I am a boring mum, how to change it(16 Posts)
I love my 16 mo DS to bits and I will do anything for him. But when it comes to play time at home I am crap!!!! And I can see he is bored with me. We go to few play groups but he is not like playing just running around and chatting to people (in his baby language). I think it's cos I didn't teach him how to play :-(. At home I have so much to do that he ends up watching tv and I am doing everything half heartedly as DS would follow me every 10 mins all upset for me to pick him up. When I try to play with him, I just don't know what to do. He does not have anything that he likes a lot, he is not interested in drawing or crafts, my imagination does not work on how to play with cars or trains to make him interested......... One thing he likes is to climb on the chair and sofa and he takes my hand and lids me where he wants me to help him to climb. Any advise on how to switch on my creative part of the brain that my DS enjoys time with me. Thank you x
i think its a tricky age they are bit limited what they can do -and running round chatting sounds normal and v cute - and I struggled to do loads of playing for any length of time
books can be good, my DC started to be interested in simple puzzles
music and dancing, peek a boo still good, dens , tickling? horsey rides
there a good book called playful parenting - more for older children but might give you some ideas
also maybe do things in spurts - set your timer - 1o mins of house work and then 10 mins playing? bit of TV while you are doing things isn't in my view a problem
You can always get him involved with things you need to do. So he can play in the washing basket or throw socks in the washing machine whilst you sort that out. Let him join you while to cook and he can 'help mix', or sample raw ingredients. Let him stand on a chair at sink with a little bit of water and bubbles in and he can 'clean' spoons or something, whilst you clean kitchen for example.
All of this will free up time so when he is playing properly you can be with him more.
I was going to suggest the sink too, with some plastic cups for pouring and rubber ducks or something - he'll get water everywhere but it might occupy him for ages! You often can't beat a ball for play at that age - just throwing it to him and have him throw / kick / bat it back. Or rolling it along the floor to each other - sometimes slow, sometimes fast to make him giggle. Ds used to sit in the laundry basket while I folded away the clothes. You could fill it with soft toys too. A cheap paddling pool in the living room, filled with those cheap balls you get in bags from Tesco to make a ball pit - that can give hours of fun, sitting in it and throwing the balls around. You can pop in and out and throw some balls at him, inbetween doing your jobs about the house. Hope that helps. x
Treasure baskets. Get some baskets/small tubs and put interesting objects in them. Sit chokd with basket and they'll explore everything and will sometimes also enjoy putting things back in. For exampme, ds had a kitchen one with wooden spoon, silicone cake case, sealed pot with rice in it to shake, mini rolling pin etc. He loved it And would play it while I cooked or we'd go through the things together.
I know its hard at that age but try not to resort to the tv otherwise he won't learn how to entertain himself and will ask for the tv instead.
Have you tried play doh?
Mine loved shallow bowls of water and would wash their cars and dinosaurs in them.
I also took them out every day for a runaround. I actually found it easier to take them out than to play at home with them.
They were more content at home if they'd been for a walk/park/fed the ducks. Even if it was raining, we'd get wellies on and go out.
I signed up to the babycentre.co.uk weekly e-mail which helpfully suggests "Games for your baby this week". Agree about getting him to help. My DS used to love (and still does) "helping"! Dusting skirting boards, buying a small broom, playdoh, sorting the washing (great for learning colours) are all good.
Like the others have said, babies and little kids don't need expensive toys or anything sophisticated - they like to copy and they love attention. So if it's too wet to go outside (and they don't mind the rain if they're dressed for it!) try putting on some music and clapping or dancing along with it. He might not be able to join in singing but he'll love hearing you sing. A wooden spoon and a saucepan or something he can shake that won't disintegrate. A CD with old favourites he'll probably hear at nursery or playgroup you can pop on in the car or when at home will get played as many times as you can bear it. Old MacDonald had a Farm kind of thing with you doing the animal noises or moving about pretending to be creatures.
Thank you somuch, all those things are so simple but it helps somebody actually telling you some suggestions. I really need rethink how we plan our day. It's is true it is much easier outside and I feel much better with my DS when we are out. I am so nervous letting him into the kitchen, but I think it's better he learns everything with me than one day he will get in there and explore by himself ......
Do you like to dance? I dance about to the radio and make up actions to the songs. I mean, hey, no-one's watching...
I bought a second hand FunPod around that age (basically a box they can stand in in the kitchen to "help" but a lot safer/more contained than standing on a chair). Since then my DS "helps" with all cooking, washing up, cleaning etc. He absolutely loves it and can pretty much make a cake independently - including breaking the eggs (he's not yet 2)! He also loves loading the washing machine and unloading the dishwasher.
In between he will now spend quite a lot of time playing with toys, 'reading' books etc but that has been more from 18m onwards.
You mention his baby language, it's so sweet when they are by nature friendly and outgoing. He will mimic you and you can help his vocabulary by naming colours or parts of the body and maybe foodstuffs at home or round the shops. Nearly every parent has an experience later on when travelling on their own on a bus or on a train and see something and automatically exclaim, "Oh a red tractor!" or "Look two cats!" only of course no toddler just other passengers .
BTW you can use a travelcot as a ballpit - we had ours up for ages. It was a tent style one so we unzipped the door and the DCs could climb in and out of it for ages but a normal one is fine and they have so much fun they won;t notice they are effectively penned in. 16m is a bit young for crafts really. How about a couple of cars or trucks that pull back then zoom off? You can race them, see which goes furthest etc. As others have said, this is a tricky age cos they're old enough to be bored but not really old enough to actually do much!
Awwwww thanks a million, I feel so inspired now, I cannot wait for him to wake up :-D
Also, we have a cupboard full of safe things he can rummage through in the kitchen. Just like their plastic cups/ plates etc, maybe keep the mixing bowls in there if plastic, or plastic storage tubs/ ice cube trays. Plus a whisk or two. Just things that were already in the kitchen but rearranged so breakables now up high. It means they can a) start finding their own cutlet for dinner , and b) it might make a bit of mess but if you want to keep an eye and need to cookie whatever then they are safe.
For DD I had one cupboard which I only kept unbreakable items in. This was her cupboard which she would empty and play with the contents while I cooked or washed up. DS1 would stay quiet for ages with a blank paper and coloured crayons. DS2 loves to dance, climb and play with balls. Certainly taking them out for a walk or run helps with all of them!
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