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Afternoon

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Help!  I have a 3 yr old and 5 yr old and I do not know what to do after lunch!  We are morning people and get quite a bit of learning, activities, reading, park time in the morning but by about 2 I am out of ideas and the kids are bored and destroying stuff!  I have to have some time to get some work done, do nonkid friendly cleaning etc.  Hubby is not around during the week so I don't have a break from wake up to sleep.  My older ds can play for awhile by himself but the majority of the time the two end up fighting over toys, who sits where, who touched who etc.  I have been relying more and more on TV and I do not want to do that too much.  What do you all do to keep kids busy without having to actually sit there with them.  I feel like I work harder now to keep them busy than I did when they where babies.  At least babies took naps or were happy to be in a sling while I got things done.  

post #2 of 6

I remember the afternoons being tough with my kids too. Could you put away some special, quiet toys that could only be brought out for a certain time in the afternoon? And in my house, playdough was like magic for soothing and entertainment.

post #3 of 6

I second the play-dough! 

 

What about outside-on-a-blanket time? Throw a blanket on the grass, some markers or crayons, or books? Or will you kids run around? The afternoon is seriously the worst time of the day. 

post #4 of 6

Afternoons are hard.  What about switching some of the morning activities to the afternoon?  DS is usually better at entertaining himself in the mornings and I can get a few chores done then.

post #5 of 6

Hi Amy M.

 

Do you have outdoor space? If so, I would take them both for a "race" or "crazy dance party" around the space for 15-30 minutes ASAP after lunch, so that they're ready to calm their bodies and find a center. I find that once kids are fueled with food, they're ready to burn it off, and won't settle down until they have an opportunity to do so.

 

After that, you could try giving everyone their own peaceful space.

 

Would your 5 year-old be interested in books on tape? I've had good luck with The Magic Treehouse books on CD, for example. The books on tape will engage his imagination while having the anchoring effect of TV. If he can have a special tape and a special mind-occupying toy/activity (handwork, legos, blocks, puzzles, etc) to keep his hands busy, plus a designated space to himself, then you might be able to designate some daily alone time for him.  Time where he's doing some things that are very specific to that 2ish hours. Your best bet would be to hype up that part of the day as a very special, nurturing time for him, wherein he gets space from you and his brother to do things that are just for him. Make it sacred and build it into your daily rhythm. You might find that he really digs this time alone after he starts exploring it daily. Once I designated this time for the little boy I was caring for, he would get really thrilled at thinking up new things to do in that space each day.

 

As for your younger child, she may also like some books on tapes, but I'd have to explore suggestions for her age. She would probably also appreciate having a special time wherein she engages in special activities. Without her brother around, she might be happy with some paint or clay at the kitchen table, or water-based paints in an empty bathtub (bubble painting?!), or stomping around in a bathing suit in 2 or three inches of bathwater (you could infuse it with calming lavender oil, if you like). A DIY magic fort/tent/castle and a flashlight that's only for use during her special afternoon time?

 

When their special alone time is done, it might be nice to find ways to engage them in dinner preparation (if/when you're cooking).

 

Let me know what you try! I'd love to hear how it goes. Good Luck!


Edited by habitat - 2/6/12 at 5:47pm
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the suggestions!  I just keep trying to remind myself they will grow out of this  :)  I really like the painting in the bathtub idea,  my girly LOVES painting but I hate cleaning up the mess so there is a great compromise.  Same thing with play doh- we all love it but cleaning up is a chore.   We do lots of outside time maybe I will try to move some for after lunch.  We'll muddle through somehow  :)

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