Archive for February 6, 2014

Half-term pressure cooker

As the nights get shorter and we come closer to the clocks changing, the first half-term approaches, along with the daunting task of entertaining children for a week. For most parents, this means taking a week off work, paying out for expensive childcare, relying on family or friends to help out, or if they’re old enough; letting them fend for themselves. This usually involves getting home from a hard day at work, with the kitchen messier than you left it in the morning and children nowhere to be seen, or still where you left them 9 hours ago.

The generations-old dilemma of entertaining young children, often on a budget, has parents worried that the traditional arts & crafts, cooking, and physical activities that they once enjoyed are fading, alongside the attention span of their children. As Mary Poppins famously said: ‘In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun’ which can be applied to employment and housework. By getting younger children involved in messy tasks like painting, sticking and muddy garden work, encouraging them to tidy it away afterwards teaches good habits in clearing up after themselves, keeping a tidy work area, and finding fun in tasks that may seem mundane. We can all learn from our inner child and keep our surroundings tidy, and look for enjoyment in boring tasks.