Peace and quiet can be hard to come by as a mom. I can count on 1 hand the number of times I’ve finished a cup of tea while it’s still hot, or even warm. But now that Miss O is old enough to do some things for herself, I can give her a something to work on while I “work on” my tea.
Admittedly, some of these might be a bit messy, but what’s a little mess when it gets you some time to yourself? The best thing about all of these is that they don’t require a lot of prep work or a PhD in crafting to pull off. Just grab a couple of things and they’re off!
Peanut butter. Really anything to do with peanut butter will keep kids busy for a while. I like to give Miss O a couple crackers, a butter knife and tell her to make herself a snack. She loves feeling like a big girl so much she won’t let me help.
Washcloth fun. Put down a couple towels and an empty bucket. Fill another bucket with warm, soapy water, and give your kid a washcloth to move the water from one bucket to the other. This is a great way to use those pink tubs you stole from the hospital!
Pipe cleaners and a strainers. Have your little one make a sculpture, tear it apart and make another one.
Organize the tupperware. Okay, organize might not be the word for what will happen here, but you will get some free time. Take off the lids of some tupperware and let your little one try to figure out which ones go together.
Music time. Give them a musical instrument and cue up a playlist for them to sing and play along with.
Make pasta necklaces. If you have died pasta (or beads), great. If not, no biggie. Grab a piece of string, spread some penne or ziti out on a tray and let them make you some beautiful jewelry.
Give ’em some. If your little one likes to be just like Mommy or Daddy, give them a mug of warm milk or hot chocolate while you have your coffee or tea.
Everything old is new again. If you keep a stash of toys out of your kid’s hands, this is a great time to pull one out. Most toys won’t hold a kid’s attention for 15 whole minutes, but if it’s a toy they haven’t seen in a while, it’s a different story.
Paint something. Anything, really. Miss O will play with paint for a while without any help from me. If you have a child who will coat every surface in your house with paint, you’ll have to decide how badly you need that coffee.
Contact paper collage. Get your arts and crafts on by taping some contact paper down, sticky side up, and giving the kids some small pieces of tissue paper. You’ll have some “me time” and a nice piece of art to hang in a window!
There you go! 10 simple things to earn yourself a cup of coffee in peace.
A word of caution: Just like everything else with kids, use these in moderation. Pasta necklaces are exciting once, but not every day or even every week. If you need daily mommy time, you’re going to need a really long list or some sort of Jedi mind trick – if you know one, please share.
How do you get a few minutes to eat your breakfast, go to the bathroom, or <gasp> read something that doesn’t rhyme? Share in the comments.