Sounds ridiculous. Looks simple. But this thing is magic.
Yes, it’s just like the ‘fortune tellers’ we made as children, but with activities in. (If you need a quick set of instructions, there are some here.) I’ve chosen activities that our children can do without much intervention or set-up from me, for those ‘I’m bored and I don’t know what to do’ moments that happen about seventy times a day in the holidays.
Fold it up, colour in the sections, and when the little cherubs use the b-word, whip out your magic activity chooser. Ask them to choose a colour, then another colour, then – ta-da! – decision made. The beauty of it is that the children feel that they are making the decision, rather than us telling them what to do. So (this is the magic bit) they actually do it, instead of having a strop.
Yes I know it sounds too good to be true. But it’s got to be worth a try, right?
(Pro tip: I’ve used colours rather than numbers because obviously the children memorise what is under each colour. So mix it up by spelling out the name of the colour and opening/closing the chooser as you say each letter.)
Mizz picked up this idea and ran with it when I shared it on Twitter on Wednesday. This first tweet from last summer:
Saving my sanity today. They think they're in control… 🙂 pic.twitter.com/HyvtoM3jl6
— Hannah Meadows (@HLMeadows) August 3, 2015
Then this week:
(2/2) Summer holidays start in 90 minutes and I'm ready for them. pic.twitter.com/L7cyYIlQ9x
— Hannah Meadows (@HLMeadows) July 20, 2016
— Mizz (@mizzanels) July 20, 2016
— Mizz (@mizzanels) July 21, 2016
— Mizz (@mizzanels) July 22, 2016
Mizz came up with some other ways to use this concept, including one for all the activities to get ready for bed! I’m sure there are other ways you could deploy it – perhaps for little jobs to earn pocket money, for example.