Jump to content

Help- what do I do with six children under 7 tomorrow? update, thanks everyone!


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 deejie

Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:06 PM

It's the school holidays and I have been helping to look after a friend's children (one aged 7 and one aged 10 months) while she works (her 10 month old doesn't start his child care place until February but she was forced back a bit earlier than planned). Added to that, I have my own two, DS1 aged 3 and DS2 aged 13 months.

Tomorrow I also (crazily?) volunteered to help out a good friend who has a work training day and couldn't get the extra child care day (unless someone in the room is sick) for her two children aged 3 and 4.

So I will have-
A seven year old
A four year old
Two 3 year olds
A 13 month old
A ten month old

I will have all six between 830am until approximately 2pm, when the 3 and 4 year olds are picked up. I have a big house, a court yard (no back yard), but access to a big stretch of public park right at my front door. Not fenced, but on a very quiet cul de sac.

I am starting to get nervous though. What was I thinking? My friends are packing their lunch and snacks, so I don't have to worry about that... and they are both so grateful they have both said they don't care if they watch TV all day   wink.gif  but what do I do with that many children..... help me EB!

Edited by deejie, 15 January 2013 - 07:29 PM.


#2 EsmeLennox

Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:14 PM

Water play in the courtyard? A few buckets and containers of water, squirty toys if you have some.

Drawing,, make a big batch of play dough, let them draw on the path outside with chalk, make cornflour goop (outside!). A play in the park.

Blocks and toys that you have will probably keep them amused too. I would definitely be utilising the TV, a movie for a 'rest' in the afternoon would be a great idea. Also, ask the 7 year old to help you with the littler ones, they should be quite capable of organising an imaginary game for the 3 and 4 year olds.

You will probably be surprised at how smoothly it will go.


#3 KT1978

Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:23 PM

Maybe ask the friends to do a plate of finger foods fruits and sandwiches rather than individual lunches so you can jus let them help themselves outside. Have plastic cups and a jug of drink ready too so you don't need to get kids drinks.

Make the seven year old play teachers with the littler ones.

Chalk and outside toys sound good too.

#4 Coffeegirl

Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:24 PM

Jesmstar has beaten me to some ideas.

But personally I'd leave the park for another day.  That many littlies in an unfenced area (even if quiet) would freak me out!

Definitely get the 7 year old to assist.  Especially when you are distracted with a nappy change or feeod prep.

Some other ideas.

Get some paint brushes and have them 'paint' the outside of the house or fence with water.
Craft ideas?  Have them make things for their parents?  




#5 katiebear26

Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:40 PM

would it be possible to run a hose and sprinkler into the park right at your house? maybe borrow a neighbour's sprinkler? if it's hot running through it (even in own clothes - they dry off!) is heaps of fun for littlies.

make musical instruments out of plastic bottles and pasta?

other than that, plenty of colouring in, maybe acting out one of their books or a fairy tale, dress ups etc. Ask the parents to send along stuff that will help you - books, dvd, dress up clothes etc.


#6 Mrs Dinosaurus

Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:48 PM

Sms me and ask me to come over to help wink.gif

I just have T tomorrow so can come over for a few hours if you like.

With the little ones naps and the amount of food that many kids will want to eat it will go quickly, the 7yo will love having little kids to boss around and visa versa original.gif

#7 Mose

Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:56 PM

You glory in the admiration of the EB community!  Not sure how that will help with the kids but!

PPs have offered some great suggestions, and having found myself in similar positions in the past, I can say for you it will go quickly.  Between nappy changes, toilet trips and snacks...you will be run off your feet, but the time will go quickly.

My one piece of advice is to have them in one area of the house that has plenty of things to do (toys/books accessible) so when you are occupied with say a nappy change, you don't spend the next 5 minutes finding 5 other kids all over the house and what they have been up to!  Obviously the better child proofed this space is, the less opportunities for destructive behaviour (intentional or otherwise).

And don't be too disappointed in yourself if the TV option ends up being the go!

Good luck!

#8 niggles

Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:05 PM

That's a pretty normal number of kids in my family - though two babies will certainly add an extra layer of 'fun'.

My strategy is to have the house organised with stations of things for them to do in various places. A basket of baby toys on the mat, older kids toys and lego set out in the bedroom. Crafts laid out on the dining table (with a packet of wipes nearby for the inevitable messes) with puzzles and games in a stack at one end for a change of scene.

I try to engage the older kids in something soon after they arrive so I can leave them to it for a while. Then check on the littlies and get started on a snack. Bring them together for that to kill some time - picnic blanket outside if weather permits makes clean up easier.

Pop on a movie in the heat of the day or while you need some quiet to get babies off to sleep. Alternatively get the older kids to play 'schools' with the younger ones in a bedroom, so they can read stories 'quietly' together.

The park is good to blow off some steam later in the day after babies wake up. Though sometimes it's more trouble than it's worth because of the inevitable "I need to go to the toilet' that comes with that many kids in one place.

Good luck to you. The first time is always the hardest and then you realise that 5 is a critical mass and any more than that makes no big difference.

#9 JRA

Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:06 PM

Easy - RUN AWAY

#10 gizboo

Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:26 PM

I had 7 under 6 today (4 are mine wink.gif ), they pretty much occupied themselves in the morning running amok, we had fruit & pikelets for morning tea which they helped me mix up. They ALL had to help me clean up the toys before we had lunch.
We had a picnic lunch on the picnic rug in the loungeroom and then watched a movie during quiet time while the two little ones had nap. The day flew by, you can do it! original.gif

#11 Freddie'sMum

Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:11 PM

You are a brave, brave woman OP.

Lots of PPs have had great suggestions.

What about playdoh / bubbles / chalk / art and craft - anything that gets the bigger ones sitting down and drawing / colouring / - a basket of toys for the babies to dribble on and put in their mouths.

Cut up fruit / food and put it all on plastic plates - (do any of the kids have allergies??) so the bigger ones can just help themselves.

I personally wouldn't take them all to a park unless it was fenced - but you know your area much better than me.

Again, you are a brave, brave woman - good luck !!


#12 Two Socks

Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:19 PM

I wouldn't be doing the park, but there are plenty of great ideas here.  You could get them to make the uncooked version of play dough (doesn't last as long, but would get them involved from the beginning of the process).

They could decorate/collage their own placemat for lunch or if you want something less formal for the older ones, throw a sheet over a table or couple of chairs to make a cubby for lunch.

I generally find children who come visiting are so happy exploring the different toys and games that I don't need to do much "formal" organising.

Good luck!

#13 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:28 PM

Create a "play School'. Older kids are the presenters, and help run the ideas for the littlies. Can be hysterically funny, because they can be Justine, or Jay, or Karen or Teo, or Big Ted, or Little Ted.... tell stories, tell time, make pictures, make masks, do all sorts of things.

And if the big kids are 'leading', the little kids will lap it up.

#14 Lyra

Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:42 PM

* Grab a whole heap of plastic toys right now and pop them in a big container of water and freeze it. The kids will have fun tomorrow as the water unfreezes and reveals all the animals.

* a huge container of water with lots of washing up liquid in it. Get the kids to wash dolls, toys, plastic plates etc etc

* Do you have big pieces of paper or cardboard? Trace around a child and get the others to decorate the inside. Also works in chalk outside

* lots of boxes, sticky tape and glue. Let them have it!

* are you up for cooking something together?

failing that: hit the valium around about 2 wink.gif



#15 ♥~Bodhichitta~♥

Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:43 PM

QUOTE (Freddie'sMum @ 14/01/2013, 07:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You are a brave, brave woman OP.


Yep, I am in awe.  I'm hyperventilating just at the thought  happy.gif

I have no suggestions, but wanted to say good luck!  And you are a great friend for people all these people out  wub.gif

#16 Lyra

Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:48 PM

Has anyone mentioned playdoh yet? If you don't have any you could always make some up.

Also, google colouring in sheets. Get them to colour in or decorate

You might also find being at a new house, new and different toys will be new and interesting and keep them amused (well, you'd think that wink.gif )

#17 JustBeige

Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:58 PM

Me? I would hide under the doona and cry.



You?  You are all awesome helping out that many people biggrin.gif


TBH, I would have lots of craft stuff laying around.  Outside chalk drawing is a great idea.

Playpens or portable cot set up for the babys so they can play without being lumbered over by the 3 and 4yr olds.  Plus you have somewhere to ditch them if you hear that freaky silent sound and have to run for your life to stop them from whatever mischief they are neck deep in laughing2.gif

Have fun and wine oclock will be defintely early tomorrow night!

#18 What'sNext??

Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:23 PM

It will be busy! I did it last holidays with 3 kids for a sleepover and stay for the day along with my 4.

Have a constant supply of food- the less preparation needed the better- fruit, finger sandwiches, cheese & crackers, etc.  drink bottles would also save a lot of time!

One thing we did do was chalk drawing out the front.  They were pretty excited about coloring in bricks multi-coloured, colouring on trees, etc. we did it in the morning and whilst we were in the midst of it I had the great idea of shadow drawing- the older kids (2 7 year olds) and I drew chalk shadow outlines as well as foot outlines of everyone who wanted one. It then became an ongoing activity to go and check what happened to the shadow as the sun moved.  

We also set up a cubby house using a queen sized sheet with picnic blanket on the ground underneath. They loved that.

Mostly they just played together, luckily really, as I was flat out keeping up with the food and drink requests and looking after my baby.

Good luck- it will be crazy, but hopefully fun!

#19 whatnamenow

Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:23 PM

Relax..  i have 10 children every mon-Fri every day of the school holidays.  The key is planning.

Split the day up, As PP have said put a movie on with some blankets and pillows on the floor after lunch, the younger once can sleep and the older ones can rest.

Spray bottles are fun,  I always have a stash of spray bottles full of water for the kids to run around for a 'water fight'  they get a mist of water that cools them but dries quickly and have a blast chasing each other.

Strip em off with some non toxic paint and huge sheets of butchers paper and let them body paint. ( do this outside!!  then have fun hosing off.

Create paper dolls then create your own puppet show.  or just create your own play.

The big secret is that more kids does get louder.  But it also gets easier. I would rather look after 15 kids then 1.  15 kids play together and everyone can find a friend.  1 or 2 they are stuck with you and each other.

#20 imamumto3

Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:28 PM

make a big batch of biscuit dough and give all the kids cookie cutters and a ball of dough.  when the smaller ones are having a nap, the older ones could decorate them.

blow up some balloons and put on music so the kids can dance and toss the balloons around.

bubble blowing outside.

#21 whatnamenow

Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:28 PM

Relax..  i have 10 children every mon-Fri every day of the school holidays.  The key is planning.

Split the day up, As PP have said put a movie on with some blankets and pillows on the floor after lunch, the younger once can sleep and the older ones can rest.

Spray bottles are fun,  I always have a stash of spray bottles full of water for the kids to run around for a 'water fight'  they get a mist of water that cools them but dries quickly and have a blast chasing each other.

Strip em off with some non toxic paint and huge sheets of butchers paper and let them body paint. ( do this outside!!  then have fun hosing off.

Create paper dolls then create your own puppet show.  or just create your own play.

The big secret is that more kids does get louder.  But it also gets easier. I would rather look after 15 kids then 1.  15 kids play together and everyone can find a friend.  1 or 2 they are stuck with you and each other.

#22 *melrose*

Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:46 PM

Go hide, and don't come out  laughing2.gif

#23 Lyra

Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:59 PM

How did you go? I've been thinking of you today

#24 luke's mummu

Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:40 PM

How did it go? I've been thinking of you as I tried to keep my 2 occupied today!

#25 Natttmumm

Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:46 PM

Oh my your wonderwoman. Great suggestions in the replies. I have 2 and i think its hard. Im not complaining again




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Win a Mountain Buggy Swift

To celebrate Essential Baby reaching half a million Facebook fans, we have a Mountain Buggy Swift to giveaway to a lucky fan.

Shopping with kids: breaking the pester-power cycle

You're out shopping with your little one and they're incessantly whining that they want a treat. It's easy to say no ... the first time, at least.

eBay jacket may hold clue to murdered girl's identity

A jacket similar to the one found with the remains of a brutally murdered little girl in South Australia has been identified on eBay.

New mum forced back to work early due to paid parental leave 'technicality'

Shelley Parker had to keep driving buses until the date her baby was due and will have to rush back to work at the end of this week after being denied paid parental leave on a "technicality".

Pregnant Amanda Palmer poses naked for book drive

It has to be the most original way ever of promoting a children's book donation day.

The conception dilemma facing many parents today

Some parents who conceived through a sperm donor will be wary of telling the child, while others prefer to deal with it early on. But recent research suggests it makes little difference either way.

The wedding photo the bridesmaid would rather forget

We've probably all seen a passed-out bridesmaid at one wedding or another, but it usually happens towards the end of the night.

Pregnant TV meteorologist takes on haters

Pregnant TV meteorologist Katie Fehlinger has hit back at haters who called her a "sausage in casing".

Honest words from first-time mums

I didn't want to say anything negative to my pregnant friend, but I wish I'd been more honest.

Adorable baby experiences rain for the first time, couldn't be happier

Harper had seen rain from the comfort of indoors before, but had never had the pleasure of being outside and experiencing it first hand.

What it's really like to start a family in your fifties

Many people suppose that it must be much more tiring to have a baby in middle age, but all the mothers in the playground look exhausted, whatever their age.

'Biggest hypocrite ever': Josh Duggar admits to Ashley Madison account

An American reality TV star has been busted with a cheating website account, according to US media.

Long recovery ahead for girl hit by car weeks after baby brother's death

A little girl is more alert and starting to talk after being hit by a car a week ago, but still faces a long recovery.

How to react when a toddler lies

Q: My almost-3-year-old is starting to figure out that he can lie when asked if he ripped the book, threw the food, hit his brother, etc. Totally normal, I know. How do we respond?

The circular experience of a Centrelink client

A mum-to-be experiences the frustration of dealing with Centrelink, myGov and everything in between.

Kelly Clarkson announces live on stage: 'I'm pregnant!'

Singer Kelly Clarkson has announced she is pregnant with her second child during a concert in Los Angeles.

Hack

How to search the leaked Ashley Madison data

At least three sites are republishing Ashley Madison's user data on the public-facing internet.

Mum dances her way through labour

There are a fair few ways to distract yourself and beat pains while in labour, but it's probably a rare woman who chooses her dance her way through it.

'Rest in peace, my little lion': premmie baby Jacob passes away

Baby Jacob, whose photo of him born at just 27 weeks was deemed 'too graphic' for a fundraising site, has died.

Mum killed three young sons 'to help her daughter', prosecutor says

Niall Pilkington's death last summer apparently raised little alarm in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Tragic accidents happen, after all.

Shorter women have shorter pregnancies: study

When a group of researchers studied nearly 3500 mothers and their babies, they noticed a curious pattern.

Get your FREE Baby & Toddler Show ticket!

Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

The worst 20 minutes of my life

Thirty seconds was all it took to turn a shopping trip into my worst nightmare.

Top baby names for England and Wales in 2014

George has overtaken William in the official rankings of most popular British baby names - and Game of Thrones is still having an impact on parents.

Baseball or baby? Dad's tough choice

What's more important, a baby or a baseball? That's a question this dad seems to struggle with.

Childbirth choices: five star or free?

It's not often you hear the words labour and luxury in the same sentence but for some, a 5-star start to parenthood is exactly what they seek. And with a number of private hospitals now offering packages which include a post-birth stay at a sumptuous first class resort, many mums are choosing to recover in style.

'Where did your boobies go, Mummy?' and other soul-destroying comments from kids

Most women carry a smidge of baby weight after giving birth. If you're lucky enough to have an older child in the house, they can keep you on track with your weight loss goals.

Do you read me, baby?

Is it too soon to be reading to my two-month-old son? If not, what should I read?

Minimising sibling rivalry when you've got a baby

Sibling rivalry is an act of competition, but if your children feel involved and special, this type of jealousy will be minimised.

Will studying on maternity leave take you away from your most important job?

I remember when I was trying to decide if I could combine motherhood and furthering my university education.

Win a Pacapod this Father's Day

To celebrate dads and families, we are giving away a Picos Pack from Pacapod Australia filled with a few extra goodies ENTER NOW

Preschooler hit by car shortly after baby brother's death

A mother has had a frantic race to the hospital after her daughter was hit by a car, just four weeks after her infant son died.

Gay couple and Thai surrogate in custody tug-of-war

A six-month-old baby girl is trapped in the Thai capital in a bitter custody wrangle between her Thai surrogate mother and her biological father.

Couple denied IVF over parenting concerns

A mother of six has been denied access to IVF treatment in order to have another child over concerns about her parenting skills.

The book that promises to put your children to sleep

Exhausted parents from around the world are singing the praises of a "miracle" book which promises to put even the most restless child to sleep in just minutes.

5 things every parent who feels guilty needs to know

Parenthood can make you feel bad, but you're not alone.

Royals criticise 'dangerous' attempts to photograph Prince George

The British royal family criticized paparazzi on Friday for what it called their increasingly dangerous attempts to photograph young Prince George.

'No jab, no play' rule to cover Victorian kindergartens and childcare centres

"Anti-vaxxers" face not being able to send their children to childcare centres or kindergarten if they refuse to have them immunised.

15,000 birthing kits on their way to developing countries

Giving birth in a hospital surrounded by medical experts is tough enough, but some women deliver babies without a clean sheet to lie on.

Photo of premmie 'too graphic', fundraising site says

When their son Jacob was born at just 27 weeks, Christina and Jeff Hinks were thrown into an uncertain world.

The latest Bugaboo collections: cool chevron and runner prams

Bugaboo sure likes to keep things fresh, and with the Australian spring/summer season coming up, there are two new Bugaboo pram releases.

Making room for two in the bed

Mum's room or their own room? Cot or bassinets? Deciding where twins will sleep can be tricky.

 

FREE TICKET

See Hi-5 LIVE in Sydney!

Get your free ticket to The Essential Baby & Toddler Show and save $20 - register online now!

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.