DH has just returned to work today after 5 months off sick, so it was my first day alone with Sophie in 5 months, and she's changed so much since I was last looking after her alone! Back in September, she used to sit and play in her travel cot but that's been put away now, and she's much more into climbing, trying to reach things etc! Also, she used to nap after her lunch but she's gone into a bed since then and no longer sleeps in it through the day. While DH was off she would sleep if we took her out in the car but he's away to work in the car so that option isn't there!
Obviously I play with her, take her out etc, but what do you all do with your toddler when you have to do other things, eg nip out with some washing, do some dishes etc? I need something that will keep her occupied in the room I'm in, or in the living room while I'm in the kitchen, which is straight through from the living room so I can keep popping to the door to check on her. I tried getting her to do play-doh in her high chair in the kitchen this morning while I was making our lunch but she just threw it all on the floor! If I get her to draw, she just wants me to come and draw things. Sometimes she can sit and do play-doh for ages but it depends on her mood!
I tried to get her to nap but she just destroyed her room I had to take her out in her pram and she finally fell asleep. I really need to get some things done tomorrow but she is going through a phase of wanting me with her all the time. I'm knackered tonight! I'd forgotten what hard work it is looking after a toddler on your own
ETA I said in the title of this post for a 21-24 month old because Sophie's going to be 2 next week, but shouldn't be 2 till June because she was 3 months premature!
my personal list i keep on my computer desktop for inspiration
make a bean basket
make a pillow pile
take her out to sandbox
when really desperate put sandbox in tub for water play
elmo or other educational video
take one toy out at a time, play with it until she shows interests
fill up a kitchen cabinet with all stuff she's allowed to have
read books together
buy a kid's broom and dustpan/ give her sponges put these in her cabinet
more water toys for bath- scoops/funnels
magic carpet- blanket ride
take out her little people set
spin chair play, rocking chair play
big pot of water in her bath?
snack in tent
using a dropper activity
opening and closing activity http://www.montessoriservices.com/cl...ife-extensions
ice tray sorting with tongs http://www.montessoriservices.com/practical-life http://asmalltribe.blogspot.com/2008...our-hands.html
Drawing - she either scribbles herself, or she will tell me to draw something, or I will draw something and she has to tell me what it is. It will be something she knows the word for. She likes asking me to draw her daddy, and I will draw a little stick man, very plain with no detail. She then tells me to draw the hands, the feet, the face, the hair etc. It's good for getting them to name all the things and for their observation skills
Painting - ELC sell "easy painters" which are essetially bingo markers, and you can give them to LO to paint on paper with. She loves them and will sit there for ages.
Books - She's not one for reading to really, but we go through all of the pages ad either I will ask her to show me the dog, or point to something ad ask her what it is
Floor puzzles - we have one with numbers and colours. She can't do it but I can help her
Some things which keep Lily occupied while I'm doing something else are-
A bowl of washing up bubbles- Put loads of washing up liquid in your basin and run the tap on full so it makes loads of bubbles, then scoop them out and put them in another washing up bowl/tub. Lily can then 'wash up' her tea set or make a bubble beards on her teddies etc. This keeps her occupied for a good while.
Similar to the play-doh, homemade magic sand (flour and baby oil, but check the quantities). A good one for in the kitchen, while in a high chair. Don't get it on the carpet You could fill up a tub and bury little toys and use spoons and little cups etc to dig.
In addition to the great ideas above, we do:
Songs with actions
Tickling and gentle 'rough housing' on the bed, jumping on the bed
Looking at photo albums and catalogues
Painting, sticking, colouring
Cooking - fairy cakes and rice krispie cakes
Walks where we collect things to make something out of
Bouncy balls on the kitchen floor - rolling/gently bouncing them to each other
Involving JJ in the chores. He hands me clothes for the washing machine and wipes the floor with wet wipes whilst I clean it
Hide and seek (including teddy bear hide and seek)
Taking money out of and then putting it back into his piggy bank, or into his purse (one of my old ones)
Having a bath - a daily event as he loves the bath and it occupies him for a good 20 minutes
Looking out of the window (if your outside view frequently changes)
Going out at least once every day to either playgroup, swimming, friends houses, soft play or playground/walk to the shop
And, sshh, dont tell anyone I said this; but if you need 5 minutes rest/to do a chore - Cbeebies is like an old and dear friend xx
On the nap side Tom won't go to sleep in his bed during the day at all - I go with him going to sleep in the car and moving him to his bed when we get home or if that fails, taking him out for a long, long walk so he has a nap in the buggy. Its not going to be like this forever as it won't be that long before he drops his nap altogether and its better than putting up with him being really miserable from 3pm onwards.
Activities - we always go out to at least 1 group a day and then he helps makes lunch when we get home. Then he loves to 'help' with jobs like getting the washing out of the machine and onto the line. We also change location in the house regularly so we'll start playing in the lounge then go upstairs for a bit then out into the garden etc to keep him occupied if we're in for a bit.
And yes shhhh (like Chubbin!) CBeebies or even worse recorded Thomas the Tank engine from Milkshake is amazing when you need to get something done or just need some peace and quiet for 10 mins.
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