7 Ways to Sneak in Extra AM Rest on Weekends

7 Ways to Sneak in Extra AM Rest on Weekends

It’s the holy grail of parenting, and it’s within your reach.

By Lorraine Allen

Weekends are for resting, right? At least they were before we had kids. Unlike many other aspects of parenting, which get easier over time, the exhaustion of raising children only seems to get harder as we age. But once kids are old enough to be reasonably (and safely) self-sufficient in the morning, there are many fun distractions you can set up before you hit the hay to keep them occupied for quite some time when they wake up at the crack of dawn.

Buy Time With Toys
Set out your kid’s favorite toys in a funny, crazy, or weird scenario after they fall asleep. Maybe it’s a bunch of stuffed animals “trapped” in a tote bag or an army of action figures trying to climb up the wall and “escape” out the window. Then leave a note saying “Help us!” or something similarly engaging, so your kid will be eager to jump right in and play. Whatever it is, make sure your child will see the setup as soon as they wake up, instead of coming to wake you up.

Prepare a Special Self-Serve Breakfast
Tell your kids before bed that a surprise will be waiting for them in the kitchen when they wake up. This is great if you have kids (like mine) who wake up starving and need to eat immediately no matter what time it is. Then set out something they can serve themselves, in an inviting way. Single-serving boxes of sugary cereal and lunchbox (shelf-stable) cartons of vanilla or chocolate milk are a super-easy, self-serve weekend treat kids will love. Or surprise them with something sweet that you’ve baked or bought the day before, like a donut or muffin. Leave some books or coloring supplies on the table too, to encourage lingering after they’re done eating.

More from P&G everyday: 25 Simple Ways Tired Moms Can Energize in 5 Minutes or Less

Utilize High-Tech Tools
If you’re too tired to do anything requiring any energy at all, download a cool new app or educational game or TV show on a tablet, and promise your kid some fun screen time if they sleep well and don’t wake you up before a certain hour. Or opt for interactive books or audio books instead.

Send Them Searching
Leave clues to send your kids on a scavenger hunt through the house. The final “treasure” can be a breakfast treat hidden in an unexpected spot (with instructions to enjoy it at the kitchen table, of course).


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Encourage Craftiness
Get some new art supplies like coloring books, sticker sets, “magic ink” activity books, or play dough and wrap them in a big box so your kids wake up to an exciting package that will inspire them to make or build something once they open it up (and leave you alone!).

Assign a Fun “Task”
Give kids a fun challenge to wake up to, like building a fort with multiple “rooms” using kitchen chairs and some old sheets you can leave out.

Inspire Invention
Leave out a few random items – like twigs, construction paper, glue sticks, string, some plastic cups, a pair of old socks, paper lunch bags, etc. – and challenge your kids to create something (or you can say three different things, like a family of things,) with these “tool.” Tell them that if they succeed and let you sleep in until a certain time, they’ll earn something they want, such as choosing desert that evening, or going to a movie later, for example.

How do you try to sneak in some extra sleep on weekends?

Lorraine is a freelance parenting and food writer, and she shares her cooking adventures and family recipes at FeedingLina.com. She lives in New York with her family and one squirrel-obsessed dog. Follow her @feedingLina.

Image ©iStock.com/PongsakornJun

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