room, close the curtains, take tickets from people at the door, have snacks out etc.
This doesn’t have to be fancy, just grab a blanket or a large towel if you don’t have a blanket. Stick it on the floor and give them their lunch in lunch boxes or in a few bowls. Basically just something a bit different. You don’t even need to have special picnic food, just whatever you were going to give them anyway.
This leads me on to another topic…….
Teddy Bears Picnic
Now this idea was something I got from @peppawithana over on Instagram. Grab a blanket or a towel (get your little one to help set this up), get them to pick some teddies and a book. Get a book about teddies or even the book teddy bears picnic if you have it. Set up some plastic plates and cups, if you have pretend food, plates and cups great. Get a little juice for your little one, a hot brew for you if you want and maybe a few biscuits. You can even make a sign “teddy bears picnic”. Then all that’s left to do is to let them serve pretend food and drinks to the teddies and read the book(s) they chose.
I don’t care if this makes me a bad person, I do not like crafts!! However I can manage to make stuff from cardboard sometimes. If your brave let them paint it, if not maybe they can colour it or stick stickers on. Either way, those extra parcels that are coming to your door, save the boxes and maybe make a castle, a pirates treasure box or something else.
I think I may have mention this before but Alfie is like the Tasmanian devil (do you remember the tv show?), so getting him to sit can be rather challenging! However he does love books and even more so bringing these books to life.
So basically we pick a book and using items around the house (& Alfie’s large selection of teddies) we find things to bring the story to life and in a way I guess act it out. So far we have use the following books; Dear Zoo, Gruffalo, Room on the broom and The Tiger who came to tea. For Room on the broom we made a wand from cardboard and a straw, we don’t have a witch but Alfie does have a dragon.
Ok I’m cheating for this and putting two ideas here!!!
First idea is quite simply put some music on and let them dance!!
My other suggestion is (and if you follow me on Instagram you may have seen this), a while ago I collected certain items from eBay that represented a nursery rhyme and they are all kept in a bag. (If you don’t have them then you could print them off, cut them up and put them in an envelope). Then let your little one pull an item out of the bag and then you all sing that song. Now I realise this may not be for everyone, it’s not my husbands cup of tea to do this activity, however Alfie loves it and it keeps him occupied.
My last idea for you isn’t really an idea it’s just some advise.
TV and iPad.
Don’t feel guilty. Your not a bad person. You haven’t failed. Some days you just need a break and guess what, so do they! You can’t have idea’s all the time, not everyone can keep being on the go all the time, so chill!! Some days you just need to do nothing, it’s called re-charging. If you children won’t sit for tv thats fine, give them an ipad, if they won’t sit for that, let them play with their toys, let them get them all out. When it comes to tidying up later, get a tidy up song on on youtube and see who can tidy up the quickest with a promise of a prize for the winner at the end (biscuit maybe?).
I hope these idea’s are helpful to you. If you try any I would love you to let me know below or tag me in a photo over on instagram @Mrs_Shep_Unplugged.
Also if you hav any tips I would love for you to share them with me and if you want some more ideas please comment below and I’ll do another round up of ideas.