why are there no baby and toddler groups/activities in the afternoon?

(44 Posts)
T100 Fri 06-Dec-13 16:06:12

Really struggle to fill the afternoons with the children (toddler and baby). Mornings are non problem then lunch and nap. But 3pm onwards I struggle to fill the time.

Any ideas?

roweeena Sun 08-Dec-13 20:45:30

I'm the same I have an 8 week old and 26 monther - I have spent money on getting a craft box together - glue, paper, raided the crafty section of local supermarket, finger paints, brush pipe cleaners, play dough etc. he wakes from nap at 3-3.30pm then a bit of crafty stuff (I'm not crafty in the slightest by the way but DS leads the way - a bit of glue seems to keep him entertained for a good 45mins. A few stories then a walk to the shop & its tea time!

Big garden centres are great, we can kill couple of hours easily. You need one with a pet shop, aquarium, gift section etc. We can spend a good 20 minutes trying to find different animals in the outdoor garden decor bit. I'm lucky to have two near me that have lovely cafes and farm shops so we end with a treat.

Coveredinweetabix Sun 08-Dec-13 20:04:50

I try & get a friend with similar aged children over around that time. The toddlers play together whilst friend & I sit on the sofa nattering, feeding our babies or dangling toys in front of them. Of course, we usually have to step in & sort out a few arguments between the toddlers but they tend to play quite well together. If they arrive sometime between 3.00 & 3.30 then the toddlers will have napped (if they still do) and the they can leave about 4.30 to get home for tea.

dogindisguise Sun 08-Dec-13 19:57:03

I go to a toddler group from 1.30-3 one day and gymnastics on another at 3pm so there are some afternoon things on, at least where I live. I agree that afternoons can drag. I suppose groups are usually in the morning as a lot of children nap around lunchtime. DS really isn't a morning person so I'm glad he will be going to afternoon nursery.

In the afternoons we may walk to the shop, playground, potter around at home, do craft or play dough, or sometimes (more in the summer) we may be out somewhere from around 10-2. Library may be a good option too (our library's bounce and rhyme is at 2pm).

DoctorWhom Sun 08-Dec-13 12:33:26

I feel the same. My toddler naps from 10:30-11 but no other time! Park, painting, baking, shopping, going round to toddler friends to play...

Indith Sun 08-Dec-13 12:21:32

Lots of other people feel the same as you, are there any of your morning group mums who are local? How about inviting someone over after nap time? used to be a lifesaver for me smile . snack and play for toddlers while we sat and jiggled and fed babies.

T100 Sun 08-Dec-13 12:12:35

cup lucky! I would take dc everyday if soft play closed at 6pm

cupoftchai Sun 08-Dec-13 10:48:28

I wish there were good toddler / baby activities that ran between 3 and 6pm. sounds like there are lots of us that would use them! it is a shame that museums, library, botanical gardens etc (which we are blessed with, and which are brilliant for dd in the mornings) close at 4.45-5ish. yesterday she didn't wake up from her afternoon nap until 4.30!
however this has reminded me that soft play here closes at 6.

T100 Sun 08-Dec-13 00:22:19

Good ideas thank you. Have a homebase near me so given me something to do.

Not sure if this would work for you, you need transport and a few garden centre with cafes...but this time of the year, until my eldest was at school, I would drive to a biggish garden centre, with lovely toilets, facilities and Christmas decs and have a wander and maybe let toddler choose one cheap ish dec if beautifully behaved (this was pre agreed!) and we would look at lights, trees outside and finish off with a drink in the cafe. One near me even used to have a lovely train set whizzing away through Christmas scenes.
You may get bored looking at gross flashing penguins etc but toddler and baby will love it.
I still have a collection of golden pine cones chosen by my toddler from those days....I would have chosen natural or silver but she loved golden ones so she decorated her room with them.

If baby is good humoured enough, how about promising time on Cbeebies app, it's really very good and promising one printable item each day. You can open their advent calendar and just print off a pic of her fav character which she can colour alone. Then help her put them up somewhere in her room/space.

I also vote for very simple Christmas theme DVDs, check out a big Asda for bargains on old classics. Mine would enjoy Snowman, Father Christmas and Thomas 's winter wonderland at that age. If toddler still drinks milk, make her a fake babychino for afternoon treat.

In my experience, of 3, simple pleasures are your toddler's best friend, it's how you present them!

I bet you are doing a great job, it is hard but this time next year the baby will be mobile and joining in so much better! Hang in there x

loveolives Sat 07-Dec-13 12:02:33

I detest 3pm onwards too OP. I have a 3.5yr old and 8 month old so am sort of the in the same boat. One afternoon I go to my MIL's and the kids have a bath and a play, one afternoon we go for a long walk, another afternoon we go round the charity shops, another we go to the library and the one afternoon I hate the most is the one I stay in and blitz the house! Totally understand where you are coming from, it's hard.

WhosLookingAfterCourtney Fri 06-Dec-13 22:45:09

3 o'clock is den time. Or ball pool time, or puzzles.

T100 Fri 06-Dec-13 22:39:05

Thank you all for the suggestions, definitely going to try the torches one, the dried pasta in a bowl, posting a letter - esp Xmas cards, they'll keep me going for a while, and washing up.

TheCountessOlenska Fri 06-Dec-13 19:07:51

I was relieved when my two year old dropped her nap for this very reason. I hated those winter afternoons! Once the nap had gone we could do more things early afternoon and then start the wind down to bed from about 4.30 wink . Baths are v good to fill an hour. I also liked to go on a VERY short walk most afternoons - to the postbox and back was always a hit, especially if you take a letter for them to post!

Wishihadabs Fri 06-Dec-13 18:51:16

I do remember this though having just lived through the helll of the school Xmas fete, an afternoon of chilling with a 2 year old sounds blissful.

Yes to soft play/park, swimming is no good as the pool is full of after school lessons and it's freezing cold and dark when you get out. These evenings are looong, agree duplo, baking, finger painting. Although some fresh air is good (helps them sleep)..

OnTheRunAndUpTheDuff Fri 06-Dec-13 18:40:03

You're not the only one. I have night-owl/late riser toddler (lucky me!) and we're rarely ready to leave the house in the morning in time for groups. I'd love it if there was more to do with him in the afternoon.

I'm also going to be in your shoes with a baby and 2yo next year, although thankfully I'll get spring/summer to adjust as I'm due in March. I have a feeling cbeebies is going to be getting a lot of use for a while though - and I'm not going to beat myself up over it!

BrianButterfield Fri 06-Dec-13 18:37:09

TV is the obvious choice for that slot - I know what you mean, there seems ages between the end of naptime and tea.

Easy things my 2yo likes are "washing up" (strip to nappy, stand on chair at sink and let him splash around with a sink full of water and any plastic dishes there are), helping bake/prepare dinner, playdough or a recent new favourite is buy a cheap bag of pasta and let him play with it dry in a big bowl with whatever cups/utensils you have to hand - as fun as playing in sand but much less messy!). Any of these end up being 30 minutes+ activities which is amazing! Also stickers or looking at those Cbeebies-type magazines together.

But yeah, sometimes it's just TV on and let them veg a bit...

GideonKipper Fri 06-Dec-13 18:35:37

Spending the afternoon hopping sounds like good fun wink

As pp have said, do you have a library near you?

Mine are all at school now and tbh I can't even remember what we did in the afternoons - it's all a blur. Hopefully it'll get easier as the baby gets a bit more interactive.

T100 Fri 06-Dec-13 18:17:33

plant I like your go for a walk with torches suggestion, great idea.

plantsitter Fri 06-Dec-13 18:04:07

You're not the only one. My kids are a bit older now but I remember those dark afternoons well... was just giving ideas as sometimes it's good to have something under your belt if you're having one of those (frequent in my case) afternoons in which everyone's crying.

Not trying to seem like super mum which I certainly ain't. Tv is fine if it gets you through, imo.

WaxyDaisy Fri 06-Dec-13 17:30:27

Library's good.

Or <whispers> DVD.

Whatever you enjoy doing with a 2 yr old indoors is what I'd focus on. For me that would be baking grin

sittingbythefairylights Fri 06-Dec-13 17:29:58

I actually used to break the routine down even more, if it helps.

Maybe nap until 2.30pm, then half an hour play. Then snack at 3pm. Then out for our walk (sometimes I used to walk by the local school because it felt busy). Home for 4.45pm. Tea, bath, stories, bed.

I used to chat to people in the park and library, just to get some adult contact. I still know all of the local shopkeepers.

Baby clinic - I used to pop in there too, particularly with ds1.

XmasLogAndHollyOn Fri 06-Dec-13 17:28:17

Nap time - most babies and toddlers have a nap, and then its the school run.

I used to go to the library or park with my eldest while the small one slept in the pram.

T100 Fri 06-Dec-13 17:22:12

Shopping. ..not hopping

T100 Fri 06-Dec-13 17:21:20

sitting this is how I feel - very isolated and bored in the afternoons.

Perhaps I should create an afternoon routine, one afternoon hopping, one at library, one watching a film ....then I just have 2 more afternoons to fill. Once its 5.30pm its dinner time and the start of the bedtime routine so its only 2-3hrs every afternoon to fill but it feels like more than that!

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