I have all these Pinterest boards stuffed full of fun activities to do with my kids…and then I never do them. (I’m sure all of you Pinterest parents can relate!) Well, I decided it was time to change that. I announced to my children that every week, starting now, we are going to pick a pin and give it a go. So today was slime day. Slime. Hmm. I was secretly pushing for a tidy paper craft but no, they insisted it had to be slime.
We decided on a really simple one to start us off, made with just cornflour and water (easy right!).
It all began really well. Lula (age 12) decided to film making the slime (for the new youtube channel she has plans for) and Little (age 8) decided we needed to colour it pink. Armed with camera and pink food colouring they cracked into it with a huge amount of enthusiasm.
And then it all went bad.
When the youngest tries to be the boss
Little opened the packet of cornflour–right down the middle–and started to awkwardly spoon it into the bowl. Her older sister suggested just tipping it in but, when you’re a determined independent youngest sibling, why would you want to listen to your older sister?
Cornflour went everywhere. Poor Little then got told off by both Lula and I for not listening. Lula yelled “Why don’t you ever listen!” Little yelled back. And continued to pour the flour everywhere. Lula took over, snatching the bowl, which caused a huge tantrum and lots and lots of tears.
All of this happened in a matter of seconds. And all on camera.
Fighting siblings, lots of yelling, mess everywhere, crying child. This wasn’t exactly what I had pictured when I looked through those brightly coloured, fun-looking Pinterest pins.
Cleaning up the mess (physically and emotionally)
The cornflour slime was made however. It was even pink. So after a bit of a cooling off period, cleaning the bench, and a few cuddles, we regrouped, sat at the table with our own bowls of slime and had a play.
If you haven’t tried playing with cornflour and water you really need to! It’s magical!
The right consistency will be runny when you tip it off your fingers and hard when you squeeze or poke it. Kids love it (I do too!)
We giggled and shared in each other’s experimental discoveries. It was one of those quality tiny moments that I talked about in a previous post. Lots of attention, shared wonder, and connection.
Don’t give up, even when it looks bad
Parenting can go bad in seconds. The kids loose the plot. We loose our patience. Everyone just looses it sometimes. We can sit around feeling guilty about our less than perfect mum moments (that were meant to be Pinterest perfect) or we can take a breather, and try again.
I’ve been a parenting writer and teacher for over 10 years. I know lots about running activities well, managing kids’ behaviour and all sorts of kid-related things…and I still have massive fails. We don’t need to be perfect to be good mums (or dads)!
The relationship we build with our kids in the little moments every day creates a strong bond that can handle a few parenting fails every now and then.
15 little ways to build relationship everyday:
- Listen to them with eye contact
- Share in their interests
- Have cuddles
- Answer “why” questions
- Get on the floor to play for 10 minutes
- Ask about their ideas/ friends/ game
- Watch one of their favourite shows together
- Read a book
- Eat together
- Rough-house (play fight)
- Do a chore together and chat (like dishes)
- Whisper “You are so kind” or another affirmation in their ear
- Notice the little things they do and comment: “I saw how you shared your toy just now, that was a lovely thing to do
- Tell silly jokes
- Make up stories, take turns to make up one sentence each
I’m still determined to try a Pinterest activity every week because sometimes they are great! When we read Charlottes Web we tried out a number of fantastic Pinterest activities that the kids loved.
And if some are fails, we’ll have something to laugh about later.
Check out some of my favourite pins to do with kids and share some of yours in the comments below! We’d love to hear some suggestions if you’ve found a fun one.
Until next time