15-Minute Mother: Volcano

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As a mother of three I suffer from constant guilt. I dip in and out of activities semi-present, my mind on the next job and hear myself saying ‘hang on a second’ so often that even I find it frustrating and hollow. The solution is simple: take fifteen minutes – an achievable amount of time to fit into the cracks of a day- and fully engage in the shared pursuit of creating/building/making or doing, something. Just one rule, switch off your phone. Afterwards the children will be satisfied and you’ll be able to get on with the necessities, minus the self-reproach.

 The Handpicked Collection Make Your Own Volcano £19.95.

Volcano Making Kit, £19.95

Essentially this kit provides three fifteen-minute projects in one box: The first, making the Plaster-of-Paris volcano using the mould provided; the second is painting the volcano in various shades of red, brown and yellow (or blue, depending on the children’s inclination); and the third, creating an eruption of oozy red lava which pops and bubbles all over your prized table cloth. The box says 8+ with clear warnings about being unsuitable for children under five. Health and safety rules aside, I would argue that the first two stages are suitable for over threes and the last stage, if performed by an adult, can be enjoyed by everyone. I love the educational angle (liquids/solids/chemistry). The children loved the mess. There’s something for everyone.

Tried and tested: Do get your hands on some baking soda (bicarbonate of soda). Baking powder won’t do the trick!

Sarah Hall is a freelance writer and advertising copywriter. She has three children, two girls aged 6 and 2, and a boy aged 4. Her perfect winter Sunday is to apply as many layers as possible, and find a countryside hill to struggle up with the children in tow.

Do you have any tried and tested arts and crafts that take 15 minutes or less that you can recommend to our readers?