KidsPrimary School

Hacks to surviving the weekend with kids

It’s that time of the week again, and you know what that means. Chaos. Screaming. And that’s just you, trying to keep your little ones busy!

Ah, the weekend. Sleeping in late, no work stress, and all that good stuff. Who are we kidding?! Moms and dads know all too well that weekends of tantrums over whose turn it is to play with the iPad, are anything but peaceful – or fun. For some families, the weekends are as long as the work week.

Teens are better at amusing themselves, but children who are accustomed to activity-packed mornings of finger-painting and frolicking at nursery school go cold turkey during the weekend, and it is NOT pretty. Add in social distancing rules implemented due to Covid-19, and your child will likely not be having a playdate today, adding to their frustration!

A list of weekend activities is essential, but not enough. There are three golden rules for happy weekends that keep household from going the way of Lord of the Flies.

They are:

RULE 1: Weekends are for the whole family, not just the kids

Schools are closed. Your domestic worker doesn’t work weekends. And unless you have lots of money to spend, you’re probably spending a fair chunk of the weekend at home. Try to set aside bite-sized adults-only weekend time so that you also get some ‘me’-time. Send the kids to granny for a few hours. Schedule a date night.

RULE 2: Don’t mess with the routine

We tend to treat weekends like a ‘free-for-all’ party, and when Monday rolls around we find ourselves asking: “What day of the week is it, even?” If you get out of bed at a reasonable hour, eat at the breakfast table, and keep the old family routine ticking away in power-save mode during the weekend, you’re less likely to be snarling by Monday.

RULE 3: Plan ahead

There’s only one way you’re going to make it through, and that’s Scout-style. In other words, be prepared! It’s ludicrously expensive to organise family outings every day. So what to do? Using ordinary household items – bibbity bobbity boo – you have a whole whack of activities to stop bored kids from turning into brat kids.

Fun things to do

We’d like to point out that we are aware not all parents are “craftsy”. So the activities below are what we consider low-maintenance fun. Here we go!

Cereal necklaces: One box of cereal, one roll of string = breakfast jewellery. We can’t afford imported Fruit Loops, so we use Oatees. They even have bubblegum flavour.

Are your tweens looming? Silly question, of course they are. Get them to find something fun to do today. Pinterest is full of ideas.

Build marshmallow sculptures using toothpicks: Then when you’re done, make smores. Sandwich a marshmallow between two Marie biscuits and microwave for a few seconds.

Tinfoil river in the backyard: Unroll tinfoil down a sloped bit of the garden, make boats out of toothpicks and leaves, and stand at top of the slope, pouring water from a jug.

Finally, a use for all the bubble wrap you’ve saved: Unroll it down the length of your hallway, tape it down to the floor, and let the kids stomp up and down.

Stained glass master class: Use a sheet of baking paper (not the waxy side), draw a pattern in stained glass style, and colour it in with Koki pens. It’s very fun when you tape these up on the windows and the sun streams through them.

Hot Wheels heaven: While you’re taping things, use masking tape to create fantastical race-tracks and miniature towns on the TV room carpet. Don’t worry, the tape comes off easily and doesn’t leave a sticky residue.

Chalk art in the driveway: Unleash the kids on the driveway with a box of chalk. You can hose it away when they’re done.

Build a blanket fort: This never fails to entertain. Never. For festive flair, wrap some fairy lights around the outside.

Treasure hunt in the sandpit: Dig for pirates’ gold or dinosaur bones.

Make your own pizza: Buy bases by the dozen, and use up all the leftover onion, green pepper, cheese, and ham.  

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