Join Date: Feb 2008
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Wife to DH (06/10) and Mummy to DD (07/08).
Some of the things I've found useful for chore time are actually letting the children join in and do some of the bits and pieces, appropriate to their age. [I]How To Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way[I] is a really helpful book, giving practical ideas on letting children set the table, prepare their own snacks, wash up, dust etc. I was amazed to find that my boisterous boy *loved* the sense of achievement this gave him. There are tons of great ideas in that book.
For desperate times, when I need a bit of headspace, and the children are full of unburned energy, a useful tool for me has been a paddling pool filled with balls (inside or out) and letting them play in this. And for outdoor, water painting keeps them occupied for AGES! Give them a bowl of water and a selection of paint brushes - artist brushes, household paint brushes, you name it, and let them "paint" anything and everything with the water. Mine love painting trees, fences, benches, the floor. This is loved by all from crawling babies to teenagers! And virtually no mess!
Or there's the old standby of letting them make a den out of the sofa/table and some old pieces of fabric. Or putting on some music, clearing a space and let them dance.