Little kid help needed - respite kids with us first time over the weekend

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SuZir, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Our new respite kids will be with us first time over whole weekend. They have been here a day and one overnight visit before so we have had time to get to know each other. Lovely kids, but let's just say that it was obvious we need to get things bit more structured/under control from now on. The younger one, 5 yo boy, aspieish, literally ran circles, and did it quite a lot and big sis (8 yo) got frustrated in her attempts to parent him.

    We are planning a calm weekend, very calm and at home activities mostly. A nature trip nearby, bui nothing too exciting in any way. I also have made a timetable and I'm thinking that maybe we should make it visible also to the kids when they come. Talk and draw it out for example. I also thought maybe letting them take some pictures of things we do during the weekend and making some kind of 'diary' of it Sunday night for them to take home and show their mom. I first considered drawing also that, but the boy does have some fine motor issues and perfectionism issues so that could turn ugly. Photos and printing them out is likely safer.

    The boy is also a picky eater but the mom gave us very workable list of safe foods and it is easy to make sure there are something he likes with every meal. Not only that though, I'm more than ready to serve macaroni and hamburger meat with ketchup (brings back the old days) but I'm not going to eat that, so we will go with having something he likes for him to pick and more of our normals foods for us others.

    This weekend we are still keeping kids mostly together though after their visits it is clear why we were asked to give them both lots of individual time. The girl mommies her brother a lot and in the way that is not likely too good for her. She has also been overly responsible, helpful and considerate. She really could use some respite time from all that.

    I'm however little bit lost what kind of fun 'girls activities' I could do with her. Baking, cooking etc. are maybe too much of the chore (she does help her mom a lot at home) and I have been living in the boy world so long I can't even remember what little girls like to do. She has shown interest on our dogs so I do plan to teach her to teach them some tricks and things like that. There has lately been few popular kids tv shows there kids have competed in training agility dogs and tricks and she has watched those and is excited about the opportunity to try same things they did in tv. Our dogs are trained to understand clicker already and those type of tricks will be easy to teach them. And I have also found training animals to be great confidence boost for kids, so that will definitely be something we will be doing. But I could use other ideas. Doing her nails? Some fun crafts? What?

    Halloween is not much celebrated around here (we do celebrate All Hallows though, but that is not too kid thingy), but I was thinking that this weekend we will make some decorations (can anyone advise how to actually do that pumpking carving thing? I do have a pumpking, but no idea how you are supposed to do it) and bake and cook something to the Halloween theme.

    I'm all excited but have some butterflies in my tummy. Wish us luck!
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    :hi5: Best of luck. I'm not good at creative activities. Most of what we did for entertainment was sports, board games, coloring, paperdolls and lots of shared reading. Doing a Jack a Lantern can be fun but it is MESSY, requires a strong knife (not good) and is hard for difficult children to share. Once it's done you put a candle in the center which can also be a difficult child hazard. Hmmmmmm....can you tell I'm not the one to give you advice? LOL! I'm on your team and hope it goes well. Hugs DDD
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Girl stuff... well, some of it isn't "girl" stuff, but "stuff" that is fairly generic. Unfortunately, for this weekend, you don't have snow. Otherwise, girls often like cross-country skiing.

    If you want "girly" and not too hard... I'd pick up a small rug-hooking kit at a 2nd hand store. Or some yarn and a crochet hook, and start a patch-work afghan. My mom can't do any of this... but grandma did, and I enjoyed learning from her.
  4. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    All little girly girls like makeup and nails. Dollar store products. You can pick this stuff up and do that. Hair ribbons and clips, nail polish & remover (non acetone is safer), lotions, her own hairbrush and comb (she can even do yours), light colored makeup that she can put on (if you are not objectionable to it), play dressup with old clothes laying around and shoes. Coloring books and crayons. They also have knock off barbies and clothes. I'm not sure if you want to put out money or not so I'm just putting this out there for now. I'll put thought into this. I'm sure I can come up with more ideas. Some that may be able to be done with what you have on hand like the dress up. Boys are a little harder for me but perhaps your other half has some handy work projects to do around the house he can assist in (like handing tools), picking up leaves and putting in pile (I forget where you are at if it's that season for you).
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Do you have a pottery shop nearby? Duckie loved to decorate the bisque then pick it up once fired.
  6. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Ok I'm back and have a bunch of ideas for you now: Boy - you mentioned he has issues with fine motor skils. You can take a hole punch and punch out holes in paper or card stock and use a shoe lace and have him lace through the holes as practice as he "creates" a picture via the holes you have punched out. It will also work with his perfectionism as he will be able to do so but won't realize he is "fine tuning" his skills doing it. Simply catching and throwing a ball helps with that too. Something your other half can engage with him for one on one time. This is really good skill for him to have later in life for other sports or activities socially. Varying the size of the ball from big to small fine tunes it. If you are going to have him around continuously, like it sounds, maybe a cheap bag of sand to play in some area. You can use plastic containers to improvise for him to play with or some hotwheels type cars he might have with him or get. For the girl- do you have an area where you can allow her to make a hopscotch board? Or even just drawing with the chalk? (another dollar store item chalk and bean bag). If you have a bunch of old magazines she could cut out pictures and "create" a story with them much like what you were saying with the picture taking too. Or she could create a "wish" book or any other kind of scrap book with the pictures. String bracelet making. Have a picnic (you could do it with both, your other half with the boy, you with the girl). For both of them you can make pine cone bird feeders if you have pine cones (roll them in honey and then bird seed), make home made playdough recipes are online or flubber stuff which is like slime. Kids of all ages love it even teens. I have so many more and don't want to over whelm you but family fun magazine, which you can find online has a lot of ideas to. Hope it helps.
  7. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    That's a nice thing you and your husband are doing. And will help keep you on your toes, too!
    For some reason, when I read your post I thought "comics". I guess because when I was child I used to read girls' comics a lot - do you have those where you live? Might be a nice way for her to chill out for a bit, without any activity or responsibility...
    Hope you all have a lovely weekend.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well something I have some experience with since I raised 3 boys and now have 3 granddaughters!

    Can you pick up some used bikes anywhere? Around here you can get them pretty cheap at second hand stores.

    Also boys mostly like to play with trucks and such. Also Lego's are good but for his age I would get Duplo because they are bigger. Playing with the trucks outside in the dirt can be fun.

    For the 8 year old girl I bet she would love making bracelets and necklaces from stringing beads. You can get a big bag of colored beads in pretty big sizes and buy some elastic thread and a curved needle if you can find one. If you cant find the curved needle any yarn needle should work. Normally they are plastic. Just be sure the hole in the middle of the beads is big enough for the needle to go through. You can also find kits for girls to make hair bows.

    I also pick up some cheap projects that come in kits. We have painted magnets that have wooden fronts for the painting and the magnet is already attached. Our kit came with flowers and butterflies. I also got a kit for Monkey to paint some plaster of parris figurines. And coloring books are always fun. If you can find something called Auqadoodle it would be great for the little boy. The pad lays down flat on the floor and he colors with a pen filled with water and it shows up in different colors. Also at their ages they would probably love to read books that are age appropriate. There also some great websites that are kid friendly.
  9. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Thanks everyone! Sorry for taking this long to answer you all, but weekend was hectic.

    It went fine though. Our pumpkin may not be an award winner, but it was fun and more structured schedule made things easier. Of course the boy was likely less anxious now, when he knew us little better already, so could had been just that too. Again it was however easy to see why they hope we spend lots of individual time with kids.

    The boy's (I may need to come up with some names for them, the boy and the girl are kind of awkward) special interest is birds, so we did a trip to nearby bay to see the last geese, ducks and swans before they head to south. Next time they come he and husband will put up our bird winter feeding system so he can watch and photograph (he really like taking photos) birds that stay here over winter. husband has always been an avid sport pwerson so I'm sure he finds a way to introduce also this boy to many sports, but he better also gear himself for more nature orientated activities, because that is something boy seems to be very interested. husband does know his stuff also in forest, but while father in law is enthusiastic and avid hunter and nature person, husband has been more of a social hunter (same as with golf, you just have to golf and hunt with your business contacts at times to be part of 'the club' around here.)

    We really have to go through what stuff we have left from our boys and then ask husband's siblings what stuff they may have left after their kids. Bikes I'm sure there are few somewhere (of course that season is about over around here now), skates certainly, but I'm not so sure about cross-country skiing equipment. In that age both of our kids competed in that so they had quality equipment and we probably gave all that away or sold through their skiing club's flee market after they didn't need it anymore. I don't know if kids have their own stuff. Cross-country skiing in part of the curriculum on our schools and pre-schools but schools do have some extra equipment for kids who don't have their own. And considering that this is single parent family with many kids and one high special need one, I'm sure budget is tight. I'm an avid cross-country skiier and I sure hope I could make some skiing trips with the girl to nearby public lean-tos/campfire places by the skiing routes.

    Toys we already looked for. The boy was totally in love with difficult child's old, big pedal tractor and also enjoyed the Legos. Though our cooler Legos are for older kids (difficult child liked them a lot so we have lots of series that are meant for 10 or 12 year-olds and up) and he certainly is not able to put them together himself yet. But again, I think that is something husband can do with him. After all, they are not here to play quietly on their own and entertain themselves.

    We are not opposed using few bucks here and there to buy things we can play with them. Certainly don't want to overplay it though. As I said, family has it tight and it would be very awkward if kids would start to whine home about why mom doesn't buy them this or that, when SuZir and her husband give that to them too. However, when I know the kids and the mom better, i plan to talk about taking kids to some activities that cost a little. Like maybe taking them to theatre or children's fairs with entrance fee etc. But that I really have to talk with the mom first and see how she feels. And they did brought some of their favourite toys with them, so that is good too.

    Reading is one of my favourite activity with kids and we do have lots of good children's books left, so that is something we will definitely be doing a lot. Pottery is something I will need to keep in mind, same with the craft ideas. I love the Janet's idea about bracelets and necklaces. It has been highly trendy around here to make your own jewellery for few years now, so we have a good variety of stuff related to that from plastic beans for small kids to stuff adults use to make mostly silver jewellery. I have to go to shop that sells that stuff and pick up some wood beans and stones and other things needed before their next visit. I think she would like to do some necklaces and bracelets and I think it would be a fun idea, if we would make some Christmas presents together from those. To her mom and grandma (who lives several hundreds kilometers away, which is basically why they need respite family, we are basically covering for grandparents living too far to take them regularly) and maybe to some friends. Wood beans and pretty stones are inexpensive and you can actually make really nice looking necklaces from them also for adults.
  10. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you had a great weekend. I just wanted to add a blessing to you for doing what you do. I sure could have used respite care for my kids when they were younger. It was especially hard when difficult child was very unstable and we hadn't found the proper medications yet, and I was a single parent and their dad didn't take them for visits at all whatsoever. I was really struggling then and could have used some help just for a break every now and again. God bless you!
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Those bigger plastic beads or wooden beads are what Monkey uses now. Our bags come with round ones, oblong ones and even stars and hearts and they have them in either bright colors or more pastel colors.

    *I made a mistake several years ago and bought her a kit to make these things and the beads were really tiny so she couldnt string them herself.