Almost two years ago, I posted 5 Ways to Find 5 Minutes of Mum Time and I wrote;
“Some days I find that I just need five minutes of quiet. Five minutes to sit. And drink a cup of tea. Five minutes without the “Mum, play with me,” or “Help me, Mum,” or simply, “MUUUUUUUMMMMM!!!!””
I don’t know about you but those 5 minutes of (relative) quiet can be exactly what I need to get through the remainder of a particularly busy or demanding day. As Immy was just a toddler then, my go-to activities have changed somewhat but the principle remains the same, I look for simple to pull together activities that require minimal input from me as they are reasonably independent to complete.
So here are 5 more ideas for keeping the kids occupied so that you can find 5 minutes of quiet time…
1. Set up a simple invitation to play or playful challenge
Creating a simple but inviting play scene takes a few minutes but is worth the time investment if it engages your children and extends their independent play time. I have posted quite a number of ideas for invitations to play but believe the key is really about starting with what your children already like to play with.
Here are a few suggestions – tea party – dinosaurs – fairies – farm animals – wild animals – sea animals. I challenge you to have a go at creating a miniature world or landscape for your children to use in playing with their favourite figurines- these posts might help you to get started – creating miniature worlds and loose parts for imaginative play.
For older children, try setting them a playful challenge. It might be to build a Lego boat that will actually float or to create a bridge from paper between two tables that their Matchbox cars can drive across without falling off. Or good old fashioned fun like building a domino track or a house from a deck of playing cards. Again, start with what interests your child and create a problem for them to solve.
2. Get them outside
Even if it means taking your cup of tea and quiet time outside too, giving your children time and space to run, jump or dig will hopefully divert their attention sufficiently for you to sit in the corner and breathe the fresh air. If you feel they need a little more direction, why not take a few minutes to create a simple treasure hunt. Try this idea from Picklebums or one of these from Playopedia.
3. Big drawings
I love the rolls of paper you can buy at Ikea. Immy really enjoys it when I set out a long length of paper (on the floor or taped to the wall or a sliding door) with textas/felt markers, oil pastels or watercolours (each of which make clean up relatively painless) for creative fun. Or lay them down on the paper and trace around their body to make a canvas for one of these body outline creative activities.
4. Washing windows and dusting shelves
Does your child have a chore that they actually like to do? For Immy it is anything with a spray bottle! If I give her a bottle of water and a soft cloth she is happy to clean my windows or the glass shelves of the cabinet in our lounge room. And by the time she has carefully taken off all of the trinkets, cleaned the shelves and re-organised the trinkets in the cabinet, I have easily had 5 minutes of quiet.
5. Busy box
If you do not yet have a busy box, I certainly suggest you find room for one in your home. Our busy box is a plastic crate filled with interesting recycle-ables and at anyone time it could have almost anything in it. In fact, right now it has cardboard tubes, plastic lids, a clear plastic biscuit tray, small boxes, bits of wool and ribbon, scraps of fabric, random, small pieces of wrapping paper, wooden curtain rings and egg cartons. Add a roll of masking tape or coloured electrical tape (and scissors for older children) and let them go for it!
What are your go-to activities when you are looking for just 5 minutes of quiet time?
If you are on Pinterest and are looking for more fun, activity ideas, you might like to follow my Pinterest boards as I have a collection of different boards dedicated to different activity areas and age groups.
- More Things to Do Instead of Turning on the TV
- Making Body Shapes (with Printable Body Shape Cards)
- 10 Tips for Cultivating a Happy Home
- Practical Tips for ENJOYING Messy, Creative Experiences