Create a competition
If you have more than one kid at home and they’re both at a relatively self-sufficient age, set them a challenge. It might be as simple as setting up a fortress in the backyard and challenging them to compete at who can stay out there the longest. Help guide them with the ground rules (they’ll need to feel in control though), such as 3-minute bathroom breaks, and help them get as comfortable and well-set up as possible. If it works, all you should need to do is deliver them food a few times a day. Otherwise, if you’re lucky, you might not hear a peep for a whole day or two.
This is a fun one for parents to do for their little ones, or if your kids are of a cooking age, they might do the same for you. Turn your dining table into the ultimate restaurant experience. Greet them at the front door, give them a menu with one or two options for a three-course meal, pour them juice from a wine bottle and give them an all-round giggle. This is a great tactic for kids that are struggling to understand why they aren’t going out for dinner anymore.
Let them wreak a little bit of havoc
It’s phenomenal how much entertainment can be derived from a little bit of mess. It’s doubly fascinating what few resources are needed. If it’s a nice day outside, give your kids a couple of tubs of water with a little bit of food colouring. Create some home-made playdough (whether that’s flour and water or some shampoo and corn starch), put them in some knock-about clothes and just let them do their thing. If you can handle the chaos, they’ll be stimulated for hours.
Create a charcuterie-style lunch
Followers of Australian model, presenter and designer Bec Judd will have recently seen her genius hack to get her four kids to eat. What her children wouldn’t touch on their own plates, they absolutely demolished when it was served to them on a platter. All the same foods but the kids gain a whole new level of eating autonomy.
If you’re feeling really creative – make an obstacle course!
All you need is a bit of masking tape and a bit of patience while you “slightly” rearrange your furniture. Create a trail around your home with little obstacles on the way. They can go over a chair, somersault over a couch cushion, crawl through a little bed-sheet tent – your imagination (and maybe their height) is the limit. (But see the next image of what not to do!)