My son isn’t easy to entertain. He doesn’t like toys (and never has). He doesn’t like fancy dress. He doesn’t like crafts or baking. And he will not (never ever) sit and play on his own.
He likes people. In fact, he loves people. He loves playing with his friends. He loves playing tag, wrestling, racing, hide and seek, games, on the swings, at friends houses. Basically he loves all the things that have been a giant No-No during lockdown.
So, unless I wanted to spend all day, every day of lockdown playing tag (hint… I did not), then I had to start thinking creatively to keep my firecracker of a boy from driving us all completely mad.
Luckily he had a birthday at the beginning of lockdown, so I could justify spending some dosh on entertaining him.
And here are my top 5 things I bought that have made all the difference to us over the last 2 months.
1. Join the Dot Books – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1641523808/?tag=hazelfat-21
I never thought my son would sit still. Ever. But enter Join the Dot books. I don’t know if it’s the (very, very, VERY) competitive side of him that enjoyed having something to complete, or whether they are just some kind of strange magic, but these marvellous invention kept him entertained QUIETLY AND ON HIS OWN for a good 30-40 minutes. A record for my little chatter box.
Our favourite was the Dot to Dot Activities for Learning (link above) because it’s a mixture of follow the letters and follow the numbers… so they sneakily learn something too.
2. A Tablet – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B078HRR9MW/?tag=hazelfat-21
Pregnant Hazel would be horrified over this one. I always swore, before I had children, that I wouldn’t buy my children their own electronics until they were teenagers. But guess what… children’s tablets are awesome.
We got him a Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet (link above) and it’s amazing. You have complete control. You can set time limits, age limits, educational goals and so much more. He only has it for a small amount of time each day while his sister has her nap, but he loves it. And I mean LOVES.
He interacts, plays educational games, watches educational programmes and again sneakily learns something, while getting his much needed down time. I’m a complete convert.
3. Dinosaur (bloody) Bingo – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1786272415/?tag=hazelfat-21
This is what my partner in crime and I now call it… as we have played Dinosaur Bingo 70 gazillions times during lockdown. And then some.
It is exactly as it sounds. Bingo with dinosaurs (all with ridiculously hard to pronounce names). There’s also Dog Bingo, Bird Bingo, Ocean Bingo, you bloody name it bingo. But it’s easy to play, somewhat educational and keeps them sat still for a good amount of time. Bingo!!!!
4. Disco Lights – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07DWPDV74/?tag=hazelfat-21
Seriously! These have saved me from a looooong lockdown afternoon so many times. I actually bought them as a bit of fun for my partner in crimes 40th (which was also during lockdown, poor bugger), but both children love them.
We’ve had so many noisy discos, I swear our neighbours must think we are flouting lockdown rules.
5. A Giant Cardboard Box
Ok, I technically didn’t buy this for him. We bought a new mattress just before lockdown started. And it came in the most fun-filled, entertaining, lifesaving wrapping ever – a giant cardboard box.
We used it for den making, a scoot ramp, a slide and even ate lunch lying in it! Well, the children did anyway. We got a solid 3 weeks entertainment out of it. And I honestly think I would have paid good money for it. It was absolutely brilliant.
So there you go. Not the cheapest of lists but well worth it in our household and I’d highly recommend each of them. Especially the cardboard box!