It’s Wednesday afternoon and you got home late with your kids only to remember you have to cook dinner! Do I go with something quick and easy or a full on meal deal. Do I go for favourite, breakfast for dinner! I try to meal plan but sometimes that doesn’t always work out. If I’ve planned ahead, it’s usually pretty straight forward and I can spend time with my daughters. However, if I haven’t planned ahead it can feel like ciaos trying to make a meal, play with my kids and keep things moving forward, happily.
Surviving Kids And Dinner At The End Of The Work Day
Recently, I’ve been asking my daughters to do different things when we get home instead of “mommy this or mommy that”. It helps for their entertainment while I make dinner and everyone’s happiness – for the most part. My husband works shift work so on days when he is not home, I sometimes find it a challenge to make meals and keep my daughters busy.
My first go-to is to ask them to go play outdoors and yes, I ask them to do this year round. They know our rules around playing outside and I can see them through the window in our kitchen which is always fun to see them playing. For me it’s important for my kids to play outdoors and in our wooded area. It’s a great opportunity for creative play and also to build on their physical literacy skills when climbing on things or jumping off stumps. If playing outdoors is short lived, I direct them to other activities.
Reading, Toys or Games
Reading books is important in our family and with a first grader she’s all over the opportunity to read books, especially to her younger sister. Sometimes reading is a flop, so they play board games or with toys. Again, not all play is fair play in our house, after all they are sisters. When these activities fail, I go for what I think is my favourite back up. And yes, I could still be making dinner at this point.
Often, I send the girls to the basement to put on a kids yoga DVD, not TV or a movie which is another option but we don’t have cable or satellite. I love watching the girls do yoga and we do it together, especially after I run on the weekends. I always find they argue less during yoga and are able to find a time to relax before the evening begins. More often than not, by the time I have dinner on the table they are calm, quiet and hungry!
I’m sure every family has different tools they use at the end of the day to get a meal on the table and keep their kids entertained. What’s your go-to activity for your kids to do while you prepare a meal?