I Dont Know How to Have Fun W/ My Kids

Updated on March 21, 2011
L.C. asks from Downers Grove, IL
19 answers

My mom was too busy working and taking care of us, there wasnt much fun time. Im afraid im doing the same thing. I have 3 wondeful kids, 2 boys, 3yrs and 5 yrs, and a newborn girl, but i spend all day cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, telling them to brush their teeth and clean up their toys, etc. I dont work but i still dont know how to have fun with them. I dont want this time to slip by and not enjoy them and have some fun. Do you set aside time everyday for fun? What do you do? Projects? Games? I need some help with this. I feel awful about it. Please, any suggestions would help. How strange is it that i dont know how to do this? I feel like the worst mom ever.

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answers from Pittsfield on

What I like to do is take one of my queen sized sheets and make a fort for them. It thrills them every time :)
You could also let them cook with you.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Detroit on

Enjoy every minute with them that you can, they grow so fast...

Find anything to do with them. You might not think it is fun, but in the eyes of a child, everything is fun! Even though your children are still young, have them help with household chores. This teaches children responsibility, and you can make it fun- dancing to music, sing, rewards, etc. Cook with them, make messes, everyone loves to eat what they cooked!! Even if it is talking to them or telling jokes, they will remember the little things in life, learn, and love them (Believe me this will help you in the future, as they will open up about life's troubles).

My mother was always trying to find her next husband, so my brother and I were always at the sitter’s hours. To this day she is jealous of me because I raised my children on my own, without help from a man.

I have always worked full time and did not have much extra time or money for anything. But I made sure I spend some time with my boys. I could not afford to pay for movies, amusement parks, etc. So I tried to find "free" things to do. To this day, my boys talk about our picnics at the park; we would even bring the dog and spend a couple of hours walking and playing. I made a "hand me down" back yard oasis for them, swing set, trampoline, sandbox, etc., and would make sure that I least played on the swings with them or jumping on the trampoline (they laughed more at me falling). Let’s not talk about the sledding hills or snowball fights-good times!! Or camping in the back yard-now that was fun-even with the stinky dog taking up too much room and snoring in the tent. Fridays were popcorn movie night!!! We also played board games when we had time. Oh, how I miss them days...

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I am the same as you, but I always fit time into play. Here are a few things I do with my boys:
1. play music on stereo and dance
2. set up a camping tent inside the house and throw blankets and pillows in it. You can play with them for a bit, and then take off for some chores while they continue to have fun.
3. It may be a little early to do this in IL right now, but have them start a garden with you. Plant some tomatoes and squash or something.
4. go on a walk and call it an 'adventure' - flip over rocks and look for worms (only if you live rural).
5. play hide and seek in the house
6. my 3 yr old boy is into cars so we build a "house or garage" out of Legos and then they play with those with his cars
7. make sugar cookies - you make the dough ahead of time at night and then let them help roll it out and cut with cookie cutters

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

My 4 year old daughter loves board games and puzzles. Since it is just us during the day while daddy is at work we play alot. We also love to go to the park, to childrens museums, and to places like chuck e cheese. That being said, she is my only one. I don't know if I would be able to do all that with another child and an infant. I would try just to set some time during the day and play anything whether you use your imagination or you have some sort of board game. I'm sure they would enjoy whatever it was you are doing.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

First of all, you said your boys are 3 and 5? They're old enough ... Make them start cleaning up, make it a game. IF they have a lot of toys out, separate the toys into two piles and the first child to get their toys put away where they belong gets to pick the story they read that night. Have them sing the clean up song (my kids learned it in daycare) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1b4gSs0KhIU

As far as playing and having fun with them, take them to a park and just enjoy them running around, or find a place like jungle java (http://www.junglejavaplay.com/Pages/home3.aspx) ... I'm sure you could use google to help find a place like that or ask other parents in your son's class. By the power of Google: http://www.jumpzoneparty.com/JumpZone_Home.php?jzpcity=Bo...

Candy land is a good game, I play it with my five and almost four year old; I pick up the card, hand it to them and have them flip it over.

Another thing is my kids LOVE to be read to; we read Shel Silverstein poems ... they laugh so hard.

Maybe you could plant some herbs, my kids love helping me plant the basil and rosemary.

I wish my ex would ask how to have fun with the kids, he just plops them down in front of the tv.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Your being a mom and they have eachother to play with....nothing wrong with that. But if your feeling disconnected, then taking time away each day to do mommy and me time is a good thing. You can enroll in classes for mommy and me classes to interact with them. You can do crafts...just sit and color a picture with them. It should not take much effort. Let them help coook. Let them gather garbage cans for you and bring them to the center of the house. Taking them to parks and swinging them is time together and playing. Play dough, board games. Anything........as long as the kids see you and can be with you, they may think your playing with them. It is great to be a stay at home mom. But set aside time each morning to give one on one. Even read a story to them........it is just precious time.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Here are some ideas.
1. Have an indoor picnic lunch o your family room floor. My kids LOVE whe we have a picnic. I put a blanket on the rug.
2. Pretend your is a pirateship
3. Take a walk and pretend...watch out for the sleeping bear, the quicksand and the poisonous snakes.
4. Make a fort
5. Declare today is a PJ day
6. Get a tag a long for your bike and in a couple of months you could put the baby in thrre.
7. Buy an ice cream maker and make ice cream together
8.host a neighborhood easter egg hunt
9. Make a treasure hunt but use photos instead of words for the clues
10.let your two older kids help you make dinner.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

You are not the worse mom ever. Mine are grown now, but I was a SAHM still am, and I did all my chores like you, My first son played very well on his own, we did play candyland, read stories, my husband was the one who got on the floor with the boys we had 2 boys 3 years and 4 months apart and they entertained each other, but my husband was always doing things with the boys when he was home, you don't need to entertain your kids 24/7 but no matter what you are doing or how busy you are if one of your kids comes to you with a question or say mom come see what i made, stop what you are doing and go, you would be surprised of how great that makes a child feel. So many times I here moms say go play I'm busy and all's they want to do is show mom what they made with legos, or a picture they drew, never tell your kids not now i'm busy, my kids are 27, 24 and 21 and i have never said to them not now i'm busy, nor have I ever said that to my daycare children. You don't have to always be playing, but be intentive. J.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Rockford on

You can make a plan to spend a certain amount of time just with them each day. It doesn't matter what you do, because the kids will enjoy the mommy time regardless. You can even do things you are interested in. If you like music, do songs or dance; if you like art, make some clay pots; if you like gardening, make an indoor garden, etc. The effort you put in each day will become a habit and easier for you the more you do it. Your kids will benefit from the time laughing and learning with you as well. You will get a lot of benefit in spending that kid focused time with them. You should not feel like a bad mom! It is hard for all of us and you are not alone!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

You're not the worst mom ever, not even close. Just the fact that you realize this about yourself is wonderful, because you can take the time to make sure and enjoy your children while they are still young.

We read together every night. That is the one thing that I always could do with them, because it's easy and doesn't take too long and a good way to end the day. I think it would be a great idea to set aside time every day (or just whenever you can) to play with them. Playing tag outside is always fun; my kids love being chased and "caught" by me. You could play with their toys, watch a movie together, play with play dough, fingerpaint, bounce a ball together...these are just a few ideas. Good for you for wanting to play more with your kids; have fun!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Hi there!
Anything even simple thing is fun for little kids:
In cold weather, cut and paste letters, let them help you to cook like cupcakes, brownies, etc.; build legos, there are lots of sizes and kinds, my kids love them!, play-doh, clean some things together: one kid with a little mop or a broom and another one with a sock..they like to clean at this age! Make the clean up toys fun: make a race sing and run and everybody helps. Read aloud to them just minutes; watch a movie altogether and talk about it later, have them draw something about the movie they just saw. Go to the library, do the laundry later during the day and let them see the books and read to them. There are also several activities for children there.
In good weather, just let them play outside with bubbles, chalk, other neighbors?, go outside and relax, read a book and let them play with ...water when it is hot outside, they can be there for hours! Have a ball and have them play freely in the backyard or in the front yard depending how safe it is. Library is for the whole year long, just in case, there will be always something to do there.
I hope this help a little bit.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

First of all, relax you are not a bad mom.
Just a busy, overworked mom.
Take a deep breath and honestly.....let some of the housework go.
I know it's hard but it's the best idea.
Do light stuff and save anything big for an hour on the weekend when your hubby is home.
Just do light housekeeping: sweep if you have to, don't dust til the weekend, vacuum for sure, wipe down countertops, do dishes or put them in the dishwasher, make quick meals or slow cooker meals or easy meals: tacos, spaghetti w/meat sauce, taco salad night, soup, salad and bread etc.
Do not beat yourself up about housework.
You are doing the important stuff: spending quality, loving time w/your kids.
They will be grown and gone before you know it.
Play outside in nice weather, play board games, play who can find the blue pot, the red cup etc, play w/blocks, do puzzles, play go fish w/a stick, twine and a clothespin (they fish over the couch for prizes you clip on....so fun...get cheap little toys at the dollar store), play board games, play cards.
do not put extra pressure on yourself.
enjoy your kids.
get sleep.
laugh a little every day even if you have to turn the tv to the comedy channel or read a joke book.
take a bath once a week for 15 mins undistured w/magazine and when hubby is home.
play w/cards
take 2 liter bottle and try to ring the bottle w/a plastic big ring
cuddle up to baby when you can
hold him/her as often as you can
they grow up fast
you're a good mom
love them
laugh w/them
keep them safe. teach them how to remain safe
you're fine
get rest!
signed, tired mommy :)
good luck :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Well, cooking/cleaning and all of that still has to get done, right? But just setting aside a period of time each day to have fun w/ the kids is much needed and your children will love you and remember you for it (we do art projects, play family board games, family Wii games, etc.). Also, bring a bit of humor and silliness into the mix regularly -- I know when I do this, my daughter flips over how silly mommy is and we both giggle our heads off.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You are quite probably one of the best moms ever because you realize how short time is! I am going to give a suggestion. Probably so many moms have already done that. But just skip things that aren't that important. Do kids need gourmet meals? Buy the premade chicken instead of using the rotisserie all the time. It looks the same anyway. Do you have to do laundry everyday? Alternate days. I knew those days were coming, too and miss having the opportunity to be with my children. Just enjoy them however you can. wish I could find author of this, but here it goes again: so fly away cobwebs and fly away dust, I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep'. Cool, huh?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I have felt the same way. I agree with alot of the posters - I just had to let some of the housework go. As they get older they won't remember how clean the house was. I also have to plan time with them, that is the only way it works for me otherwise I find myself busy with something else. When it works I try to get as much housework done as I can on Monday. Then I feel freer the rest of the week. I do find it easier when the weather is nicer. I don't see what needs to be done in the house, when we are outside. Good luck - You are a great mom!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You just have to let the cleaning go & enjoy the moment. It slips away so fast. Try to put somethings in place to make you day to day life a little easier & relax.

I have some go to meals in the freezer with veggies cut up so I can make sloppy joes & meatloaf in a few minutes. But chicken nuggets and PB&J for dinner is fine.
I have some craft projects & playdoh in bins so the 5yr old can pull those out & play with the 3 yr old.
It's harder in the winter stuck inside, but a bin of rice/bean/pasta is as fun as sand & easier to clean (just vacuum).
We paint outside in our jammies, so I don't have to worry about the mess in the house or washing their clothes.
There is moon sand in a bin for outside.
I get them started & let them go while I tend to baby & then go back to them & play.

The cleaning just has to let go for a while.
You have a newborn, our kids are the same age. Some days I look around & think sheesh what a mess, but I just toss the dishes in the sink & figure I'll get to it later.
When you have a newborn you just do what you have to stop trying to maintain a clean house like you had before baby, or before kids :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

just laugh! you have a 3 year old and a 5 year old boy - these little guys are like standup comics. at lunch time sit down with them and really watch them - see how tickled they get when one makes a silly joke. laugh with them. make a joke of your own. little boys this age are hilarious. have a silly face contest. when you're driving make up silly stories. just have fun. it's more in your attitude than in your planned curriculum. good luck. it's great that you realize that you could have more fun with your kids. i'm sorry to hear you're not really enjoying motherhood much. it's a hard thing to change one's attitude. good luck! i hope you find the joy of motherhood again soon!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Hi Mom,
For fear of overstepping, I won't say much about it, but have you evaluated yourself for depression? I only ask because I have clinical depression and before I started treatment for it, I was highly unmotivated to participate in activities with my children.

I have a 4 year old girl and a 7 year old girl. I take them to the park, feed ducks, we explore small lakes at the parks around and look for turtles. I take them skating (my 7 year olds loves her roller skates and her razor scooter), teach them how to ride their bikes. We take the soccer ball to the park and play soccer, blow bubbles, draw on the sidewalk with chalk, bake cookies together, do crafts, draw pictures, practice writing letters, read books, and sometimes I just let them watch TV.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

Ask them what they'd like to do and do it with them. It's great that you want to enjoy them and have fun with them. I think that makes you a GOOD mom! I admire you for seeing what you are missing and doing something about it.

Here are some things I loved doing with my kids: going to the park, library, pool, beach, children's museum, or a walk in our neighborhood; playing in the backyard with water, sidewalk chalk, sticks and leaves, digging in the sandbox, making forts and tents; reading, crafts, cooking, baking; having friends over.

There are books at the library with games, craft projects and lots of ideas on ways to have fun with kids of all ages. Ask the children's librarian to recommend some.

1 mom found this helpful
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