I was once someone that believed I could just have a bunch of kids over and they’d play, keeping each other company and happy. But I quickly discovered that can be quite mad for the parents. It doesn’t have to be much, but a little structure goes a long way when you have a bigger group around. It’s really for the parent’s sanity more than anything. And I do think (hope?) this is something you need less and less of as the kids get older – or at least the need to monitor the kids decreases.
For this weekend I am taking a cue from Remy’s preschool class – which I tell you is a gold mine for activities, always take note of their activities at school! They’re the pros, people. The teachers had parents bring in recyclables over a week or so, and then the kids were able to use them to build inventions. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to do that?!
I always have a ton of recyclables (just need to clean them!), and will add tape, pipe cleaners, etc to the mix. Just throw together an invention box. I also suggest poking holes in the materials prior to letting the kids at it, this way they aren’t asking for scissors or other sharp objects. This weekend the kids range from 2 to 10, so some of them just aren’t ready for that. With pre-cut holes they can use pipe cleaners to attach things together. I imagine the 2 year olds will play with some of the materials, while the older kids might actually build something fun!
We’ll also have a beanbag toss lawn game and other assorted yard toys that we already have in a big bin. And of course there are a bazillion toys in the house that will be strewn about by the end of the evening. Between all that and eating, I think we’re set for a while.
For the parents, I’d say a good activity is sitting down, with a cold drink, and having a conversation. If I can deliver that for 5 straight minutes, I think I’ve won.