Sunshine and the great outdoors are the allies of the exhausted parent.
Armed with a double shot almond milk latte, in a huge mug, the lads and I began carrying supplies out to the deck for a morning of mess and imagination. Because when you are outside, mess can wait, and it does not agitate.
Whilst my lads age range might mean that compatibility in play is sometimes elusive, there are some things that just win every time, like sensory play. We have used rainbow rice, cloud dough, play dough and water play again and again over many years (new batches of course!!). These are simple, low or no cost activities that I enjoy as much as my kids do. It is really important to know what you enjoy in terms of play as a parent. Yes, we play things that we don’t particularly enjoy, because the kids want us to join in. But when we find things we enjoy as much as they do, the play is different. And we can all feel the difference.
So this morning, we played with cloud dough, play dough and rice with plastic animals and duplo. And afterwards, those animals really needed a bath.
We brought the dolls house and peg dolls I made outside, and Asher showing Tobias how to create an avalanche of animals down the staircase.
Not one complaint. No bickering. No fussing. It really isn’t rocket science; kids (big and small) need to be outside.
And does the fact that there are things strewn across the deck concern me? Not one iota. But if this same mess was inside, I would be finding it very hard to leave the activities out for much longer. The lads will go in and out all day, and these things will be utilised in endless ways, as their imagination leads.
Oh, and I got to have my coffee while it was hot. And we filled the neighbourhood with bubbles. Everyone’s a winner.