Whenever I ask my Mum friends what they wish for most of all this Christmas the answers are strikingly similar…‘me’ time, time off, sleep, time to myself…” And I can most certainly relate! I wish I could give every parent I know the gift of some downtime this Christmas as I know how hard it can be to find time away from the needs and demands of my much-loved little people. Instead, all I can suggest (at least for those of us who don’t have fairy godmothers of the babysitting kind) is making the most of everyday snippets of time where the kids are happily busy so that Mum (and Dad) can relax. I have previously shared some ideas for finding these five-minute pockets of time (you can find those suggestions here and here) but today I thought I would give this idea a little Christmas twist to help you find your precious five minutes hidden amidst the busyness of Christmas preparation and entertaining! Here goes…
5 Ideas for Finding 5 Minutes of Mum (and Dad) Time This Christmas
Idea #1: Christmas crowns (fun for kids who like to create)
Cover the table in brown paper or Christmas wrap (once the kids are done, simply roll up the brown paper and pop it in the recycling bin). Add cardboard crowns (ours are shop bought and Immy and I painted them gold with some acrylic paint and a foam roller – completely optional), jewels or sequins, and small bottles or tubes of white craft glue and glitter glue. For little ones, swap the jewels and glue for self-adhesive star stickers.
Idea #2: Christmas comes to the dollhouse (fun for kids who like to imagine)
My imaginative girl loves it when we theme the dollhouse for Christmas – and I love the hours of engaged, imaginative play that result. All it takes is a few simple tweaks – you can find my ideas in this previous post, Christmas Comes to the Dollhouse. I suggest keeping this one under wraps until you are ready to use it, as the novelty factor will help to keep the kids happily playing for a nice, long stretch.
Idea #3: Christmas sticky art (fun for littlies)
I have shared my love for sticky art for toddlers before and this week I gave it a Christmas twist with a selection of predominately red, green and gold collage pieces (can I just say – nice, big googly eyes are the bomb for toddlers!) AJ adores placing the pieces on the clear Contact paper (self adhesive book covering) and taking them off again…and on again…and off again…and on again…
If you are entertaining a group of children either provide them each with a small bowl of collage materials and an individual sheet of Contact paper taped down low to a door or window, or try one nice long piece that they can all work together on.
Idea #4: I like to move it, move it (fun for kids who like to keep moving)
If you have a good amount of free space indoors or undercover outdoors, why not set up one of the activities from this post – Getting Little Bodies Moving When It’s Too Cold (or Hot) Outdoors – the hopscotch, balloon batting, cup stacking and bean bag throwing are all wonderfully low mess and would work particularly well.
Idea #5: Set the table for success (fun for kids as they wait for Christmas dinner to be served)
One of my strongest childhood Christmas memories is of being gathered around the kid’s table with my siblings and cousins for Christmas dinner. Of course, this activity idea doesn’t have to just be for the kids 😉 Cover your table with brown paper (dress it up with a wrapping paper runner if you like) and draw a simple ‘frame’ at each place setting. Add a tub of marker pens or crayons and invite the kids to get busy drawing while they wait for dinner to be served.
Are you entertaining at your home this Christmas? Who’s coming and what are you most looking forward to eating?