1 Play Houdini. You get to tie up your kids and they have to escape. Make sure you use double knots, thick rope, maybe handcuffs if they are available (No, not the pink furry ones). Several strands of rope are best. Then tie them to the leg of a bed or a door handle. By attaching them firmly to something you get extra time to do what you want.
2 Get them to check a goat. Tell them that goats have to go back to the Devil for one minute in every 24 hours to have their beards combed. Several children can watch a goat by doing it in shifts. If there is only one child this means it will have to stay awake for 24 hours so you can expect it to sleep for at least 24 hours afterwards. Peace!
3 For a short break play statues. Get your child to strike a pose and see how long they can stay completely still. They are a statue. An added bonus is statues can’t speak. If they do speak they don’t get the wonderfully extravagant prize you have tempted them with. They don’t get it anyway because you always catch them moving or they give up being a statue before the (unspecified) time limit is up.
4 Play dressing up. Turn them into pensioners, borrow a Rover ticket (go anywhere on the bus for the day) and set them the challenge of seeing exactly how far they can go. Tell them you’ll pick them up when they text. (You can cross your fingers when you lie and then it doesn’t count as a sin when you don’t pick them up.)
5 Play ‘Adoption’. You send your kids over to stay with a friend and she sends hers to you. It’s a known fact that kids always behave better for other people. And while they’re away you can move house.