Friday, February 17, 2012

What to do with a toddler when you are stuck indoors all day.

When I imagined being a mother who got to stay home with my child I am not really sure what I imagined. I suppose it was a reel of imagined highlights. I thought about decorating for the holidays, making craft projects, taking long walks, etc. Of course we do all of those things, but there is a lot of time in between that I hadn't considered.

I had to learn how to go through a day in a manner that was fulfilling and challenging for both of us. During the summer months this was easy. We'd just spend our days out in the back yard, but during the long winter months our outdoor time has been severely restricted.

sweet girl

Silly girl

So I have had to come up with ways to keep us both going through the day. Here is how we generally spend our time:
  • Reading. I pepper the entire day, morning through night with books. We check them out from the library as well. I can't tell you how important it is for me to find good quality books for her, keeps it interesting for me as well. Currently she is loving: Pinkalicious, the Toot and Puddle series, I Love You Stinky Face, and many more. Do you have any recommendations?
  • We clean the house. She is happy to take her little broom and help me clean. I take the time to give her little jobs to do on her own and together we slowly clean up the house.
  • We play with puzzles. I recently found a stack of puzzles at a thrift store and they have really become a fun thing for her to do. Usually this will buy me a little time to read or do my own thing...ten minutes here and there can make all of the difference for me.
  • We do yoga together.
  • We work on counting, her ABCs or whatever type of learning she seems interested in on a given day.
  • She is now at a place where she will spend some time on her own playing. Usually she does her own things for a bit and then she will find me to have a tea party or whatever she wants to do.
  • Nap time! I use this time for my job. I grade papers, prepare lessons, answer emails, etc.
  • After her nap she likes a good snuggle and I certainly don't mind that either.
  • Snacks and lunch are ways to spend the day. When she is ready to eat I have her help me prepare snacks and lunch. I find little jobs for her, like throwing apple cores in the garbage, that keep her engaged in the process. I also have a little step ladder that I pull out when I am preparing food. She just likes to watch the process.
  • We take Bumblebee for a walk. When the weather is bad this will be a quick trip around the block, but if the weather permits we will go a couple of miles (she rides in the stroller). We stop to inspect interesting things and talk as we go. Usually she ends up with a cool stick or a rock.
  • We do something crafty like drawing, painting, playing with clay, etc.
  • We invent games.
  • We dance to music.

toes

looking down

How do you entertain the toddlers in your life?

5 comments:

Kate said...

Since we're raising our kiddos Buddhist, we really love the Zen books : "Zen Shorts", "Zen Ties", and "Zen Ghosts". That and about 900 million other books...

Roxanne said...

I did what you did, educational play. I had a blackboard and played teacher with him. By the time he was 2 yrs old, he knew his ABC, his numbers, write and could read simple books. By the time he was 3 years old, he could read and understand elevator instructions, or some notice in the elevator.

sara said...

i like your list of activities. mine like to help clean and cook, but we're kind of bad at being stuck indoors! today it is rainy so i took them to barnes & noble to play with the train station setup in the kids' department.

sara said...

i like your list of suggestions. mine like to help cook and clean, but we're not very good at being stuck indoors all day. today it is rainy, so i took them to barnes and noble to play with the trains in the kids' department.

QuiteaCommonFairy said...

http://www.mowillems.com/
This guys writes some of the best children's books and Wendy LOVES them. He has a really fun series about a pigeon always wanting to do things he isn't supposed to (Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late, etc.), another series about an elephant and pig who are friends (Piggie & Gerald), and (our favorite) the Knuffle Bunny series about his daughter Trixie and her favorite toy. We love them & I'll bet you would too.

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