The poor mom’s guide to ….entertaining your child. 99.9% of the time I have a decent handle on this parenting thing. That I know how to keep the small human happy and entertained, whilst not looing my shit or setting fire to the house. Which is always a win-win bonus right? But sometimes I am all out of ideas of things to do. These are always the days that family and friends are busy so you can’t go round there, and just the thought of getting the sodding box of playdoh out fills you with dread (Because you most likely have spent the last 3 weeks finding the remnants of the last time you thought that was a good idea).
These days normally coincide with that miserable stretch before payday, or you know, the last weekend of half term. It’s always at a crap time where you would rather boil your own head then go to the cinema and spend £20 on a film you don’t even want to see. Well mu friends, I have a few fail-safe ideas to keep your rabid kids entertained and your sanity somewhat intact.
Local Aquatics centre/Pets at home.
That’s right ladies and gentleman. I am that parent who will take their kid out to these places with absolutely zero intention of purchasing diddly squat all. Why? Because it is like a day out at the sealife centre to Evie. We have taken her to the legit sealife centre numerous times, and to be frank, she doesn’t really care for it after the first 20mins. And then I get annoyed because I have spent a small fortune taking her there. However, take her to Pets at home and she has a fabulous time. She looks at the fishies and hamsters for as long as she likes, and then when she has got bored of that we can leave. Nice and simple, and free. Okay so it’s not exactly exciting for myself but hey, it’s half an hour of relative peace and quiet.
Our local garden centre is amazing. It has a large duck lake and then behind there, and extensive fairy trail you can walk around. Evie adores it there and tbh, it’s a nice like walk out. We have been known to spend a good few hours walking through the grounds. Also Garden centres seem to be these amazing places that you can purchase the most weird and wonderful things from. We have another local one with a small farmers market inside and a lovely little café, so we tend to have a whole afternoon out for the price of a slice of cake.
YEAH YOU READ THAT RIGHT. Poundland is epic for small children. I challenge any of one you to give your child a few pounds of their own and let them wild in poundland. They think they are the rulers of the world, and chose some of the strangest things. This is always a good trick to do when it’s Xmas or a grandparent’s birthday coming up, as they will howl with laughter at the crazy crap they pick up. We very rarely leave the store without a sticker book or activity set. However they now do pretend make up sets, which are our current favorite thing in the whole wide world. I’m currently trying to hold on to this before she is 15 and wants MAC.
Okay so this one may seem obvious. But if all else fails, rain or shine we can always pop down to the local park. Evie would spend forever there if she could, and in the summer holidays we have been known to be the first ones in and the last ones out. It’s not all just about playing on the swings. We go mini beast hunting, we search for the Gruffalo and we play pooh sticks over the river. In the summer we have picnics and on rainy days we hunt out the muddiest puddles. We take scooters and bikes and have a great time.
Evie loves a carboot. I suppose to her it is a bit like Poundland, where she gets to buy the most random bloody things. When she first fell in love with My Little Pony we scoured the car boots for bargains, because I didn’t want to spend out a tonnes of money on something she may not of been interest in (Turns out she was … ). We have found bargains, such as a full sets of new phonics books for 50p, brand new wellingtons the same day that she broke her ones for £2 a pair and many many more bits and bobs. We also do many carboot’s ourselves, and I love the nearly new one for kids items, as I wrote about before.
Also car boots are where you get fresh hot sugared doughnuts in a bag, which is a WINNER.
We are actually newbies to this, which is strange as I loved going when I was younger so no idea why I haven’t thought of it before. Evie has been a few times now and loves it there. The fact they have toys also helps but hey ho. We go and pick out 7 stories for the week and she loves having the free reign to get whatever she likes (as long as we haven’t already got it at home). She is starting to look at stories that she wouldn’t have before (so not Disney or princess stories) which is great and I can see her following along. She loves it when there are words she recognizes and proudly tells me how she is going to read to me now. I have a massive love of books and so I am over the moon that this is something she has taken on too. Long may it last!
So there are my few go to ideas to keep me sane near the end of the money or on a rainy day. So when it’s the last day of half term and no one can find out where I am hiding, there you go. Come and pop down to the local library and watch me rocking on the car in the corner, wishing for school to restart!
Until next time …