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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

YOU ALL ROCK! Here Are Your Fabulous "To Do With Toddler" Ideas!

In the makeshift fort...and loving it!

You all are so stinkin' amazing! Thank you for the brilliant ideas and encouragement!!! Knowing there are many other moms out there who could use some ideas and encouragement of their own, I am going to share with you some of the great ideas I received! Enjoy! (And thank you again!)

What To Do With Your Kiddos During The Long Days

(This SO works for me!)

  • Schedule activities in 20-30 minute increments

Example Schedule:


FREE play

One-on-one mommy time [one year old plays in playpen with 3 toys or so while you spend it with the other], Then switch--mommy time with the baby while the older one plays independently snack

30 min. DVD,

outside play/walk, story/books

FREE play

12:00--lunch, naps/room time[anywhere from 1-3 hours].

  • Build a fort!

Fort Building Ideas:

Use your dining room chairs and put a sheet over them. You can also take a large sheet and drape it over your dining room or other table. Tell the children it is their "fort" for the morning. They can put their toys in there, draw or color (or other age appropriate thing), and have a snack or have a lunch "picnic" in there. You may have to sit on a chair with the "door" open (sheet lifted up) while everyone eats. Usually they can come up with their own play with a special "fort". Maybe small flashlights? Or special music (do they have their own tape or CD player?) or watch a DVD (if you have a portable DVD player).

  • Drink lot's of water!

  • Play music and let the kids go wild dancing - give them instruments as well, even homemade ones.

  • Put out a pile of big and small pillows or large stuffed animals and let the kids play/wrestle/roll around

  • Bring out the Christmas movies and Christmas cookies!

  • Save some housework for them to do like dusting, windows, picking up, etc

  • Take treasure walks...walk around the block (good for them, you and the baby) and let them pick up different things they find! When you're done, put them in a treasure jar. (I did this today with the kiddos and they LOVED it!)

  • Give a quiet time (aside from nap) to sit with his children's Bible, color Bible pages or listen to Bible songs.

  • Vary your days: Monday could be movies. Tuesday could be Tent Day (build tents using sheets and your furniture). Wednesday could be Wiggle Days (put on some music and dance!)...etc.

  • Set them up on a chair at the kitchen sink with a sink full of soapy water, an old fashioned egg beater, and a straw to blow bubbles with.

  • Read to them...lot's!

  • Rotate the toys so it's like getting something new.

My friend Laura has an awesome list of "It's 8 a.m. and I'm tired out already!" things to do; Check it out here! It's really fantastic!

Advice that warms me:

"Make memories. You do not even have to do anything special to do that. My daughters remember food we ate while watching a movie or reading a book. Just because we were together and their senses were being engaged: yummy smells, soft material, warm towels, classical music playing, dress-up material of all sorts. Don't worry about entertaining them, just engage them. read, play, make them play without you, give them chores, memorize scripture, have them fold all the wash cloths, give them a water bottle and let them spray the appliances and wash them. Don't try to do it all, just breathe and do the next thing JOYFULLY." Robin

"This too shall pass."

"The days are long, but the years are short."

"Give yourself PLENTY of grace; you might as well, God does." Laura

"To marry and have children is the ideal life for a woman. What career could ever be as fine? To give the world splendid men and women - isn't that the noblest thing a woman could possibly do?"

~ Jessie Willcox Smith


Anonymous said...

I just made a fort with my niece and nephews last week when I watched them, They LOVED it!
Kaylia Santiago

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Sounds like you got LOTS of wonderful ideas and advice! I'm so glad!

Rebecca said...

Thanks for posting this - I have a two year old and a newborn - and am always looking for new ideas.
Have a fun day!

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

oh...I have so many ideas, but I missed your early posts...love this one. :)

Wani said...

I've been having alot of "long days". I'll have to try some of these ideas with my little guys. Thanks for sharing the ideas and words of wisdom.

Stephanie said...

I wanted so badly to pull out a list of all the things that work for me yesterday, but I was drawing a blank! Needless to say, I was so excited to see all of the terrific ideas today! My week just got easier! Thank you!

MamaHenClucks said...

You got some fantastic ideas! My kids are on a track system so they can be home from school for weeks at a time. We utilized many of the things on your list for our long days. Especially forts! And indoor picnics!

Maureen said...

Oh, thanks for sharing all the ideas! I love it.

Momof3 said...

Love it and it is so timely with winter coming. Thanks for the great ideas.

The Happy Gardener said...

Thanks for the awesome ideas! I babysit small children and I am looking forward to using some of these ideas with them. They have a cardboard box "house" that they like to play in, but it's starting to get worn out. The fort idea sounds like a good replacement! :)

Earthmama said...

Oh my kiddos LOVE to build forts too!! Great ideas. Thanks.

Katie @ 3 Blondes and a Redhead said...

These are great ideas...I'm saving this post for sure. With Halloween coming up, keep your eye out for sale items and after-Halloween costume deals. Things that you don't have to "help" with for your 1 year old (hats, firemen jackets, stethescope to be a doctor - sp?, accessories like that) and put them all in a dress up bin to pull out when you need to relax for a bit.