I had an idea yesterday as my children were waiting somewhat impatiently for dinner to finish cooking, and I happened to glance at the huge pile of washing-up that was already waiting....
paper plate pictures!!!! I gave the children a paper plate each, plus one for myself and for Andrew, and some food-colouring pens I had left over from another food-crafting moment, and it kept them occupied until dinner was ready, and then they ate their dinner off them. I didn't think to take pictures but I have to admit, we did it again today at lunch! Esmes on the left is spongebob squarepants:
With the added benefit that after dinner we would not have even more washing up. We both hate the washing up anyway, and our dishwasher is broke and un-fixable until we find where we put the instruction manual and warranty last november when we bought it(uurgh).
..I later found andrew had washed the paper plates - so we could then put them in the paper recycling bin, no waste, hooray!!!