… says the magician from Frosty the Snowman, Professor Hinkle.

Says we, the parents of very active kids.  Here are some things we do to keep them busy and organized on the weekends.  Variety, newness and structure are key.  Inadvertently slip into unstructured play time and and you’ll soon find yourself pulling dvd’s out of the chandelier and asking rhetorical questions like Why are you standing in the sink and Why are all 16 puzzles mixed up on the floor?

Saturday AND Sunday mornings

Cartoon watching starts around 6am. (from the bottom of my sandy eyelids I worship and thank you, cable television)

Jim makes pancakes and eggs as witnessed by the bountiful array of dirty dishes, pots, pans, drips and schmears as far as the eye can behold.

If I’m not on FlyLady time, then scummy floor maintenance, laundry, and repetitive pick up activities.

Out of the house by 9 or 10am.  Sometimes our back yard.   I’ve been getting lots of great backyard art activity ideas from Play at Home Moms.

Colored rice with Grannie

Playing with shaving cream and colors – Clifton

Sometimes one of the parks in our neighborhood.  Art likes to do my pre-park speech now:  “No running away; when it’s time to go, it’s time to go.”

  • Peters Playspot – walking distance to our house, bring balls and bikes and then fight over them
  • Danneel Park – two-parent park as it is so spread out and higher than other parks
  • Wisner Park – almost perfect size and variety, also can bring Bucky (4th needy man-child in house)
  • Washington Square –  lots of good shade and usually run into someone we know here.

Home by noon for lunch (ask Art what it’s going to be:  hot dogs, carrots and apple sauce)

Wrestlemania – aka naptime struggle from 12:30 – 1:30  (for night time we let them work it out on their own, but naps are critical to the rest of the day’s happiness to let it go to chance)

1:30-2:30 – sweetness sleepytime snuggle boys – continue to nap with me in recliner, watch non-kid tv, read, play with toys

3:00 – 6:00 – Get out of the house again!  Lots of options in our fabulous city

  • Children’s Museum (“shopping park”) – totally worth the membership – different favorite activity every time we go.  I love seeing how they learn and what they’re interested in.
  • Zoo – totally worth the membership and we haven’t even gone to the aquarium & insectarium yet
  • Children’s Wading Pool in front of zoo – free!  (“swimming in the ribber”)
  • Monkey Room – should get a membership here – good for 1.5 hours plus a few snacks
  • Parenting Center (boo hoo – grew too old for this wonderful play area)
  • Library, Children’s Resource Center – only last 15 minutes here, but it’s up from 10!
  • City Park – Story book Land ($3), or mad chaotic playground with one contraption that you have to sprint half a mile around to catch your child dangling from the bars.  Also, don’t look away or attempt a conversation because there’s a big lake.  with ducks.

Dinner out!  Picnic at the fly or restaurant one night a week, only these places

  • Chick Filet in Metairie – clean play area and good food
  • Piccadilly on Jefferson Hwy – strap them into the high chairs on wheels and roll them down the middle aisle away from the food selections.  In the oncoming traffic pretty much.  Get help bringing cornucopia to table and get things you like to eat too.
  • Dat Dog on Freret Street – the new location is so loud nobody notices the screaming kids
  • To go!  Cafe Nino on Carrollton (aka Portion Control Problems), Ted’s FrostTop on Claiborne, Reginelli’s pizza on State Street, one time Greg brought us sushi but I think he was scarred by the experience as he hasn’t offered again.

bath

books

bed

….. for everyone.

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