Since lockdown I have been looking after my nieces because my sister is a nurse, and I must say that it has been quite the challenge, especially given that I am not a parent. I reached out to my good friend Mark Zamuner who is just the greatest Dad that I know, he is always so energetic and so inventive when it comes to doing things with the kids. Mark gave me some inspiration as to what to do with my 2 nieces and I have spent the last 5 weeks trying to do my best in getting them active and creative. Some things worked and others didn’t and if you are stuck at home looking for ideas, here are some tips you may try, if you haven’t already.
Something which I really wanted to avoid was just sitting the kids down in front often television and letting them watch movies and TV shows all day. I have no doubt that there is a time and a place for doing that, but I feel that kids deserve a little more substance. With this in mind I decide to get the girls to create their own play, and I gave them some requirements to go along with it. The player had to include at least 4 characters (live characters, teddies did not count,) the play also had to be longer than 8 minutes and it had to feature at least 1 song. At first I thought they’d just come back with some loose story and lots of singing and dancing, but after an hour they still hadn’t come back. I went up to the room and was quickly kicked out until 45 minutes later when they came down and blew my mind with a wonderful little piece, funny and entertaining, kids truly are brilliant.
Making a Band
I didn’t have any musical instruments in the house apart from an old recorder, but we decided to push on anyway with a band, complete with as many instruments as we could make. First we did a shaker which was easy enough, then a drum set with saucepans and empty tins, we fashioned a microphone from a split kitchen roll and even managed to create a keyboard of sorts using cutlery. We called ourselves the Peas in the Pod and away we went, I have a feeling that Arista will be on the phone in no time!
I was really keen to capture the memory of what we were doing throughout this lockdown period, and because of the very special Uncle and niece time that we were spending together. With this in mind at the end of each day we decided to complete a diary entry, myself included, and decorate each page. This took up a vital 30 minutes each night and although we haven’t seen it all yet, I have no doubt that in years to come we will look upon this with fondness.
What are you guys doing to keep your kids entertained?