This post is by regular contributor Ali Wright of At Home with Ali.
More and more TV has been creeping into our lives again. We have even started using it first thing in the morning. I am not a morning person and it is so easy to turn on the TV when the kids are up early and all I want to do is sit quietly with a cup of coffee.
I am fully prepared to admit that TV is a part of our lives but the early morning watching bothers me. The kids wake up full of jumping beans…. and then stay still and quiet in front of the box. I read this post by Tricia from Little Eco Footprints where she set up “speed bumps” to the TV. I thought it was brilliant and decided that I could set up activities at night once the kids are asleep and then they get up in the morning something interesting is waiting for them to play. Once my children start playing they soon forget about the TV.
I have been doing this for a couple of weeks now and it is working. Sometimes the kids are not interested in my play set-ups but most of the time they get stuck in. Often the activity does not last long but it is enough to get their playing mojo kickstarted for the day.
Here are a week’s worth of early morning boredom busters that take less than 5 minutes each to set up:
1. Suitcases and a washing basket
This one is so simple. Find a small suitcase or bag and pair it with a basket of washing… we all have one of those hanging around! My kids responded by packing their suitcases and heading off on a make believe adventure.
2. Googly eye creations
Glue a pair of googly eyes onto a piece of paper. Add a handful of markers and wait to see what you child turns it into… an alien, a monster, a person… the possibilities are endless!
3. Office play
Leave out a selection of stationery, some stamps, pens and a calculator. You could even add a hole punch, a toy computer or an old keyboard.
4. Tea party
A true classic…. all you need is a picnic blanket, some furry friends and a tea set. Fill the tea pot with real water if you are feeling adventurous and don’t mind the mess.
5. Card making
This is a great activity when a friend’s birthday party is on the horizon. Fold A5 paper or cardstock into cards and leave out some matching envelopes. Add a box of colourful crayons or pencils, a glue stick, scissors and some collage materials like old wrapping paper or stickers.
6. Doll hospital
Sick dollies need lots of care…. select a couple of favourite dolls, add some small blankets (or tea towels), bottles, cups, spoons and bandaids (sticking plasters) and let your little doctors go to work. You can download some simple doctor charts here.
7. Beads and pipe-cleaners
Who can resist the lure of sparkly beads? If you leave out beads and pipe-cleaners (or thread) then be prepared to leave the house adorned in tonnes of homemade jewellery.
What are your favourite ideas for quick play set-ups?