Re: get something to do / ing
The first isn't very natural. It suggests to me there was a bit of a problem, which you overcame.
When we first showed up, the supplies hadn't been delivered and half the work crew got stuck in traffic. Finally, though, we got the children clearning the playground while the adults started to dig the holes for the footers for the new playground equipment.
The second implies that you had to coerce the children in some way. They didn't want to, but you convinced them to do it.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.