Things to do with a pre-schooler when you literally cannot

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In a little over a week, I’m going to be having my second child. The birth of my second child happens to coincide with Christmas, which is also really hot here in Aus.

As I headed into maternity leave just a few weeks ago I found myself a full time stay at home mum for the first time in a long time. And let me tell you, coming up with activities to keep my busy four year old occupied has been tough, and the more pregnant I get the tougher it gets.

And whilst everyday is a lot tougher that it used to be, there are some days when I don’t even know how I am going to get out of bed, let alone keep a four year old occupied all day. On those days, I have a few tried and true activities that never fail to please!

Lego dimensions: look, if someone told me that my four year old would be somewhat of an xBox addict I would not have been happy about this. But Lego dimensions is a perfect mix of gluing a child to the screen, and creative play- as they build the characters throughout the game. I’ve even found myself picking up the second controller and having a good Xbox session myself on this one.

Modelling clay: I am a huge craft advocate, but craft can be really REALLY messy. And making a mess means cleaning it up. On any normal parenting day, that may be okay… but not on days that one cannot. Modelling clay, much like play dough, is totally contained. All you need is a table, the clay, and your child’s imagination!

A sprinkler: On those hot days, it can be particularly tough to keep the young ones occupied. These days also tend to be the hardest on us expectant mums. Head down to your local hardware store and pick yourself up a $5 sprinkler for at least 20mins of fun! (Check water restrictions in your area).

Play centres: Don’t ever underestimate how good crappy play centre coffee tastes when your having a tough day. I’ve found a really good, really small play centre that gives me full visuals from the cafe area- and it’s been an absolute god send!

A trampoline (AKA the silly shaker): Our trampoline has been a trusty Allie of mine for some time now. You know on those days when all of a sudden it’s 5PM, you haven’t left the house ALL day and your pre-schooler gets a huge burst of energy? That is when I am so thankful for our trampoline. We head outside and spend 15-20 minutes getting our sillies out, and it’s fantastic. *hint- also works on adults with too much energy!

Prepackaged baking kits: Pre motherhood I snubbed my nose up at these, I really was far too ‘above’ these pre-packaged kits. These days, we go through one a week. Oliver loves baking, the ingredients are pretty much all there, and it minimises clean up. They don’t even taste that bad anyway, and what they lack in flavour they make up for in sugar… I mean giggles. But seriously these are great activity when you really don’t think you’ve got anything left to give!

Netflix: Yup, I’m calling it. I could NOT have gotten through this pregnancy without Netflix. I’m really fortunate that my sons absolute favourite show is The Wild Kratts, which is really educational. For example, my 4YO swore black and blue that an elephants Mum is called a cow- a little Google search later and I realised I was being schooled by my 4 year old. Some other great shows include The Magic Schoolbus, The Octonauts and Dinotrux. I am a proud Netflix Mum, and besides I am far too pregnant to be riding any kind of high-horse!

I’ve only got a couple of days left as a full time stay at home mum and then hubby goes on leave and will pretty much take over all parental responsibility. I’m sure he would LOVE your suggestions of any activities I’ve forgotten- you know for the days I’ve woken him up all throughout the night and he literally cannot!

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