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Earlier this week I decided I need to let the laundry be. I needed to let the dishes be. I needed to BE with my kids.
I probably have a GIGANTIC pile of laundry in front of the laundry room. Somedays I feel like laundry, dishes, and general tidying keep me busy all day long.
Do you know what I’m talking about? Do you ever feel like there are days were all you do is house work? Then no one even notices?!?
You guys, this is what the entry to my tiny laundry room looks like right now.
Don’t be fooled. ALL those clothes are totally clean and in piles for each of the rooms the kids are in (some share). I’ve just been a little behind, so I haven’t had them take them yet to take care of until all the clothes are out of the washer and dryer.
I better just let them grab them and put them away huh? I’m always behind on laundry.
Since we’re talking about laundry (literally though, we’re not going to get into anyones dirty laundry), I have always LOVED all® fragrance free dry free detergent. My oldest daughter has eczema pretty badly, and I found when she was tiny that if I got all® fragrance free dry free detergent it made a huge difference. I found this new product called all® fresh clean Essentials™ you can buy on Amazon (anyone else LOVE Amazon?!?) and it’s also Sulfate Free and preserves the colors in your clothes! They made it even better you guys! It makes me love it even more. Make sure to always follow directions exactly when using this product.
Sometimes stepping away from the laundry, the dishes, the tidying can be HARD! There is always a to-do list. Spending time with my kids is HARD but I’ve learned I am more productive when I step away and DO something WITH them.
Here are Four FUN activities to do WITH you kids.
Disclaimer – these are activities that will bring you back to childhood and make you have fun with your kids. They may be messy and you may have to do more laundry, and more sweeping, but I promise you’ll have a blast and you’ll be okay doing more laundry and more sweeping.
#1 – Finger Painting
A while ago I wrote about how much I hate glitter. Finger painting is a close second. However, when I told my kids what we were doing … the joy that filled their eyes was amazing. I loved it.
The next morning they were begging me to hang up their pictures.
Helpful hint #1
Grab a garbage bag, and then cut one long side, and the short side of it. Use tape and tape the bag down onto the table your kids will be painting on. Super easy clean up, and you don’t have to worry about the mess on the table. You’re still winning because you’re letting kids be kids, and make a huge mess and they’ll love every moment of it.
Helpful hint #2:
Grab a napkin or paper towel for your kids so they don’t start wiping their finger paint on their clothes between colors instead of something normal, like a napkin or something similar. Luckily for me, I love my all® Fresh Clean Essentials™. For the record – the all® Fresh Clean Essentials™ got this stain out after it sat overnight without any scrubbing or pre-treatment at all. I love that it’s a powerful clean without harshness.
#2 Play Dough
I had a friend that convinced me that play dough wasn’t the worst thing to let kids play with. I had a hard time with it when I had little little ones that weren’t old enough to play with it, but old enough to know they were missing out.
Play dough really can provide HOURS of fun. Just know you’ll need to sweep. It’s so inexpensive, don’t be afraid to just ditch it after your kids are done with it, or when you’re done with it. My oldest was the one that was excited to do the play dough first. He loved creating his favorite ships and showing me how great they looked.
I love seeing the creative spark that arrises in kids as they just see what their minds and hands can create together.
Helpful hint #1
Be prepared for color mixing to happen if you have little kids. This is the work of my youngest. Some of my older kids were a little upset about it. Just roll with things. It’ll be okay.
Helpful Hint #2
Not only will this activity result in hours of fun, your kids may end up preparing a dinner party for you that you didn’t know would be happening. My daughter was obviously fine with the color changes she made, and excited to host a dinner party and prepare for it for me tonight. Anyone want to join us?
Not just your normal tic-tac-toe. Grab some masking tape and make a HUGE tic-tac-toe on your floor.
Next, find two things that you can use for each player. My son decided to do big cars/trucks, and little cars. It worked great.
I loved that my littles could play this, and my older kids, and I could play with them. It’s been so fun to have. Since it doesn’t leave a big mess, it’s fun to leave for a while and when the kids are board, they’ll find it and play for a while.
#4 Hop Scotch
Again, I just used some masking tape (I love all the fun colors that it comes in now) and created a hop scotch pattern in our entry way. I think all of us walk down that hall and just have to do it as we pass by.
I love watching my little kids try to do it. It’s tricky for the littler ones, but so fun for everyone. Such concentration to land just right.
My biggest tip of the day:
Put down your phone. Put it away where you can’t hear all the buzzes and the dings and the notifications. Don’t fuss about the mess that has been created by kids, dishes, or laundry. Let the kids play, really, really play, and play WITH them. They’ll feel so loved by you in those moments. They will cherish those undistracted moment with you. Let them be who they are and love them for that, and for the mess they make, and MAKE THE MESS WITH THEM!
How will you spend less time on your laundry and more time letting your kids be kids?