I've created a handy dandy formula to calculate the percentage of boredom and frustration experienced on rainy/snowy/cold days...
(Number of Temper Tantrums in a 3 hour period X 3) + the number of children in your house sick or teething + (Number of fights over toys X 4) + (Incidents of hitting each other, you, anything breakable, or a pet X 5) + (the number of days housebound X 10) / The number of aspirin or drinks you have consumed
This is how the formula worked out for me last night:
(9 X 3) + 2 + (5 X 4) + (6 X 5) + (2 X 20)/ 1
That's a total of 119% boredom/frustration. So clearly, either my formula is flawed, or I need to start drinking more.
Tonight, after another day of sleet, I decided that I'd find an activity to bring a little bit of summer into an otherwise crummy winter day. I did some on line research to look for some activities that were appropriate for toddlers and came across the Indoor Sandbox at Family Education.
- A large cardboard box, baby bathtub or other shallow large volume container (I cut down a diaper box to make mine)
- Sand (you can use uncooked rice, rice cereal, bird seed, cedar chips, shredded newspaper,puffed wheat or even real sand or potting soil) - I used half a bag of rolled oats
- Spoons, funnels, scoops cups, toy cars and things to play with in the Sand Box
- A sheet or tarp to put on the floor to help with clean up - I skipped this as you can see with the third photo.
Set Up Time:
- 5 Minutes, including cutting the box top down to a sandbox appropriate level
The Results - Over 30 minutes to make dinner and tidy the kitchen while they played quietly:
Right after they spotted the indoor sandbox
Clean Up Time
- 5 minutes (I repacked and labelled the oats to use again - we'll see how disgusting they get before I throw them out)***
- Totally worth it - just make sure that they have full bellies to avoid sensory time from becoming snack time.
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*This is one of the many reasons why you unload the dishwasher after the minions go to bed.
**You aren't imagining it, Molly is about to jam a giant fist full of oats into her mouth.
***I was also a little afraid that if I left the box with oats out the cat would think I'd brought a new litter box into the kitchen.