As previously reported, I swap kids. Last week was my day to host the three-hour group drop-off swap. We were tot one short, so we only had seven kids, usually it’s eight. Another mom (and her mother who was visiting from out of town) and I hosted children aged ~2-5 years old at my house. Luckily we had wonderful weather, so we moved the party outside almost immediately. Being outside is key a step in containing chaos in a larger group.
Here is how we kept seven kids contained, happy and my house in tact for the duration.
Rice, split peas, pasta and a bunch of cooking gear. The kids poured, spilled, shared (didn’t share), felt, and “cooked” for at least a half hour. The adults just sat there, enjoying the non chaos while chatting.
Get out the sidewalk chalk! We have stones surrounding our garden, and I wrote out the A, B, C’s, each letter on one stone and we played ABC stepping for a bit. Some little artists took their own chalk to the sidewalk as well to add their personal touch to the alphabet.
No nut allergies? Nut cracking isn’t only for December. The kids chose the nuts they wanted, I cracked them and they dug them out and ate them. Activity and snack time all in one. Maisy and I even decided to save the shells to make a future art project.
Bring on the tunes. We have quite the assortment of musical instruments. The instruments, along with a drum (djembe) were brought out and the kids all had a time making their own tunes for a bit.
Have a picnic. It’s agreed that the kids come packing lunch. Easy peasy, set it out and let them nosh and share (or not) as they wish.
Art! All of our coloring books and our ginormous bag of colors were brought out and the kiddos grabbed a book and went to town.
Now, there were some stragglers who weren’t into the activities. All was good. I had an extra set of toys set out to entertain.
For that many kiddos the day was really low stress. Being outside helps tremendously. I’ll have to get much more creative come rainy season! These activities were all easy to throw together and by keeping the group focused, there were less variables to monitor as a caregiver. The sheet in the yard made clean up a breeze and keeping on top of cleaning up after each activity as we went, made it all so effortless.
The photos in this post aren't the best quality (sorry!). I took them with my iPhone instead of trying to have my real camera safe and within reach. I'm already looking forward to my next hosting duty to see what fun activities we can come up with.
Hope you enjoy the ideas! Don't be afraid to swap some kids and host a large playdate yourself. It could get you some well deserved quiet time in return this summer.