Although I had been “sick” for as long as I can remember, no one could find anything wrong with me. As a result, I went on with my life the best I could and that included the blessings of children. It was not until after my last child was born that I became too ill for the doctors to ignore. Once a diagnoses was finally made, my life was more complicated, stressful, and difficult due to increasing symptoms. There were many days that I lived minute by minute, not sure how I was going to last until it was their bedtime. I had to figure out ways to make taking care of the kids a little easier and these are the things that I did.
We hung a bird feeder outside our dining room window. This was a place we could all sit and watch the birds. I purchased a few storybooks with birds and a bird guide to help us identify the visiting creatures.
Special boxes. Every late summer when school supplies went on sale, I would put together a box for each child. Their boxes would include paper, pens, pencils, crayons, scissors, stickers, glue sticks, craft supplies, a puzzle, journals, a book or two, and a few smaller toys. These boxes were only brought out with my permission and I used them on days I couldn’t handle much noise or activity. They were a HUGE hit with my kids as I was adamant that the boxes were only brought out at specified times and when they were done everything went back into the box and it was put away until next time.
Play dough and Model Magic. I had a bin with plastic silverware and plates and small toys and plastic animals to use with the play dough. Kids loved it when I pulled out this bin, but it had to be used on days that I felt decent, as it involved more clean-up.
Special DVDs. There were several movies that my kids loved to watch and I would hold those back for times when I could not get out of bed. The kiddos would climb into bed with me and “we” (mostly them) would watch the movie. This would give me a solid hour and a half to be still.
Books. I read A LOT to my kids, hundreds and hundreds of books. I would sit in a comfy chair and the kids would gather around and listen while playing quietly (most of the time).
Legos. I LOVE Legos. We had all kinds of legos at our home and as the kids grew the legos got smaller and more dangerous to have scattered all over the floor. These could keep my kids entertained for hours.
Blocks. I had a very large plastic bucket full of wooden blocks and my kiddos would sit and play with those for hours creating their own imaginary kingdoms.
Trains. A train table was given to my oldest child and Thomas and his friends joined shortly afterward. There was enough room at the table for all of my kiddos to sit and play.
Dress-up bin. Old clothing, jewelry, hats, halloween costumes, they could dress up and become anything they wanted.
Art supplies. White paper, scratch paper, construction paper, packing paper, pens, pencils, crayons, markers, finger paints……….I kept all of this contained to one area of the house.
Dolls. Dolls and doll clothing plus beds made from clementine crates and plastic doll food from the dollar store.
Sandbox in the backyard. My husband built a simple sandbox in our backyard and the kids LOVED playing in it.
Tire swing hanging from a large tree in our backyard. My husband put this up for the kids and it was an instant hit.
I hope you can find something you are able to use to entertain your kiddos or grandkids while you deal with CI.
Until next time……..
~ wendi, pen name Charlie, is the author of Frugal Seeds: 501 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar.