Nothing makes me want to throw things more than those words out of my kids mouths! My house on a normal day looks like Toys R Us threw up in it and then a tornado came through and spread it all around a little bit more. We have inside toys, outside toys, video games, a larger variety of balls than most sporting goods stores, and I won’t even get started on the stuff that is actually upstairs in their rooms (where I’m afraid to even walk).
One thing that we don’t have during the summer though are friends who are home all the time. During the school year, we know that friends are going to be home at 3pm. During the summer, friends are home some days but not others and you never know whether they doorbell will be ringing at 9am or not (because my neighbors and I have a pact – nobody rings a doorbell before 9am. It is summer afterall!).
So, I keep back some special toys for those times that the kids just really want something different to do. As long as they aren’t whining at me because I’m bored (because for that my rule automatically becomes “I will find you something to do!”), I’m always willing to help them find some new adventure to embark on.
Right now we have two activities that will bring them all running. Elijah has a science kids complete with a microscope. Nothing brings more joy to a boys heart than being able to a variety of insects under a microscope. Or flowers for the girls – who agree that making bugs look bigger is just too icky!
We also save Play-Doh for an outside, summery activity. I probably won’t win any mother of the year awards, but I don’t let my kids play with play-doh in the house. It’s just more mess than I’ll willing to introduce into the chaos of our house. So, I take a great big plasticy tablecloth and spread it out on the porch outside and give them 100 tubs of play-doh and let them do their thing. And it will keep them busy. For hours.