Unuentertaining 2 13-Year-old Boys, 2 10-Year-old Girls and One 6 Year Old Girl

Updated on June 12, 2012
R.P. asks from West Jordan, UT
9 answers

I am watching my nephew this summer because he is diabletic and not taking control of it. His mother has tried everything she can and had to get a job to pay for his medical needs. He is coming here so I can make sure he is taking his blood sugar and insulin. His sister (10) is comming here by default because no one else will be home as both parents work. He loves playing Halo on the Xbox but I really want him to get more out of coming here than enhancing his video game skills besides it's not really good for his health. I need inexpensive/cheap/free ideas to keep them entertained. My sister is not paying me for this which is totally fine. She takes off one middle of the week day off so she can spend time wth them once a week. I am a SAHM so we dont' have much to spend. I would really like to hear any ideas.

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So What Happened?

unfortunately, my two youngest do not ride bikes yet but I am trying to teach them. I have planned on doing some of the suggestions already and others have been added to the list. I am not in the best shape for hikes but I will have to start with the one up by Brighton. Thanks for all the ideas! I knew this would be the place to ask!

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answers from Dallas on

Maybe not their idea of fun but what about using this time to teach them (all of them) how to cook ? And how to do laundry ?

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answers from Salt Lake City on

you wont have to entertain them, they will entertain themselves. you just need some good rules to follow every day. And when they do think they are "board" have some quick chores they can help you with. They will soon realize that playing or doing anything is better. Or they may actually like to help you. Just depends on the child. I don't think you need to plan something everyday for them. Kids are creative too.
My rules
1. Siblings are first friends, Each child needs to take care of "Their" sibling first, then cousin. That will help in curbing many a fight.
2. They need to take turns making decisions
3. They must compromise, use their words, and you don't solve their problems. but simply say, "Oh, that is too bad, What are you going to do about it?" (I do ask sometimes, if they need some different ideas, and suggest what they can do, but only if they are really stumped)
4. keep this motto in your head and theirs ..."Everything is not for everybody (or every body) every time." it will remind them life is not always fair.
5. Chores first, play second
6. 1 hr of TV or electronics/ Day. More then that and they and you will suffer with "The ATTITUDE"
7. when all else fails-- They can.....READ
8. Have one activity they can look forward to doing each week( toward the end of the week). Use it as incentive for good behavior.

My kids would love it if their cousins were coming everyday to play. I too have sisters with the same aged kids as I have:) it is sooo fun!
Good luck!

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answers from Grand Forks on

Bike riding is something they could all do together.

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answers from Los Angeles on

"Go play outside"
They will figure it out.
Don't let them take electronics with them, that puts a damper on things.
Kids these days almost have to be forced to use their imagination.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

On the Xbox, you can ALSO, find exercise videos, or stream it via Netflix etc.
Do not, as you said, just let him sit there all day playing Halo.
YOU.... decide when to turn it on, and for how long. And when to turn it off.
Your home, your rules.

Get some Hula Hoops and jump ropes. Those are GREAT GREAT exercise things, for kids and adults.
And cheap.

Have a routine and schedule, and stick to it.
Make the kids do these activities. Even if just for 15 minutes.
Don't just tell them play outside. Some kids don't even know how to do that.
So YOU, tell them... what to do.
Jump Rope.
Hula Hoop.
And make a game of it.
Also do jumping jacks.
All of these things, will make them sweat and get them good cardio workouts.

Do you know how to feed and cook for a Diabetic?????
Is your sister going to bring foods for her own kids????
Because if not, you will have to spend money on food.
And/or know HOW to cook/feed a Diabetic.

My late Dad, was a Diabetic and even had Renal Failure.
He died, due to complications of the disease.

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answers from Redding on

Lots of us grew up without video entertainment.
It's called playing outside.

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answers from Houston on

Wow, you and your sister have 2 kids the same age? That's awesome!

Keep a schedule so they can 1) take turns playing games 2) know when its time to turn on the box and when its not.

You have every right to expect each kid to follow the rules - your own and your sister's kids. Have a rule that noone can play video games unless they play outside for at least an hour. Put them to work! You can also have them clean one thing around the house before they can play.

Here in Houston our movie theaters show a different $1 movie each week. They are always kid friendly and in nice theaters. Some weeks may be rated G movies, so the preteens may find it completely boring, but I'm sure if they realize sitting in an airconditioned theater watching anything is better than sitting at home doing nothing.

Our local library hosts tons of stuff for kids, pre teens and teens, mainly summer book clubs. There is also board game hour, video game hour and hobby clubs. Free.

Check your local venues for free or discount shows. We have an outdoor theater that offers free plays (drama and broadway) and concerts esp for kids every week this summer.

The YMCA near us offers free days (usually on the weekends though) where you can use their facilities all day for free.

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answers from Washington DC on

Could your sister bring their bikes over to your house? You could bike to different parks and play.

My mom used to make scavenger hunts for me which I LOVED.

What about geo-caching or the like?

Water toys in the back yard?

Do they like to cook? My son and I are going to be making a cookbook this summer as our big project. Try and tweek different recipes. Take pics, and get them printed into a photobook.

At their ages, they can entertain themselves... Just put a stop to the video games as a rule. Maybe assign them certain times during the day they are allowed to play video games, and then don't budge from that.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

All of the children involved are old enough to hike, and you live at the foot of the Wasatch range. As long as you have a vehicle large enough to carry everybody up Big or Little Cottonwood, there are loads of accessible, free trails, and right now it is absolutely gorgeous up top. If none of you are in great hiking condition yet, start with the Silver Lake Circle up at Brighton. There's a visitor center with indoor toilets, drinking water and wildlife information, and a well-maintained, mostly level trail around the lake (no special shoes required - sneakers are good). There is a nice picnic area. The early wildflowers are already blooming. Even though it is not virgin wilderness, we've seen all kinds of birds, small animals, deer, and even moose. If the kids having fishing licences (which aren't expensive) and fishing rods (at Walmart, not expensive), you can fish up there, too. And once the summer heat kicks in down here in the valley, the canyons have the added bonus of being 10-20 degrees cooler and having much cleaner air.

Closer to home for you is the Jordan River trail, which can be enjoyed on foot, skates, scooters (my kids' favorite), or bikes.

The county library has all kinds of free events for kids, including young teen events, over the summer.

If you're willing to drive up to SLC, the Tracy Aviary, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, and the Utah Natural History Museum all have periodic free admission days. The free days should be listed on their websites.

The art museum's free day is the first Wednesday of every month, and they have family activity backpacks you can ask for and check out that actually work better with older kids than they do with the little bitties, although the 13 y.o. boys may think they're beyond them. But this summer there's something there that the boys should enjoy, too - an exhibit of vintage, high-speed racing cars. There is also free admission the afternoons of the third Saturday of every month, along with on-site art projects for the kids.

There are free lunchtime concerts during the week in the Murray park (I don't know the days, but you can google for details).

I hope some of these ideas are useful.

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