Activities With Kids: The Reality
Picture this: it’s raining. You have a young child and you’re at your wits end as to what to do with them. So you start trawling through the internet for “things to do with young kids”.
You stumble across Pinterest and before you know it you’ve got the flour, and food colouring out to make some play dough.
You start getting excited. You give your child a toy to play with and say “Do you want to play with play dough” and they look at you like “Oh heck yes I do Mum it’ll be so much fun!”.
You mix that shit together and start thinking about all the time you’ll have to yourself once your kid starts playing with it. Fifteen minutes peace to enjoy a coffee while they sit there amused.
Mid-way through mixing the play dough together, you realise you’re missing half of the ingredients. Oh well … you don’t care because your kid won’t know the difference. Who needs cream of tartar anyway!?
Your child has now moved on from the toy you’ve given them and is now at your feet telling you to hurry up. Or screaming. Or both. So you start saying “I’ll be finished soon, just give me a minute”. And you start stirring and mixing faster. Flour is now on your face and pants.
Finally the dough’s mixed, and you can almost smell the coffee brewing. Your phone is charged – a coffee AND checking Facebook at the same time. BRING IT ON!
You add the food colouring to the play dough and before you realise what you’re doing your hands are in mixing it together. A thought suddenly crosses your mind “does food colouring stain your hands?” … Oh well just keep going.
It is at this moment your child screams “I NEED A DRINK OR I’M GOING TO DIE”. So you take your food-coloured hands and try to get them a drink. Then you go back to mixing it all together.
YES in case you are wondering, food colouring does stain your hands. As you tip out the coloured play dough, you look at your hands and think “hmm kind of looking a little red but who cares” – the prospect of coffee and Facebook is keeping you going. You’ve got this Mumma – your kid is going to LOVE you for this!
You roll the play dough into a nice ball, and continue making other colours; because you think to yourself “my kid will LOVE playing with four colours – red, green, yellow and blue”. And you think of the amazing photo that you’ll show to your friends about that time you made play dough and had so much fun!
You check the instructions and it says “Takes 10 minutes to make” but so far because of a screaming child who leave you alone for five seconds, it has taken you 20 and you haven’t even finished yet.
Finally, three colours later you realise that red, green, yellow and blue have turned your hands into this green / brown Hulk-like mess. It’s actually kind of horrific and you’re rethinking the whole “just keep mixing it with my hands” thing.
BUT you now have four beautiful colours of play dough in front of you. You click the button on the kettle on, to start heating up the water.
You get a plate out and put the play dough on it and put it on the table. WAIT! What about cookie cutters and a rolling pin? Gees what kind of Mum am I to forget these?!
So you pull apart half of your kitchen trying to find the star-shaped cookie cutter, and your massive wooden rolling pin.
What should have taken 10 minutes, has now taken 30 minutes. And because it’s taken so long, you’ve had to make your child lunch, which has added an extra 15 minutes to the mix.
So 45 minutes later, you finally have the activity set up.
Voila my child, you enjoy your play dough while I sip my hot coffee and check Facebook. But quick I need to take a photo!
Your child sits and stares at the play dough. They poke it. They smell it. They lick it. In between this you take an epic “check out what I put together for my kid” picture. Sweet, I can upload this to Facebook while I drink my coffee.
At this point you haven’t even started your coffee, let alone open up the Facebook app. Filter added to your epic photo … you’re about to push “publish” to Facebook when your kid gets down from the table and say “I’m bored”.
You look at your coffee and your almost published Facebook post and you think *sigh* “I almost had it … I almost had that moment” …. then you look at your kitchen and it looks like World War 3 happened and you think “never again”.
You jump online and just buy some Play Doh from The Warehouse because there’s no way you’re doing that again.
Reality: it doesn’t matter how much sweat and tears you put into an activity, your kid probably won’t want to play with it anyway. In the time it takes you to set the activity up, your child probably changed their mind.