If there’s one thing parents can agree on, it’s that everyone can use a break.

Especially on a weekend morning, you’d love a few quiet minutes to drink your coffee without interruptions or responsibilities.

But how can you get this precious time when the kids always need to be occupied?

With a little planning, you can occupy your kids with fun activities they’ll enjoy and that you’ll feel good about. These 5 ideas can help.

1) Tap into your kid’s love of characters

Character drawing. Do a quick online image search for your kid’s favorite character. Even better, a quick search for “how to draw {character name}" offers lots of helpful images and tutorials. Then, give them some pencils as well as crayons or colored pencils to color it in afterwards.

 

2) Clean out the closets and let kids dress up

Play dress up. You might have old Halloween costumes, clothes for older siblings, uniforms from sports or other activities, or even your own clothes that you're willing to let your youngster use. Whatever it may be, let your little one use their imagination and step into character, with maybe some background music to help.

 

3) Let your active youngster go wild

An indoor ball pit. Your child likely won’t even want to bother you if you make them an indoor ball pit. This can be an inexpensive idea, too. All you need is a cheap plastic pool and fill it with some small plastic balls, both of which are available through online stores.

 

4) Challenge kids to crack the code on puzzles

Puzzle challenges. Whether it’s a physical jig saw puzzle, a Sudoku or the Rubik’s cube, you know better than anyone which kind of puzzle will keep your kid occupied.

For kids who respond well to awards and challenges, line up a few puzzles, and set up a timer, challenging your child to race against the clock and solve as many as they can.

 

5) Let your future engineer use their imagination

Pull out some Magna tiles, LEGO, and blocks. If they can’t think of anything to build, give them ideas. For example, encourage your kid to build their dream house, a garage for their cars, or a scene from a favorite show or movie.

As the saying goes, you cannot pour from an empty cup.

By using some of the ideas and resources above, we hope you can get your child excited about fun activities and let them learn and play independently while you enjoy your favorite show, sip some coffee and read a book, or just enjoy some time to yourself.

You deserve it. Outschool is a marketplace of live online classes for K-12 learners. Outschool connects motivated learners, parents, and teachers to create great learning experiences.

This article from Outschool—used with permission.

Anonymous
  • thanks for the tips

  • Interesting...interesting... I thought this was supposed to help give me quite time. My kids will only ever want to do any of these things with me Smile, not saying its a bad thing, but dress-up and drawing or anything that has to do with the imagination has an immediate "include dad" clause to it.

  • For younger kids, put down a long roll of paper. On one side, line up their animals, dinosaurs, and action figures along the edge of the paper. Shine a light behind the figures so that it puts a shadow of the figures on the paper. Let the kids trace the shadows, then color in the tracings, then make up a story of the drawings. Load of quiet time.

  • Put on an audio book for children and have them draw what they see happening in their mind.

  • Negotiation: Get boxes of different puzzles for however many kids are present. Before the contest, switch out one piece of each puzzle with one piece from the other puzzles. Say "On Your Mark, Get Set, Go" indicating that the contest is a "race" without explicitly saying say. The purpose is to see how well they negotiate to get the correct pieces for their puzzle from their competitors. Everyone is a winner when their puzzle is completed.