I don’t know about your children’s school but ours ends the school year with a huge field day. It is a sweaty, hot, exhausting event that the kids love. As a teacher I enjoyed it but as a parent eh not so much. I mean don’t get me wrong. I’m always there, volunteering, cheering my kids on as my pale Irish skin burns in the sun. Are you a Field Day mom too? Read on for my handy parent guide to surviving field day. Number 10 is especially important
One thing I have noticed in my years as a teacher and parent are the various types of parents that signup.
- The extra go-getting, “perfect” parent who volunteers for everything.
- The kids’ guilt-tripped parent.
- The successfully avoided PTA commitments all year and have been caught by the head mom and glared into submission parent.
- The final hour parent that has forgotten all year to sign up for the other events.
Where do I fall into this? I like to volunteer in the classroom and I am the ultimate field trip mom but definitely not the go-getter. I’m the last one. I have had good intentions all year to sign up for the various events (except Bingo- not. a. fan.) but I have managed to procrastinate and miss the deadlines. So here I am at the end of the year and field day is my only option to show the PTA moms I’m not the slacking millennial they think I am.
Most schools will have a water station for the kids but I always bring extra. Those tiny shot glass sized paper cups just don’t do it for me.
Your kids will be ravenous after running around. Pack them extra snacks in their lunch or bring some with you. Don’t forget to bring some for yourself too.
3. Sunscreen and Bug Spray
I could not be outside for 5 minutes without these, my faithful summertime friends.
Yeah I hear yah, of course I will bring my camera. I had to include it incase someone took this list as law and came back to complain I forgot to say camera 😉
5. Sunglasses and/or Hat
Protect your eyes and head! That sun is brutal!
To wipe off sweat, dirt, tears, and water.
7. Allergy Medicine
We just recently found my little man has seasonal allergies. Check the pollen count in your area before the big day.
8. Change of Clothes
For you and the kids. I hate feeling sweaty and dirty!! Maybe I should add extra deodorant too..
9. Rain Boots/Poncho/Clothes You Don’t Care Get Wet
Whether you are in charge of the water games or dousing yourself in water in hopes to cool off you will get wet. This is actually where I usually volunteer because I try to stay cool.
10. Happy Hour Plans
Just trust me on this one.
As Jonas rolls into the DC Metro Area this weekend I can already feel the anxiety building with the moms I know. We are going to be stuck inside for how many days?! How am I going to entertain the kids? Don’t panic I have you covered. Bonus these ideas do not involve crafts, because lets face it I love a cute craft but sometimes I just do not want the mess that crafting brings.
12 Snow Day Activities for Kids that do not involve crafts all over your house!
A Large Cardboard Box
These boxes will become whatever your kiddos envision them to be. A rocket ship, a play house, a roller coaster, the possibilities are endless when it comes to the imagination. If you don’t have one of hand, local appliance stores might have some for you. But really any box will do or paper bag.
Who doesn’t love a good blanket fort?
Mix it up with Freeze Dance or Mommy Says type action. It’s also a great way to get sillies out when you are going stir crazy!
This one admittedly is not my favorite. I really hate Play-Doh, it’s almost like having crafts out because the little pieces get everywhere. But the kids really like it and it’s easier to clean up than 1 million tiny scraps of paper so I’ll include it.
Activity Books & Board Games
Before Christmas, I shared about the Disney Imagicademy activity books by Wonder Forge. They are great for keeping the kids engaged for a few hours. It’s like busy books for older kids 😉 Board games- no brainer, the whole family can have a blast!
Lights, Camera, Action!
Give the kids a recording device and be amazed at the show they put on. Just wait until you hear the jokes they come up with. Apparently they are “really laugh out loud Mommy!” My kids love using the LeapFrog LeapPad or Epic to record each other doing silly things.
Do your kids love taking pictures? Mine sure do. I will put up a blanket or some sort of make shift back drop and they grab all the “props” they want from past Birthday parties and have at it. Download the free Pocketbooth app and if you want to print them out, HP Photo Strips are perfect for these candid shots!
When the local craft stores have big sales on canvas I like to pick up a few. The kids love to embrace their inner artists and you get one of a kind pieces to decorate with.
Kids LOVE to help in the kitchen. It also gets them excited to try new things. This is my recipe for Organic Gluten Free Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. You don’t have to make them gluten free and they are dairy free by chance, but they taste so delicious you will never know the difference!
Make it a contest to see who can build the tallest tower and this activity will last for hours!
Practice your balance skills as you try to avoid the lava that is all over the floor!!
Book Club & Movie Night
Before the big storm or long break hits, stock up on books and/or movies at the local library. For book club, make some hot chocolate, grab those cookies you made, and sit down to discuss your favorite books. When it’s time to switch to movie night, spread blankets on the floor for an inside picnic. We like to make our own personal pizzas to eat while we watch.
As Snowmageddon 2016 roles into the Northeast, I hope these ideas will keep everyone entertained and Mommy sane! Stay warm!
For additional ideas check out 3 Quick & Dirty Indoor Toddler Energy Busters from Ms Dana Ryan!
What are your favorite non-craft things to do with the kids?
Parenthood is one of those things in life that should come with some sort of an instruction manual. Unfortunately it doesn’t. Luckily for you and I, there are places to turn. We can look with our bloodshot, glazed over eyes to the parents that have gone before us. Only in there successes and failures can we find the help we are in desperate need of. Or at least a good laugh. The poop on the crib may not be funny now, but in 15 years when your son has his first girlfriend and you have the pictures it will finally be funny.
Looking for a good laugh?
The Science of Parenthood book is a hilarious guide to the world of parenting. Whether you are new on this journey, a veteran, or currently knee deep in Legos and Princesses this book is for you. I laughed, I nodded my head in agreement, and laughed some more.
I wanted to share a little story from Norine, it reminded me so much of my own child. On our first trip to Walt Disney World, taxiing out to the runway, and all of sudden someone had to go potty…
When Your Kid Will Poop
by Norine of Science of Parenthood
When will your kid poop … or pee for that matter? Well, it sure as hell won’t be the 10 times you ask if he has to use the potty. A child will always wait till the least convenient moment. And then he’ll have to go immediately.
My son was 3 when we were flying home to Orlando after my cousin’s wedding in Denver. My husband had had to work, so it was just the two of us, knocking around the Denver airport waiting to board our flight.
“Do you have to go potty?” I’d asked when we got to the airport.
He shook his head vehemently. “No.”
“Do you have to go potty?” I’d asked before we went through security.
“Do you have to go potty?” I’d asked when we got to our gate.
“Do you have to go potty?” I’d asked as they started boarding our flight.
And so we settled into our seats in the bulkhead and fastened our seat belts. My son busied himself looking out the window at the planes maneuvering around the gates. I opened a New York magazine, I’d been looking forward to reading. (When your kid’s a toddler, how often do you get time to read something other than a board book?) I bared noticed when we pushed back from the gate and began rolling toward the runway. And then …
“Hmmm,” I murmured, absently.
“Mommy! …” he said, a bit more insistently.
“Yes?” I said, without looking up from the page.
“What???” I turned to look at him.
“I need to go potty.”
“Now?!? Why didn’t you go when I asked you to?”
“I didn’t have to go before. I have to go now.”
Of course, he did. I looked around helplessly. I didn’t know what to do, what I could do. So I rang the Call button.
A flight attendant appeared almost instantly. “What can I do for you?”
“My son needs to go potty,” I explained. “Can we just pop into the bathroom, like super fast?”
She shook her head. “We’re next in line for takeoff,” she said. (Of course we were!) “Can he hold it?”
I certainly hoped so. I had no extra clothes in my bag, and the thought of spending the four-hour flight with a stinky, wet, cold, whining child wasn’t a happy one.
I have to say the next 25 minutes were among the tensest in my life as I parried my son’s repeated potty pleas with Not yet, Soon, In a few minutes and the increasingly desperate, Almost, baby. Just hold it a little bit longer.
As soon as I felt the plane level off, I rang the Call button again.
“Can I take him now?” I begged the flight attendant. “Please!”
“The seatbelt sign is lit, so I can’t tell you that you can get up,” she said.
“Are you gonna stand in my way?”
“Nope,” she said with a smile, moving aside so I could scoop my boy out of his seat and into the lavatory.
A few minutes later, we slid back into our seats, one dry, not poopy boy and one very relieved mom.
As we buckled our seat belts again, the flight attendant reappeared. “I thought you could use this,” she said with infinite kindness. Then she placed a cup of ice and a bottle of Stoli on my tray table.
Perfect description of our first plane ride as a family. Like seriously, her kid and mine must have read the same book How to Make Mommy a Nervous Wreck on an Airplane!
Norine Dworkin-McDaniel is co-author with illustrator Jessica Ziegler of Science of Parenthood: Thoroughly Unscientific Explanations for Utterly Baffling Parenting Situations released in November by She Writes Press. It’s available on Amazon and wherever books are sold. Follow Norine and Jessica on their blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Is Science of Parenthood coming to your town? Check out our tour schedule. Want Science of Parenthood to come to your town? Message us!
Pick up Science of Parenthood on Amazon today!
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Since October, our free time has been consumed by the Princess’ Ballet Company production of The Nutcracker. It all culminated in a jam packed, 5 shows weekend right before Christmas. I walked away from the experience with some new insight on myself and what it means to be a dance mom. I also learned how extremely unprepared I was to dive into this world.
Now the Princess has been doing ballet since she was 3. This wasn’t our first performance by any means. But it was the first time every little detail was scrutinized and discussed. I was blown away and thought to myself, have I somehow wound up on that insane show Dance Moms?
1. I need to step up my game in the hair category.
I can do a bun. Yes it took several years of haphazardly throwing her hair up to actually learn how to do a proper bun but I can do one. Silly me, I thought that’s all I needed to know. Buns, different types of bobby pins, curls, pony tails… I was on the verge of tears after getting stern looks about her not so ringlet curls. Then a mom pulled me aside and said “Just buy a hairpiece.” It was like the heavens opened up and the angels sang. She saved me from being shunned by the costume lady.
2. A target bag is not an acceptable container of makeup and hair stuff.
As I looked around at the ginormous beasts of makeup organizers I realized I was out gunned. I had one small makeup bag and the rest was thrown in a target bag. Shameful, I know. Organization is key, especially when you are digging to find “Cherries in the Snow” seconds before she needs to be on stage.
3. You can never have too many pins.
Safety, Bobby, you need them all. Go ahead and get different sizes, colors, and shapes too while you’re at it. Not only do you lose them seriously where do these things disappear to? but someone else might need one or two or twenty. Plus costumes malfunction all the time, that tiny gold safety pin just might save you from the costume police. Trust me.
4. Be prepared for the extreme Dance Moms.
I liken these women to the dads who forget that little league is suppose to be fun and it is not the World Series. You can spot them easily from their furrowed brows to the way they walk across the room with that superior air about them. Whatever you do, try not to ask them anything. Not even where the bathroom is located. Nothing. They are not interested in helping you only in judging your non-sewing skills and how many fly-aways your kid’s bun has.
5. Always be willing to help the new mom.
These amazing women counteract the evils of number 4. I was the new mom, feeling the pressure to get everything perfect. Without the guidance, support, and love from the veteran moms I would still be trying to curl her hair, sobbing as I failed miserably. Thank You Kind Moms for helping me survive our first Nutcracker. I will see you next year, hair piece and makeup holder at the ready.
Have you had an encounter with an extreme sport parent?