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View Full Version : Need ideas to keep 5yr old busy while I write today!



amyashley
08-08-2011, 07:07 PM
I had a rotten health day yesterday while hubby was home which was good- he watched kids while I slept- and bad- I didn't get the writing done I needed.

I have 3 chapters to go.

All this is editing, but one chapter is SUPERREVISIONS editing. I need to finish it so Jeremy can proofread and I can get it to my agent this week. We want to sub early September.

SO

Nap time for the younger two boys is my only real space during the day. I need ideas to keep my oldest occupied! He's ditched all the mazes, crosswords, and coloring pages I've given him. Most of the toys I've brought in have lost his interest. We stay in my room while the little guys snooze.

Any ideas?
I might be stuck waiting until tonight. :(

Devil Ledbetter
08-08-2011, 07:11 PM
I had a rotten health day yesterday while hubby was home which was good- he watched kids while I slept- and bad- I didn't get the writing done I needed.

I have 3 chapters to go.

All this is editing, but one chapter is SUPERREVISIONS editing. I need to finish it so Jeremy can proofread and I can get it to my agent this week. We want to sub early September.

SO

Nap time for the younger two boys is my only real space during the day. I need ideas to keep my oldest occupied! He's ditched all the mazes, crosswords, and coloring pages I've given him. Most of the toys I've brought in have lost his interest. We stay in my room while the little guys snooze.

Any ideas?
I might be stuck waiting until tonight. :(Rent the movies Ponyo and My Neighbor Totoro for him.

amyashley
08-08-2011, 07:13 PM
I would, but can't get out of the house- no car. We cancelled netflix a few weeks back.

I think he'd really like Ponyo. Thanks for the suggestion! I'll snag that one next time I see it.

alleycat
08-08-2011, 07:13 PM
Give him a big empty box. Tell him to pretend it's something like a fort, or rocket ship.

Give him a large sheet of cardboard. Tell him to do a "sidewalk" drawing.

Hang something up like a pinata (perhaps an old stuffed animal). Give him stick and let him whack away at it. Vacuum up the stuffing later.

Make a "tent" out of bedsheets in his room and have him "camp out" for the day. Tell him he can't come back to civilization because he's lost in deepest, darkest Africa.

Alessandra Kelley
08-08-2011, 07:14 PM
What are his interests? I've had 5-year olds of both genders at various times fascinated by magnifying lenses + common household objects; dollhouses; play-doh; assorted toy cars; and a simple piece of that plastic that starts out black but turns colors if you touch it / get it warm.

amyashley
08-08-2011, 07:16 PM
OOOH! I forgot we still have some play dough from his party last week.

I wonder if I can find his paints too. It's been a while since he painted. He's really clean. It's the 3yr old and 1.5yr old that make life impossible.

Amarie
08-08-2011, 07:16 PM
I went through this many times when my kids were young and I was trying to write. Let him build a giant fort in some room, using all the chairs and blankets and sheets he wants to. Then let him drag in as much stuff as he wants. It's a pain to clean up later, but it will probably give you some time.

amyashley
08-08-2011, 07:22 PM
Alleycat, he has a giant teepee. I think I may drag that in there too.

Thank you guys SO much. I usually let him play on Starfall.com and coolmathgames.com while I take a shower. I'm stressing over getting this book done.

Really grateful. :e2kissy::e2BIC:

pdblake
08-08-2011, 07:51 PM
I usually give mine a plastic sword or a toy gun, open the back door and tell him there's a garden full of imaginary monsters/'bad guys'/ninjas/whatevers that need slaughtering before teatime:)

I swear that boy runs on nuclear, but he's as fit as a butcher's dog.

amyashley
08-08-2011, 08:02 PM
LOL.

Ironically, the 3 yr old would love that, but I think the 5yr old would look at me as if I were mad. We've avoided giving them weapons (they manage to damage one another enough with hands and teeth), but he's just not a violent or imaginative guy. He's very literal-minded.

"There's no monsters, Mama. Monsters aren't real."

*sigh*

Don't know what I'll do with him.

I may pull his train tracks out too. Challenge him to build a track that covers the whole floor. No little brothers to destroy it.

c.e.lawson
08-08-2011, 08:27 PM
Is there a nearby bathroom where he can be a little messy? There are some easy "goop" recipes on the internet, made with stuff commonly in the house. An easy one is simply cornstarch and water. I'd give those two ingredients to my daughter around that age, with a bunch of little plastic containers and spoons, and she'd be happily mixing for a good hour or more. (warning - it's MESSY!) Add some sort of colors (washable paint), and he can play with how mixing primary colors can produce so many other colors. My daughter used to pretend she had an apothecary (she was into Harry Potter at the time). I'd gather little containers of different size and shapes and she made various "potions".

Good luck!

backslashbaby
08-08-2011, 09:23 PM
Oh, the train should work, I'd think. Have him make play dough trees or people to run over, too :D Or rocks to crash into! That'd be cool.

Sullivan Lee
08-08-2011, 09:36 PM
(Just saw My Neighbor Totoro with my 4-year-old, and I think he could watch it all day, so I second that!)

Also, and it pains my maternal sensibilities to say it, but Spongebob is absolutely hypnotic to that age group, and it is on almost all day. I hate using the TV as a babysitter, but sometimes we have to do what works ... so that we can work.

lcwrite
08-08-2011, 09:41 PM
Can he draw pictures to mirror your story?

Mr Flibble
08-08-2011, 10:10 PM
'Bury' some pirate treasure somewhere in the house/garden. Tell him that X marks the spot. Let him have at it, preferably with an eye patch and a parrot. (I used to bury treasure in the garden for my son to find. Kept him busy for hours)

Give him something mechanical (that you won't need again!) to take apart to 'find out how it works'

Lego

amyashley
08-08-2011, 10:29 PM
Julia, I am now trying to sort out what junk I have he can dismantle.



I wish he'd draw pictures for my book, but he loses interest. Not fascinating enough to a kid. It's just another family. He can make Valentine's cards all day long though. He's a sweetie. The other two are hellions.

happywritermom
08-08-2011, 10:51 PM
It's probably too late now, but give him a sponge and let him clean the kitchen floor. My guys are good for an hour or so with that. The floor gets a very good soaking too!

amyashley
08-08-2011, 10:57 PM
I SO wish I could do that! He'd sing to the cats and wake his brothers up.

I'm at about 10 minutes and counting. Going for trains, paints, and play-dough! If all else fails, I have the makings of tub paints.

AmsterdamAssassin
08-09-2011, 12:02 AM
I fill a tub with water and give him all his play animals...

Mr Flibble
08-09-2011, 12:06 AM
Let him play Evel Kenevel with hsi toy cars - a small stack of books with a big book to make the ramp. See if he can get a toy car to jump three stuffed animals.

AlishaS
08-09-2011, 12:06 AM
Sadly I find that nothing will keep my four year olds attention long enough for me to get any work done during the day. So sadly I do all my work at night.
I'm counting down the days until school starts, though he's only in preschool 2 hours twice a week it's another chunk of time to get stuff done.

frimble3
08-09-2011, 08:22 AM
Trains, paints, and playdough. My mother started me on Playdough when I was under two and my baby sister had colic. Mum and I played very, very quietly when and if my sister slept.
If the train is popular, get small cardboard boxes and he can paint them into trackside buildings. That, and do you have little animals? They can be shipped by train from point to point, or just frolic around the tracks.

blacbird
08-09-2011, 10:40 AM
Valium.

caw

Susan Littlefield
08-09-2011, 06:42 PM
Valium.

caw

Oh, sometimes you are so very naughty. :roll:

Amy, as many toys as you can find and lots of hugs beforehand. No valium as Blacbird says, though.

amyashley
08-09-2011, 06:48 PM
LOL, Valium. I wish!

AlishaS, two weeks until kindergarten! I'll have nap time every day to do as I please. Probably use half of it to shower, but I'll get some writing in. Hopefully by next year I'll have enough money from a few advances to pay for day care a couple days a week for my youngest. The middle one will be in pre-school (free!)

Regardless, I'm relatively sure I CAN write with one kid at this point. I did it with three last year, but little guy is super active now. Big guy is bored too. Timing will smooth out.

BTW, I got the bulk of the one chapter finished. HOPING to get the rest done today/tonight!

Esmeralda
08-09-2011, 07:35 PM
I keep a box on top of the fridge with special toys. I take it down when the phone rings, when a friens stops by, or when I need to write because something just won't wait.

They only get these special things when I decide. Usually it's paints, drawing paper and special glitter markers, sticker books, etc ...you know...quiet things.

Now they look forward to these times and the special toys. Add something new once a month to keep it special. I guarantee it works!

Jehhillenberg
08-09-2011, 11:53 PM
BENEDRYL! joking...I think

AmsterdamAssassin
08-10-2011, 01:41 AM
booger sculptures

Susan Littlefield
08-10-2011, 05:05 AM
booger sculptures

Excellent idea! Don't forget that natural earth paint too!

AmsterdamAssassin
08-10-2011, 11:15 AM
projectile vomiting competition

JimmyB27
08-11-2011, 03:27 PM
I know it's far too late now, but for next time.

I can't believe everyone missed the most obvious solution...

http://i.imgur.com/b3D5Q.jpg

Nightmelody
08-11-2011, 04:38 PM
Mix equal parts white glue and liquid starch to make a big glob of flubber. You can dye the glue for color with food dye or paint. Then use it with small toys, make monsters etc out of plastic horses. I think it is a little less messy than playdough. Also bounces.

amyashley
08-11-2011, 07:13 PM
Nightmelody, I think we'll make this soon. We made Kool-aid play-dough the other day (which smells better than only food coloring) and the boys had a lot of fun helping.

If you have kids, try making play-dough with wheat flour. It's naturally sparkly. :e2fairy:

Bartholomew
08-11-2011, 10:59 PM
Give him a hammer. That'll keep him busy.