Time is something I don’t have enough of but still I have to come up with some ways of trying to incorporate things I would like to do into my daily schedule and five minutes is pretty much all they are going to get right now! Of course I want to share these ideas with all other busy parents out there.

**Smarties Maths** – Not the healthiest option and obviously smarties could be substituted for another small snack but the idea is the same. You can ask your child to do these different things with the smarties while you cook etc. You choose when they get to eat them.

– Sort the smarties into groups based on color but first predict just by looking which group will be the largest. Predict just by looking at the whole group of smarties how many there are.

– Sort the smarties into even groups. How many different ways can you group them? How many are left over in each group? Which is the fairest way to split them? How would you divide them within the family? Why? (Maybe not even fair groups but groups based on reasonable suggestions e.g. Dad gets more because he is bigger etc.)

– Put the smarties into groups of tens and ones and write them down using a tally chart. You can also use freezer bags to have your child make up groups of ten, this is useful for subtraction later to help them see why they have to subtract from the tens column etc.

– Add and subtract using smarties, first really simple ones like four minus two (you can also save this until the time they are allowed to eat them). Build up the questions and encourage them to make up a quick story about the number problem e.g Mummy gave me 15 smarties and 6 fell on the floor, now I have 9. I can share these nine with mummy and daddy and everyone gets three.

**Lego Challenge – **I never thought this one would be interesting at all to my (then) three year old but she was really good at it. I was given just five different size lego bricks at a workshop and then given 5 minutes to try and make as many objects as possible out of these bricks. You can give your child the option of using your phone to take a photo of each thing and then explain it to you later. It is nice if one brick is „special“ i.e has an eye painted on it or is see-through. Their imaginations run wild.

**Chalkboard Menu** – If you are cooking and they are bored, it is nice if you have a chalkboard which they can practice their writing on and write the menu for the evening. You will need to write it on a piece of paper first for them to copy. It is nice if you have some fancy chalk that is also dust free so fine to be around the kitchen. Our fancy chalk was sent to us to test from www.myshinyshop.com and writes on all non-porous surfaces.

**Take Out A Subscription** – We at Mama Chic have tested a wonderful monthly subscription from Travel Kids Club which you can read more about here. We really enjoyed spending this time reading about other countries with our children and the five minutes could be spent on doing a craft or when they are older reading out some facts and information about the country.

I hope you found these useful! I will add any more as we carry on along our school journey.