Making boring outings exciting for pre-school children

Boring Outings

Or…. how to make something you were going to do anyway fun and kind of educational so you feel like you’ve done something. With the best will in the world sometimes you can’t summon up the energy to think of an activity or go somewhere with your children.

We all have those days where you need to get something done, like a trip to the post office and that’s it. I’m a great believer in making a boring job seem like fun. Let’s face it I get bored doing this stuff. It’s not surprising the children do. So this post is just some of the things I have done with my kids to try and get away without actually doing anything much at all. If you want to make boring outings fun then read on.

Disclaimer: Some days none of this shit works! Don’t be disheartened, give up and go home…

Those Mundane Jobs

A trip to the supermarket, the Post Office or shopping. But actually, these trips can be made kind of educational, but definitely not fun. Not for you or them. Minimise tantrums that is all you are trying to do. Get away with leaving the premises with your pride intact.

  • Post themselves a letter. Yes it will cost you an envelope, a piece of paper and a stamp but getting your little one to write themselves a letter always seemed exciting to my two. You have the choice of shoving it in your nearest post box or if you’re going to the Post Office anyway getting them to hand it over the counter and buy a stamp themselves. The latter was most successful. Get the right member of staff on the counter who makes a fuss of them and it’s even better. Be warned if you post second class there’s longer for the “when will my letter arrive?” questions.
  • Shopping list. So this one is well known. It was especially useful when my eldest two were between 3 and 4 and too big for the trolley and likely to run around being a pain in the arse. I’d give them their own shopping list. They had to find the items and tick them off once they had put (sorry thrown from a height) them into the trolley. If you want to extend this further you can be fancy and print an A4 version with space for them to draw a picture of what they’re looking for before they go. This ties in well with the next activity which is…..
  • Cooking what they bought! For goodness sake keep this bit simple! Think rice crispie cakes etc. They buy the ingredients, pack them in their shopping bag, pay for them, bring them home and cook them. It’s the whole adult process in one hit. It will make them feel grown up. It will hopefully make your shopping trip less hassle and give you something tasty to eat after.
  • General shopping. Especially clothes shopping. I hated dragging kids around the shops. It was no fun for me or them. Pretty soon I’d turn into impatient, silent shouty Mum. One answer? A scavenger hunt. You only need a piece of paper and a pen. Even if you get 20 minutes respite from moaning it’s worth it.
  • Food. Obvious and necessary. Usually junk food they don’t get often. Need silence for a while? A packet of crisps works wonders. I’ve had to take my youngest to a hospital appointment. Quavers meant he was happy in his buggy and I could actually listen to what the consultant was saying.

Alternatively try and leave them with someone else lol. The best of British luck to you. I’m raising toddler number three and remembering how some days are just meant to be in the house.