Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Parklife

Being a stay-at-home mum to two can be a challenge. Filling up your days all while educating and entertaining your kids is not always easy as it sounds. Neither of my two are in any kind of child care, so I often feel that I have to make sure we tick all the boxes - socialisation, music, art & craft, reading, playing. Just so they aren't missing out on what the other kids are doing - yep more mum guilt there!

Most days we go to the park, often twice a day and not unusually three times a day. I have to say going to the park is not my favourite thing. Sometimes it's fun, we concoct some kind of adventure and roll around laughing. Other days it's deadly boring (for me) pushing the swing and catching kids off the slide, it can be so monotonous that I think my brain may melt out my ears. At other times we catch up with friends so that the three of us get to interact with other people. I truly never imagined I would spend so much time in the park.

The older the kids get, the harder it is to entertain them. As day sleeps disappear, there's a lot more time to fill and a demand for more complicated games. Jangling my keys or playing peek-a-boo just doesn't cut it, no matter how hard I try. As much as I do love it, it's sometimes more exhausting than having small babes. My eldest gets bored and gets into mischief while I try and complete my chores and errands. Here is a picture from yesterday's effort:

Yes, that's toothpaste. Yes, that's her little sister. She says she was trying to turn her into a monster. Gee, thanks. All my own fault though, they were being particularly quiet and I used those quiet two minutes to finish washing up. I knew something bad was brewing, but a few minutes to complete something in peace is a rare thing. At this moment, Goosey is sleeping and Lil-Lil is covering me in stickers and paddlepop sticks from her craft box - anything to write in relative peace.


To keep the three of us sane, we've organised our days with Kindermusik, swimming lessons, playdates, playgroup/kindy sessions. To add to the mix they'll also be visiting a local nursing home every now and then. I'm also trying to organise excusions - today we went to the Maritime Museum, fabulous and free! We've also been to the Botanical Gardens recently. But, my God, trying to find fun things to do for free in Sydney is bloody hard. The zoo, aquarium, Luna Park and the like are more costly than child care! How do families go out and spend a day at these places, eat, pay for parking/transport and still have anything left in their wallets? It's highway robbery!

Does anyone out there have some fun [and free] suggestions? Something that doesn't involve toothpaste or parks... we've got those covered.

10 comments:

  1. Oh lordy. I remember back in the olden days when silence was a good thing... Cute lil monster though!

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  2. I am beginning to wonder how to entertain my one year old, so hats off for you with two older ones!!! Put it in this way, out these here parts in the One Horse Town we don't have access to museums and galleries and luna parks I am still trying to work out if this is a good or bad thing. I find the pool and the park are winners - but I see you need new ideas in Sydney. I was childless when I lived in Sydney so having trouble thinking... lets see..... what about you take them to different suburbs and test out different parks? Instead of the same park all the time? hmmm ok . sorry Corinne got nothing. but I spent a lot of space writing it. must go do dishes now.

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  3. Thanks Sharni! You make me laugh.
    I guess the important point I forgot to mention, but was thinking in my head [oops!], was trying to make the most of all these 'wonderful' things we have in Sydney.
    The girls and I do so much imaginary, discovery play and park play, I'm looking to do something to take the pressure of me a bit! And also take advantage of the fact that we have all this 'stuff'.

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  4. In Adelaide a lot of libraries have free kids activities, story time, etc. I assume there would be Sydney libraries offering the same thing?

    Otherwise can you alternate the park with trips to the beach?

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  5. I'm still reeling in shock from the cost of our last zoo visit!

    Our routine is good for the first three days of the week (playgroup/kindermusik/child care) and then all falls to bits later in the week. Think I might start swimming lessons for P at LPAC soon, just so we have something else on. It gets harder to be entertaining as they get older, that's for sure!

    For free stuff, I'm thinking of taking P to the MCA, the Art Gallery and the Powerhouse Museum. Not sure if you have to pay to go into the Powerhouse (maybe it's just specific exhibitions) but have heard that's pretty good for little ones and not too pricey.

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  6. We asked family to buy hubby and I zoo friends membership this year so we can go to the zoo all year for free! Kids under 4 are free. Means when we do go we don't have to try and see everything - we can see bits at a time. Even parking is cheaper!

    Also Centennial Park has had some upgrades over the last year and I think one of their main play areas is aimed at toddler and has some water play equipment which might be fun!

    I hear you on how hard it is to entertain. I'm getting a bit bored out of my brain at the moment too, especially with all the rain we have had. We get lots of mischief happening too when I have to get on with doing some chores. I had my three year old draw crayon all over things on our back deck yesterday....my youngest is 16 months and getting difficult to entertain too.....I think I need some suggestions too.

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  7. Lounge room soccer? Wears em out quickly and then bed's not too far away...

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  8. Yes, I am with Kellyansapansa, definitely the library! Your local one should have various activities on for a range of age groups each week barring school holidays. Often it is a story and songs and then a craft activity. Great fun and free!

    I am in Melb, so not sure about Sydney specifics, but my other ideas for day out, whilst not free, they are usually pretty cheap - children's farms and the museum. The museum here in Melb is something like $8 for adults and kids up to 12 (I think from memory)are free. An awesome day out for not alot of cash.

    I'm with you, home with kids and trying to keep them entertained is hard work.

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  9. Top ideas everyone! Loving it!

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  10. Definitely try the library- I was there with my 3 year old today and she loves the story/craft time.

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Thank you so much for your comments! I'm always thrilled to hear from you.

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