We had one of those crazy weeks, full of early morning Urgent Care visits (ahhh… kids), strange work schedules (who wants pizza for dinner?), and other random time-suckers that kept popping up.
In my 6 working mom hacks post I talked about things I do during the week to help me get the most time possible with my kids during the weekend. None of those things managed to happen last week. No food shopping, working out, laundry or cleaning. Nothing.
I needed a catch up day, so it had to be one day over the weekend. My husband had golf plans since it was his dad’s birthday, so I figured that would be a good time to get stuff done. But wait… what about the kids?
Here are 4 tricks I’m currently using to distract my kids long enough for me to clean the house and just get stuff done! (They don’t involve TV, iPads, or cell phones)
1. Tidy Tots: This is a big one. Let your kids help ‘clean’. My son likes to help vacuum, so I give him the dust buster and let him go to town. Mila just follows me around pointing at the vacuum. When they get sick of that, I let them be ‘window washers’ giving them each a spray bottle filled with water and let them spray and wipe the sliding glass doors. Make sure the bottles are totally clean and that the water is fresh. They will be drinking it.
2. Tunnel Vision: I forget where I got this little tunnel, but it is the most amazing thing ever. When I am dusting/cleaning a bedroom, I just bring this in the room. The kids play with it for at LEAST 30 minutes. Easily. I can get all the back bedrooms done by just bringing this tunnel along with me into each room. For some reason having the same tunnel in a different room renews the excitement all over again.
|Yes, this is a very old picture of Mila in the tunnel, but I didn’t think to take pictures while I cleaned, since I thought of the idea for this post AFTER my successful cleaning session. 🙂|
3. Kitchen Helpers: If I am cooking or cleaning the kitchen, I just throw a bunch of paper plates and utensils on the floor, open some play-doh and let the kids go to town. (this is OBVIOUSLY before I do the floors) I know there are some serious Play-Doh haters out there… but I have tile so I really don’t care if it gets everywhere. My kids love it. They cut, mush, and smush up the doh, and before you know it I am done cleaning the entire kitchen and living area. They also enjoy racing back and forth. (as you can see in the video below)
4. Dance Party: My Pandora station is a mix between top hits and Disney songs. This works well since both my kids LOVE to dance. This is the same method my husband uses while he cooks dinner each night, before I am home from work. They dance around and I can usually keep them occupied long enough to clean everything in that general area. (especially if the Frozen soundtrack is involved)
Keep in mind my kids are 5 & 1, and right now… these methods work for me. Most of the time. A little more than halfway through this weekend’s cleaning session, they started getting antsy. So we went outside to play for a bit. I mean… they are only 5 & 1. Kids need a break sometimes. (and let’s be real, I could use a cleaning break, as well… )
What are some tricks you use to distract your kids when you need to get stuff done?