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 tickly_rain

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

 

RPA hospital contacting mums after discovering vaccine storage fault

Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) is trying to contact women who had babies at the facility after discovering a fault in a refrigerator containing vaccines.

'Nutella' not a baby name, French court says

A French court has blocked parents from naming their baby girl after the hazelnut spread Nutella, arguing it would make her the target of mockery.

Why I'm never calling myself 'just a mum' again

I’ve grown three human beings. I feed them, dress them, teach them, care for them and love them 24 hours a day. Yet for eight years, when I meet new people and they’ve asked me what I do, I tell them: “I’m just a mum”.

Rosie Batty named 2015 Australian of the Year

One year ago, Rosie Batty could not have imagined she'd be where she is. Tonight the grieving mum who put domestic violence on the national agenda was named Australian of the Year.

Five reasons to hug more

Hugging – some of us thrive on it, even depend on it – and then there are those who don't care for it really. So, are they missing out?

Help - my three-year-old has started throwing tantrums

My daughter never went through the "terrible twos" but began throwing wild tantrums shortly after her third birthday.

That's commitment

First peek at Sonia Kruger's daughter Maggie

"She smells so good, I could eat her," Kruger tells co-host David Campbell.

Mum assists in own caesarean surgery

A mum who partly delivered her own twins during a caesarean has encouraged other women to take control of their birthing experience.

How to handle common childhood regressions

Regression can be a natural and common part of development prompted by a variety of factors, but that doesn't make it less frustrating.

Disgruntled dad's pram ad goes viral

When buying a second hand pram, there are lots of things to take into consideration. 

Man discovers he's a dad after finding 55-year-old letter

Discovering you are about to father a baby is startling enough - never mind finding out you have a 61-year-old son.

15 thoughts mums have during a tantrum

Ranging from mild to feral and triggered by events both minor and major, tantrums certainly keep life interesting.

Natural pain relief in the early stages of labour

While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.

Forgotten Baby Syndrome claims the life of toddler

One baby dies every eight days in the back of a car in the US, victims of 'forgotten baby syndrome'.

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel. You stole my heart, and changed me into the women I am today.

Chrissie Swan has reached her "sex quota"

Chrissie Swan says she and her partner have sex once a year due to her fear of falling pregnant.

Chinese woman gives birth to quintuplets

After six years of trying for a baby, a couple’s dreams have come true many times over after the mum gave birth to quintuplets this week.

Five-year-old shoots nine-month-old brother dead

A nine-month-old baby boy died on Monday after he was shot in the head by his five-year-old brother in their grandfather's home.

'Is that baby yours?'

She is my daughter. I gave birth to her. I nurse her. But she doesn't have any of my genes.

Episiotomy in childbirth: not just 'a little snip'

Episiotomies have a place in maternity care – and can occasionally save lives – but should not be performed routinely.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Stars help save choking babies

It's an important lesson to learn, but one that busy new mums and dads might overlook until it's too late.

New Girl star Zooey Deschanel pregnant

Actress Zooey Deschanel is expecting her first child with her producer boyfriend Jacob Pechenik.

16 times 'dad reflexes' saved the day

Of course, in some cases they may be the ones who actually got their child into a precarious position in the first place, but we'll ignore that for now.

Couple's 'non-traditional' pregnancy announcement goes viral

Knowing you are not the father of your pregnant wife's baby would usually indicate a rocky relationship ahead for traditional parents.

The trials and tribulations of identical triplet newborns

Pip Donnelly is still playing spot the difference with her newborn identical triplets, Isabelle, Georgina and Frankie.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Earthquake baby thriving five years on

Jenny Alexis is lucky to be alive after spending four days buried in the rubble of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, but now she's a thriving five year old.

Please don't say I'm lucky because I was adopted

On the one hand I was having a regular life with friends and sports and sleepovers and school. But I was also always wondering: Did my mother love me? What was wrong with me?

An open letter to non-parents who offer advice on child-rearing

Kitty, when you’re the parent of my child you’re welcome to wade in with an opinion – but until then, I’d prefer you to have a supportive ear and a glass of wine ready.

Couple arrested over baby gun video

A US couple faces charges after investigators say they found mobile phone videos showing the woman's 12-month-old daughter putting a handgun in her mouth.

NSW Health dumps 10-year limit on frozen embryos

A 10-year time limit on storing frozen embryos that were created with donor sperm has been dropped by the NSW government.

How my happy-go-lucky husband became a monster

Sharan Nicholson-Rogers watched her husband change from a happy-go-lucky police officer into an unpredictable man prone to violent and emotional outbursts.

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes, too

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes in line with their pregnant partners, a new study shows.

'They were just doing their job': mum of toddler killed in police chase gone wrong

"They were just doing their job. I feel so sorry for them. It is all just too sad."

Miscarriages to be formally recognised by NSW government

Women who miscarry will be able to obtain an optional "recognition of loss" certificate as a formal recognition of their often heartbreaking loss.

Cafe cubby house 'too noisy' for neighbours

Teenage parties, domestic disputes, or raucous late night pubs are the things that usually come to mind when you think neighbourhood noise complaints.

Dad films baby playing with snake

Most parents would not consider a snake an appropriate playmate for their baby, but a US dad who filmed his daughter playing with a python has defended himself against criticism.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Back to School Offer

Findababysitter.com.au

We've got you covered for this school year. Use www.findababysitter.com.au to meet local nannies 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.