Life in Lape Haven

Author - Kishona

The Pros and Cons of Mom Failure {Mom Life Series}

Mom Life Series: The Pros and Cons of Mom Failure. Day 2 of the Mom Life Series features a post by Denise Renae with advice for what to do when you fail as a mom.
All this week, I’m sharing my blog space with 4 very dear blogging friends who also write to inspire and encourage moms. Together we are bringing you a special 5-blogger collaborative series all about life as a mom. It’s aptly named the Mom Life Series. 🙂

What I've Learned About My Wife's Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom, Told by a Dad at Home Unexpectedly: My husband thought he knew what my days as a stay at home mom looked like - cleaning and taking care of our children. However, when he unexpectedly found himself with time "off," he got a front row seat to my everyday and a new understanding and appreciation for life as a stay at home parent.


Mom Life Series: The Pros and Cons of Mom Failure. Day 2 of the Mom Life Series features a post by Denise Renae with advice for what to do when you fail as a mom.Today’s Mom Life Series post is from Denise Renae. She has some great advice for what to do when you fail as a mom. I hope you are encouraged and inspired as you read!

 

The Pros and Cons of Mom Failure

Mom failure is a typical area where we can critique ourselves too hard on those mistakes or we can choose to grow and learn from them. They can lead us into a trap of condemnation and guilt or we can allow failure to lead us to become a better person.

“Failures are part of life. If you don’t fail, you don’t learn. If you don’t learn, you’ll never change.”

-Author unknown

There are pros and cons in dealing with mom failure. It all depends on how each mom handles that failure within her thoughts and actions.

Check out the pros and cons listed below and see for yourself how you deal with mom failure.

—> Click here to continue reading “The Pros and Cons of Mom Failure” at Denise Renae

 

Make sure to catch each day of this special series.

Day 1: 6 Powerful Ways to Be Christ-Centered Every Day by Laura of Fantastically Four

Day 3: The One and Only Parenting Book You’ll Ever Need by Kristina of Messy Tire Love

Day 4: What I’ve Learned About My Wife’s Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom, Told By a Dad at Home Unexpectedly by Me 🙂

Day 5: 5 Lessons for Motherhood from History’s Only Perfect Teacher by Lisa Mullen, The Merry Momma


 

Get more ideas & encouragement from this real-life mom as I experience God’s faithfulness through the joy and chaos of motherhood.
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6 Powerful Ways to Be Christ-Centered Every Day {Mom Life Series}

Mom Life: 6 Powerful Ways to Be Christ-Centered Every Day. Day 1 of the Mom Life Series features a post by Laura of Fantastically Four.
All this week, I’ll be sharing my blog space with 4 very dear blogging friends who also write to inspire and encourage moms. Together we are bringing you a special 5-blogger collaborative series all about life as a mom. It’s aptly named the Mom Life Series. 🙂

What I've Learned About My Wife's Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom, Told by a Dad at Home Unexpectedly: My husband thought he knew what my days as a stay at home mom looked like - cleaning and taking care of our children. However, when he unexpectedly found himself with time "off," he got a front row seat to my everyday and a new understanding and appreciation for life as a stay at home parent.


Mom Life: 6 Powerful Ways to Be Christ-Centered Every Day. Day 1 of the Mom Life Series features a post by Laura of Fantastically Four.

Today’s Mom Life Series post is from Laura of Fantastically Four. She’s sharing about “6 Powerful Ways to Be Christ-Centered Every Day.” I hope you are encouraged and inspired as you read!

 

6 Powerful Ways to Be Christ-Centered Every Day

Hi, I’m Laura, and I have focus issues.

Here’s a fuller picture: I’m a stay-at-home mom, a work-at-home mom, and a mom of two (ages 5 and 2). Need I say more? Well, I will anyway.

Sometimes what seems like the simplest things are really the most difficult to do. I’m a Christian who has had a relationship with God since I was 12, but I don’t spend every moment of my day in tune with God.

*gasp!*

No matter what’s happening today, I should act and speak in Jesus’ name, and I should be constantly giving thanks to Him. I’m not writing this to be hard on myself, but to let you all know that it’s okay to admit to the truth: living out our faith is challenging.

Every day, I want walk in Jesus’ footsteps, taking up the cross of my sins and imperfections (Luke 9:23). Daily, I want to be transformed the way God intends (Romans 12:12).

So how does a busy mom go about it? What does having a Christ-centered home and spirit really look like?

—> Click here to continue reading “6 Powerful Ways to be Christ-Centered Every Day”

 

Make sure to catch each day of this special series.

Day 2: The Pros and Cons of Mom Failure by Denise Renae

Day 3: The One and Only Parenting Book You’ll Ever Need by Kristina of Messy Tire Love

Day 4: What I’ve Learned About My Wife’s Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom, Told By a Dad at Home Unexpectedly by Me 🙂

Day 5: 5 Lessons for Motherhood from History’s Only Perfect Teacher by Lisa Mullen, The Merry Momma


 

Get more ideas & encouragement from this real-life mom as I experience God’s faithfulness through the joy and chaos of motherhood.
Join my email list!  

 

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How to Find Your Quiet Moments When Life Is LOUD

3 Things I Know About Becoming a Mother

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How God Can Use Your Faithfulness in Motherhood

How God Can Use Your Faithfulness in Motherhood: Faithfulness in motherhood is almost cliche - but it's a cliche because it's true. You can't be a mom (or dad) only occasionally. But if we're faithful, God can use our everyday moments of motherhood to leave an eternal impact on our children & open a door for Him to reach their hearts.

Recently I was asked to share with other moms about one time that God used faithfulness (one of the Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23) in my life as a wife and mother.

But as I thought about it, I had a hard time pinpointing “one time.”

Because faithfulness by its very definition is not a one-time thing.

It is constantly, consistently doing whatever God has given us to do, and doing it the best we can, through Him, and trusting in Him (being full of faith in Him) to do what we can’t.

Of course, faithfulness in motherhood is almost cliché, you know, “a mother’s work is never done.” But it’s a cliché because it’s true.

You can’t be a mom – or a dad – just occasionally. Somebody has to be there to get up with our 1-year-old at 4 a.m….again. Or help the 7-year-old with homework. Or get another BandAid for our daredevil of a 5-year-old.  There are stories to be read at nap time and bedtime, dinner to be made, and laundry to be done. Always laundry to be done.

But being a mom is more than just keeping them alive, fed, and clothed. Motherhood has an eternal impact.

How God Can Use Your Faithfulness in Motherhood: Faithfulness in motherhood is almost cliche - but it's a cliche because it's true. You can't be a mom (or dad) only occasionally. However, when we are faithful in our motherhood calling, God can use it to make an eternal impact on our children and open a door for Him to reach their hearts.

I have three boys, my three little “talents” (Matthew 25) that God has given me to invest in, to train, to teach, and to pour into. I have to be faithful with how I use the time I have with them because someday I’ll have to say, “God, here’s what I’ve done with these gifts – these children- You’ve given me.”

Did I push them off to the side in the busyness of life? Or did I faithfully plant seeds, live an example, and show them how to follow God?

Did I show up when it was hard and when it was fun, when I was tired and that one time I was well-rested, when they were cranky and when they were adorable?

Faithfulness can be hard not only because it requires us to keep at whatever we’ve put our hand to, even and especially when it is difficult, but also because the results are not usually instantaneous. This is why we are reminded to not grow “weary in well-doing: for in due season we will reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9)

And yet God is gracious, and sometimes we get glimpses of the fruit of our faithfulness. And it is sweet, indeed.

For example, in our home, one thing my husband and I have made a priority to be faithful in is nightly Bible and prayer time as a family.  With three young boys, these aren’t long, drawn out, deep discussions on theological ponderings or extensive intercessory prayer meetings. We read from one of our boys’ “children’s” Bibles, talk a little bit about it, and then each of our older two boys pray for things like their family, a friend’s dog, and no bad dreams. 😉


Even still, there are nights when they have trouble sitting still or focusing, even for a few minutes. Nights when their silliness and goofing off are maxing out. There are nights when I really just want them to GO TO SLEEP because it’s been one of THOSE days. Or nights that are later than we’d like, and we’re all tired.

However, by making that time important, we’re already seeing the rewards of that simple faithfulness. We have boys who love God, who are excited about reading the Bible, who love going to church, and who want to pray with us. (Josiah even gets upset sometimes if someone prays before him!)

And most importantly, Elijah and Josiah have both already made decisions to follow Jesus.

It’s not because we’re perfect parents…not by a long shot.

My faithfulness in loving my boys, training and teaching them, leading them to Jesus – it only comes from my faithfulness in being in God’s presence, in prayer, in the Word. In letting His faithfulness inspire me to be more faithful.

Even there, I fail. There have been days when I haven’t prayed or read the Bible – more likely days where I’ve fallen asleep trying to. 🙂

But I keep trying…faithfully as possible.

And I’m trusting Him with the fruits. Because while I can make my boys behave sometimes with a look or a correction, and I can read a Bible story with enthusiasm and flair, I can’t make them want to be good or godly or choose right over wrong, especially when it’s hard. I definitely can’t change their hearts.

That’s God’s arena.

However, He will use my faithfulness in prayer and in pursuing Him and loving my boys well as one of the doors through which the Holy Spirit can flood and fill my children’s hearts and lives.

So, I’ll keep doing all the mom things – folding towels, baking cookies, kissing boo-boos, and taking advantage of teachable moments to point them to Jesus.

And I’ll trust God to faithfully do the rest.

 

Get more ideas & encouragement from this real-life mom as I experience God’s faithfulness through the joy and chaos of motherhood.
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Homemade Instant Oatmeal

Tried It Tuesday: Homemade Instant Oatmeal. Make your mornings easier with this easy, inexpensive DIY recipe that gives you all the convenience of instant oat packets with the flavor and nutrition of homemade oatmeal. You and your kids will love this recipe for homemade instant oatmeal!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a “Tried It Tuesday” post, I know. But, honestly, not many of the DIYs or recipes I’ve tried recently were very exciting. And those that were, well, I’ve failed to get pictures so far. (Sometimes I’m just focused on getting dinner on the table before the natives get too restless…)

But a few weeks ago, on a whim, I decided to try a recipe and DIY combo to make our mornings easier, and it was such a hit, I have to share it!

Tried It Tuesday: Homemade Instant Oatmeal. Make your mornings easier with this easy, inexpensive DIY recipe that gives you all the convenience of instant oat packets with the flavor and nutrition of homemade oatmeal. You and your kids will love this recipe for homemade instant oatmeal!

Most mornings are busy enough with getting Elijah off to school and Brad on to work that our go-to breakfast is simply cereal, although we do try to have healthier cereal options for most days. (Saturdays are the exception.)

However, some days I’ll make time to whip up oats or eggs or something more, and on those days, my boys are excited for breakfast.

Then not too long ago, I snagged a box of instant oatmeal on sale, and our boys ate it up in a matter of days. Not only were they getting oats in the morning, but they were also getting to exercise a little bit of independence, as Elijah could mix up and microwave the packets on his own and could even help Josiah.

So, when I saw a post on One Good Thing about making your own instant oatmeal, I knew we needed to try it, especially when I read her “secret trick” for making it have the texture of store-bought instant oats but of course, with better flavor.

Tried It Tuesday: Homemade Instant Oatmeal. Make your mornings easier with this easy, inexpensive DIY recipe that gives you all the convenience of instant oat packets with the flavor and nutrition of homemade oatmeal. You and your kids will love this recipe for homemade instant oatmeal!

Within a few minutes, I had thrown together our first half-batch of instant oatmeal (half-batch in case our boys didn’t eat it very well). I bagged it up into individual servings, and we were ready to try it out.

That first batch (with about a dozen servings) was gone in less than a week. Yes, our boys really love oats for breakfast!

We have since gone through two more half-batches (I haven’t done the full amount yet, just in case my guys tire of it…but I probably should just go with it, since they eat it so well, especially Josiah and Isaiah!)

Since there are any number of ways you can customize oatmeal, you’d think I’d be tossing in raisins or cranberries or nuts or different spices, but nope. My boys like it pretty simple: with brown sugar and cinnamon.

I do, however, sneak in some ground chia seeds for a little nutritional boost that doesn’t affect the flavor or texture at all (and my boys don’t see the ground seeds like they might whole chia seeds.)

If you’re wondering what the “secret trick” is that I learned from Jillee to make your oats really “instant” oats, it’s this: grind up 1/3 of the oats for your batch then mix them with the whole oats, sugar, salt, and whatever else you choose to put in your oatmeal.

I just toss the chia seeds into my NutriBullet with the oats I’m grinding up, and boom! Done. 🙂 (Of course, you can use a decent blender to grind up the oats, too.) 

And since we were out of sandwich bags when I made our second batch of instant oatmeal, I skipped bagging it altogether and just stored the whole mix in an empty oats container with a ½ cup scooper inside and directions written in Sharpie on the plastic lid. Saves me time and plastic bags. 🙂 Plus, we can make smaller portions for Isaiah!

So here’s the recipe I’ve been using for our own Homemade Instant Oatmeal. Feel free to double it, triple it, half it, or whatever you need. Just make sure to blend 1/3 of your oats you’ll be using.

Get more ideas & encouragement from this real-life mom as I experience God’s faithfulness through the joy and chaos of motherhood.

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The Tale of a Tooth & Noticing the Big Things in Our Kids’ Lives

The Tale of a Tooth & Noticing the Big Things in Our Kids' Lives - Ever have a parenting day when something kind of big flies under your radar? I did. Thankfully it helped me notice something even bigger. And it all started with a tooth!
Have you ever had one of those parenting days where you finally catch something that’s been flying under your overworked parenting radar?

Not big, major things, but just, like, “my child has been in those clothes for two days straight” (that has happened – thankfully it was one of the kids who stays home all day!) Or “what do you mean you haven’t been feeding the dog as much as you were supposed to?” (this has also happened and explained why our dog kept grabbing food off the counter that week!)

Well, I had another one of those moments recently.

The Tale of a Tooth & Noticing the Big Things in Our Kids' Lives - Sometimes as parents, we miss things - some small, some big. How I missed this thing, I don't know.

PART 1 – HOW DID I MISS THAT?

On Monday night, Brad called me into the bathroom where our boys were getting ready for bed, and he asked me, “Have you seen this? Josiah has an adult tooth coming in behind his bottom front baby teeth!”

What? No! I had not seen that.

And when I did, I said, “How have we missed this? It’s almost halfway in already!?!” (Not exaggerating!)

Sure, Josiah usually brushes his teeth by himself, but Brad or I usually double check them just to make sure he did a good job. Somehow, in the last few weeks of life – planning and hosting Josiah’s 5th birthday party and planning and hosting Easter and all the Easter weekend stuff – I hadn’t noticed that big tooth coming in!

See that big tooth behind his baby teeth??? (And that dirty face…haha)

Not going to lie… Kind of felt like a bad mom…like a too busy mom…like a “what else have I been missing” mom. Not a good feeling.

Thankfully, Josiah was just excited about the prospect of losing his first tooth soon. (He just turned 5!!!)

So with some lingering mom guilt but a happy little boy, I went to bed, wondering if we should contact our dentist about it. I figured if the adult tooth was coming in, the baby teeth would loosen soon, right?

The story could have ended here, and I could share about how God whispered encouragement to my heart that night and how I felt okayish about not noticing the tooth sooner. And I stopped worrying about whether I missed something else or not. I could tell you, moms & dads, that we all miss little details sometimes. Sometimes we even miss big ones. But “God gives grace to the humble.” (Proverbs 3:34)

And parenting – it’s a humbling experience. I don’t think we realize it when we’re starting out, but whew – we learn quickly that we have a lot to learn. And that we need God if we’re going to make a good go of it.

That’d be a nice way to end my little “mom moment,” but then you’d miss the rest of the story, some of which actually is kind of entertaining in hindsight.

PART 2 – LOSING A TOOTH

Now that I had noticed the tooth, I wanted to keep an eye on it. (You know, be a “good mom” 😉 )

So, the next day at nap time, I asked Josiah if I could check those little teeth.

Sure enough, both of them wiggled easily. That made him very excited, and me, well, a little sad. The thought of my little guy losing his sweet little perfect smile and entering into that awkward time of snaggled-tooth grins and half smiles for the next few years…sigh.

Easter Sunday

I definitely wanted to make sure we grabbed some good pictures soon.

Thankfully, I’d already gotten a few over Easter weekend because just before dinner that evening, Josiah went into the living room, and a second later we heard a thud and a high-pitched scream. Apparently, he had tripped over the boys’ play carpet and hit his face on Isaiah’s booster seat (not sure why it was in there).

I met him halfway to the kitchen, and when I saw his mouth bleeding, I knew.

One baby tooth was missing.

As I led him to the bathroom, trying to calm him down, he helpfully spat that (bloody) little tooth into my hand. #glamorousmomlife

In the chaos that followed, I set the tooth by the bathroom sink and had Brad getting me a wet rag to clean Josiah’s face and Elijah fetching us a cup for water for his brother to swish with.

It took a few seconds for Josiah to settle down, both because he’d nearly bit a hole through his lip (ouch!) and because he was in a panic about losing that tooth. (That was NOT how he’d planned for that to happen.)

The Tale of a Tooth & Noticing the Big Things in Our Kids' Lives - Ever have a parenting day when something kind of big flies under your radar? I did. Thankfully it helped me notice something even bigger. And it all started with a tooth!

That red spot is where he hit his tooth into his lip!

As I tried to soothe him and handed him the water cup that Elijah had placed by the sink, I glanced over at the tooth. Only it wasn’t there.

I managed to catch a glimpse of it as it went down the drain. (Good job, Mom! *sigh*)

Before Josiah could spit into the sink and lose that tooth for good, I shoved him over to the toilet so he could spit there. (Yeah, it was a gross few minutes in our household.)

And as if the insanity wasn’t enough at the moment with him still bleeding and crying, Brad yanking things out from under the sink to rescue the tooth, Elijah just getting in the way in our tiny bathroom, and Isaiah happily trying to get to the plunger and toilet brush – when he leaned over to spit, Josiah tilted his full cup of water with him, spilling it all over the floor in the process.

The Tale of a Tooth & Noticing the Big Things in Our Kids' Lives - Ever have a parenting day when something kind of big flies under your radar? I did. Thankfully it helped me notice something even bigger. And it all started with a tooth!

At that point, I just laughed. I looked at my husband in disbelief, and all I could say was, “Seriously.”

Shaking my head, I ushered Elijah out into the living room to play with Isaiah, while I cleaned up the floor and Josiah, and Brad successfully retrieved Josiah’s first lost (then found, then lost and found again) baby tooth.

Once a semblance of order was restored, I snapped a few pictures on my phone of Josiah’s new smile, and we went back to finish dinner.

The Tale of a Tooth & Noticing the Big Things in Our Kids' Lives - Ever have a parenting day when something kind of big flies under your radar? I did. Thankfully it helped me notice something even bigger. And it all started with a tooth!

Again THIS could be the end of the tooth saga, and it would be enough. We’ve had our “encouraging” heart-sharing and a bonus funny “chaotic family” anecdote. You can all relate to some part of it and have a little laugh at my crazy night.

But…there’s a little more.

PART 3 – GROWING UP

As the night wore on, I noticed that Josiah was no longer excited about his tooth coming out. He didn’t want me to send any pictures of him to Grandma (although he did tell her when she called). He didn’t even want us to talk about it. And when I asked him if I could tell family about it via Facebook, he was adamant that he didn’t want people to know. So I respected his privacy. (He did give me permission to write this story, though, since it has been a few days.)

For one, his mouth was sore from the fall and from where his tooth almost went through his lip. I think that kind of scared him, and it hurt.

Secondly, I think he was disappointed. He didn’t get to wiggle the tooth and anticipate it coming out, at least not for longer than a few hours. And he didn’t get to try to pull it on his own.

In addition to that, he was feeling self-conscious, knowing that he would look different now. He’s the boy who doesn’t want to mess up his hair once we’ve fixed it in the morning, and he’s always so particular about what he wants to wear. So, having a missing tooth and a new smile were going to take some getting used to.

The last reason, though, surprised me, and it didn’t come out until the next day.

When I checked his other tooth, the neighboring bottom front tooth that also was loose, got knocked in the fall, and is now barely hanging on itself, he said, “I just want to stay a little kid.”

Awww, my sweet little boy.

While kids usually are all excited to get bigger and grow up, if I remember from when I was little, it CAN be a bit intimidating, too.

For Josiah, in the last month he registered for kindergarten, which he is somewhat nervous about, and he turned 5. Then this month, he’s suddenly losing teeth.

To us, as adults, that might not seem like much, but to a little guy – that’s a lot of transitions.

And while I might not have noticed that big tooth coming in, I can make sure that I notice these big feelings that Josiah is navigating and do my best to help him adjust to the changes, as quickly as they are coming.

So, although we would have taken this tooth thing even slower had he not fallen, we’re taking it as slowly as we can because I don’t mind keeping him a little kid a little bit longer.

UPDATE: Even before I could get this post finished, that second little front bottom tooth decided it was done, too. Josiah didn’t even have to work at it or try. It came out when he started eating dinner last night. This time, though, Josiah was thrilled!

For tips from a dentist on what do to when pulling baby teeth, you can check out this article, The Dos & Don’ts of Pulling Baby Teeth.

 

Get more ideas & encouragement from this real-life mom as I experience God’s faithfulness through the joy and chaos of motherhood.

Join my email list!  

 

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6 Fun Ways to Entertain Your Kids with Nothing But Their Imaginations

6 Fun Ways to Entertain Your Kids with Only Their Imaginations - Sometimes you need to keep your kids occupied, and these simple games & activities are perfect for engaging their creativity and getting them interacting with every one in the family.

Throughout the course of your parenting, there will be innumerable times that your kids are “bored.” Even though they are still fairly young, our boys claim boredom on a regular basis.

For the most part, I just answer, “That’s okay,” because there really isn’t anything wrong with them not being totally entertained all the time. They need “bored” time. It encourages them to be creative, to go find something to do – draw a picture, read a book, day dream, take a nap (they NEVER pick that one!).

However, there are also times when my boys being genuinely bored can lead to trouble, such as when we’re waiting in a doctor’s office for an appointment that was an hour ago. Or if we’re sitting at a restaurant, ready to eat but it’s taking a while for our food to come (this is especially dangerous when one of your children is notorious for getting hangry…yeah, that’s not pretty.)

Basically anytime they are trying to be good but are in a situation that kids just don’t function well in – that’s when I need some surefire engaging activities to keep my boys entertained and distracted so their “boredom” doesn’t become restless craziness or frustrated fighting.

I know that a simple answer is to just hand over a device – my smart phone, their tablet – but honestly, that’s not what I want my kids turning to constantly. With as addictive as electronic devices can be (and you know it’s true…chances are that you are reading this on your mobile…), I don’t want to encourage them as my children’s (or my own) first option when there is some down time.

So, what do I do then when we have to wait patiently in the car for Daddy as he runs in to pick up something at the store, or when we’re on a two-hour road trip?

Here’s a peek into my arsenal of simple ways that I entertain my boys with nothing other than our imaginations. These no-prep games and activities encourage creativity, thought, and communication, as well as ensuring that we’re interacting with each other as a family rather than isolating ourselves in screen time.

(This post contains affiliate links which means that, at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission when you use the links. See my full disclosure for details.)

6 Fun Ways to Entertain Your Kids with Only Their Imaginations - Sometimes you need to keep your kids occupied, and these simple games & activities are perfect for engaging their creativity and getting them interacting with every one in the family.

 

1. “I Spy”/”Bee, Bee, Bumblebee” – This one is a classic. My parents and grandparents played it with me when I was little, and now it’s one of the boys’ go-to time-killing games. You simply have the person who is “it” describe something they can see from where they are, just using the colors that it’s made up of (or you can describe it other ways, too, if your rules allow). Depending on which one you grew up with, the rhymes either go, “I spy with my little eye something that is…” or “Bee, bee, bumblebee. I see something you don’t see, and it is…” Everyone takes turns guessing what is seen. Whoever guesses it first, gets to be the next “seer.”

This game also gets kids to look for details in their often-times mundane surroundings, teaching them that the everyday world probably isn’t as boring as they might think.

 

2. “Would You Rather” – I’m sure you’ve heard of this conversation starter before (there is even a board game based on it). It has become one of our boys’ favorites, and we often play it during dinner. They love the idea of coming up with unique choices to offer us, such as “Would you rather have no furniture in your house or no bathroom?” or “Would you rather eat only green food or only red food for the rest of your life?” Of course, with boys, their questions can veer into the absurd or disgusting, but as long as they avoid potty humor and excessive grossness or anything inappropriate, we give them creative license.

Not only does this activity make us think as we answer the questions and help us get to know each other a bit better, it also challenges the person asking the question because sometimes coming up with a really good question can be tricky.

Here are some question ideas to get you started.

3. “Charades” – This pantomiming game always makes me think of times when the power went out when we were younger. That, or large gatherings, either with my family at my grandparents’, with friends in youth group, or my dad’s days as a clown and leading a clown ministry (Charades is great for improving improvisational skills).

While this boredom-buster requires a bit more space (since you have to act out what you want the others to guess) and tends to creates more noise (as others call out guesses), it usually produces lots of laughter and silliness, too. For our boys, we keep what their acting out simple for now (animals, everyday activities, etc). As they get older, though, we’ll test their talents with harder words and phrases.

Need some help coming up with ideas? Here’s a list of kid-appropriate charade clues.

 

4. “Story Tellers” – By far, this is Josiah’s favorite game to play at dinnertime or in the car or any other time. The rules are simple. We make up a story together, with each person taking turns contributing one sentence as a time. This always leads to a…unique… story, as each family members’ personality, preferences, and story-telling style becomes apparent pretty quickly. 🙂

Josiah has a tendency to tell stories with animal characters, Elijah likes to add drama and action, and Brad has an affinity for goofiness and puns, while my job seems to be to keep the story moving along to some kind of happy ending.

The only issue we’ve had with this game is when the initial storyteller starts the tale with a definite plot or idea he wants to stick to, but others can’t read his mind or purposely take it in a different direction. (Brothers…)

 

5. “Narrating Real Life” –This diversion takes “people watching” to a new level because you either make up their stories about what they are doing or why or provide the “voice-over” to their conversations.

This is a little safer to play when you aren’t really near the people, so preferably when you’re sitting in a car or maybe from far across the park because you don’t want to encourage your kids to point and stare or be seen as the creepers just watching a person. Hahaha.

 

6. “It Could Be” – Another activity borrowed from my dad’s improv training, this exercise encourages brainstorming and creatively looking at random, ordinary objects. Just grab anything, and start thinking of what else it could be used for (even if just pretend).

For example, a baseball cap can be a cup, a pot, a butterfly net, a catcher’s mask, and more. (Just think of how many things kids can see when you give them big empty cardboard box!)

 

So, there you go – Six simple ways to interact with your kids and entertain them with only your imaginations.

WHAT ARE SOME GAMES OR ACTIVITIES YOU DO WITH YOUR KIDS WHEN THEY NEED ENTERTAINED?

 

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