Tuesday, August 22, 2017


A couple of weeks to go with school holidays. 

I find the more you involve yourself with the pastimes the more fun.



You need to have more than one TV remote control for your telly. We have a Sky one and the one that came with the TV. Turn the TV to BBC1. Arm yourself and 1 child with a remote each and designate a different channel to each (eg BBC2 for you and ITV to the child team). On a count of 3 shout "Draw" and it's the first to change to their channel.  NB; ensure that a score is kept and that, assuming it's the first to 20, that the child team gets a slight lead and maybe gets to 19-17 in the lead. Whatever else happens, they must win.


Get a sheet of newspaper and roll it into a tight stick. Teach them to roll their own. It's a harmless 'sword/light sabre'. Whether you or they are Robin Hood or Darth Vader, they win.  


A volcano has erupted and the entire floor is red-hot lava. They must get from A to B without touching the floor. And they do! Yay!


Kids love climbing. Devise a 'mountain' in the home that's challenging but safe. In our house a good one is to climb the stairs without touching the carpet (there's a sturdy skirting board on one side and gaps between the bannisters on the other). Again, the trick is to make it You versus Them, the dimension of them winning adds so much more.


This is brilliant. You take a position somewhere in the middle of the house and open the front and back doors. They have to sneak from the bottom of the back garden to the front of the front garden without you seeing them. Obviously you are selective in how often you 'see' them with your peepers of doom. I find I can play this one at the kitchen table while doing my fostering paperwork!

You just have to think on your feet, all the time. I've done others I won't recommend, merely mention to illustrate the lengths I've gone to in the past while remaining responsible and sensible (just).


This was a twist on baking cookies. Normal baking is good, but one foster child we had found it twee, refused point blank. Hmmm. The challenge became; who could cook the most obnoxious stew/cookie/pie (okay it's a sort of a waste of some ingredients, but no more a waste than paint and paper). In went his pet hates; tomatoes, onions, mustard, brown sauce, parmesan. This game was largely dependent on a good sport (my partner), being willing to 'taste' the results and decree that the kid's concoction was the winner.


Okay you can see why I'm not recommending this one, but it's no more irresponsible than 'playing' pirates or cops and robbers. 

Years ago we'd bought some motion sensors and an alarm after our garage was broken into. You can move the sensors around, they're battery operated. The players had to close their eyes while I placed the sensors in different parts of the house and challenge them to 'steal' the prize - a Harry Potter book - the location of which I'd tell them.


  1. Very ingenious! I love your blog. We are halfway through the process of becoming foster parents. It certainly is a roller coaster of emotions. Any tips on items we should stock up on? We are open to 2-10 year olds. Having said that, we will probably end up with babies and teens!!

  2. Hi, thanks Ally Cat! 2-10 year olds is a wide demography, can't think of any stuff that might bridge the divide, except maybe pasta and Dolmio original (forget basil and oregano).
    Let's assume a core of 4-8 years?
    Worth laying in ahead of your first placement; A box-full of toys, knackered ones seem popular (dolls missing a leg, cars missing a wheel), a DVD of Spongebob Squarepants or similar. Drawing paper and crayons. A new child's toothbrush.
    When it's D-Day (ie your first placement is on their way) : Hula Hoops, apple juice (clear), Dairylea segments. A couple of tee shirts to fit the size of the child (you'll get that info), some trackie bottoms/house pants to double as pyjamas.
    That's all I can tip you...apart from 100 tons of love and patience.
    I suspect that's already on stand-by.