What do you do with your toddlers cold miserable afternoons?

(18 Posts)
Needmorewine Wed 06-Jan-16 17:26:52

Struggling a bit atm. DD is 2.8 and whilst our mornings are generally fine and taken up with pre school / meeting friends / trips out etc I am struggling with the afternoons. She no longer naps and I feel I'm resorting to far too much TV. I did baking with her today which she enjoyed but it only really takes up about 20 minutes. Puzzles, duplo, crafts, playing with dolls she only really has a very short concentration span for and just wanders off leaving pieces everywhere. Her new favourite thing is just to literally hang off of me whatever I'm doing and Im getting to the end of my tether. She enjoys her bath but again only really lasts for twenty minutes or so. I've tried all these this afternoon and nothing held her interest so she's back watching TV. Just makes me feel rubbish and like she's not having nice days and I think we're both bored! Any tips on how to make the afternoons more bearable?

VocationalGoat Wed 06-Jan-16 17:43:40

It's tough...and for mum it can be a bit boring. Have you tried aquadraw or something like an ELC super scribbler?
My daughter loved drawing and really enjoyed Stabilo's Woody pencil grip crayons at that stage. I always have loads of paper and pads around. Even at 5 1/2 she just loves drawing.

What about story time? I used to play CDs Dame Edna's Peter and the Wolf CD is fabulous. I would have DD sit down at the kitchen table and look through the book while Dame Edna read and the music played. Going on a Bear Hunt is great too. I also had (still have) an easel: one side is a chalkboard, the other is a whiteboard and in between is a roll of paper for painting. My DD loved this from 2-4, less so now.

Motherhood, greatest blessing that it is, can be mind numbingly boring. I go through major burnout periods where the kids grow fungus in front of the TV...just rotting in septic telly. grin It's hard to be all sunshine and enthusiasm 24/7!

The other thing my DD loved were Melissa and Doug shape puzzles. I'll attach a photo. Her easel is Melissa and Doug as well.

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Wed 06-Jan-16 17:45:31

Cbeebies! Quality programming and no adverts. Periodically read them a book or go out to garden. It's^fine^.

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Wed 06-Jan-16 17:48:41

Can't get italics to work. Too much TV has rotted my brain probably.

VocationalGoat Wed 06-Jan-16 17:56:03

cBeebies is brilliant!

KP86 Wed 06-Jan-16 18:05:15

Nothing wrong with a bit of tv. I reckon ours is on half the day but DS only stops to watch periodically. Some activities that you could do instead:
- Indoor heated swimming
- Waterproofs on, then off to the park
- Helping mummy with housework (eg. you vacuum and she follows you around with toy version), plastic spray bottle with water and a cloth to clean the bath/shower/wiping furniture
- Dance party
- Get dinner prep done together
- Use an old phone or digital camera to go on an excursion and take photos
- If she wouldn't mind, jump on the bus and go for a look-see adventure. You don't even have to get off if it's a loop, just travel back to home.

Celen Wed 06-Jan-16 18:10:46

We do a bit of "quiet time" in place of naps post lunch. So puzzles, reading and magnetic game thingy. Sometimes we'll do drawing, stickers and playdoh.

superking Wed 06-Jan-16 18:13:18

I have the same problem at the moment - mornings fine, but afternoons drag on and I worry about too much tv. I try to get some fresh air in the afternoon unless it is really awful weather - so a trip into town (10 min walk each way), half an hour splashing in muddy puddles, a scooter round the park... Other ideas are the library, soft play, cafe. I try to keep tv watching to specified slots - eg an hour after lunch for some quiet time, half an hour whilst I'm making tea, rather than switching it on whenever I'm at a loss what to do next. But that only works on good days!

DS starts preschool next week for one morning and afternoon so I feel like that takes the pressure off a bit.

confusedandemployed Wed 06-Jan-16 18:13:46

On rainy days cbeebies is on rather a lot in our house too.

But we have dogs so will often use walking them as an excuse to get out. DD gets togged up and goes jumping in muddy puddles. Tip: you don't need dogs to do this wink

We also go to the library.
Play dates with friends - often at softplay
Go out for tea at a local cafe
Thankfully our local gym has a free creche so mornings she goes there while I do a workout get some child free time

SerenityReynolds Wed 06-Jan-16 18:19:31

I feel your pain! I hate the long afternoons too! Could you look to see if any of your local children's centres have a stay and play session in the afternoon one day? I would also maybe try to get out again in the afternoon, straight after lunch in the winter weather permitting. Even if it's just a walk round the block or out to post a letter/to the local shop. That can kill almost an hour. Trip to the library? Swimming? Soft play every so often? Supermarket shop? Playdough, painting and drawing are all good ways to spend a bit of time. I used to find playing in a different room was sometimes a nice change of scenery. Download a few games onto a tablet and sit and play together?

Basically, on dry days I try to go out more, then if the weather is crappy the next day, I feel less guilty about sticking DD in front of the TV for a bit longer!

toffeeboffin Wed 06-Jan-16 18:19:53

How about going to a 'mall' for a walk around?

Not sure if you are near Bluewater/Trafford Centre type of place, but if you go early in the day when it's quiet there's lots of space to run around, window shop etc?

Garden centers are also good, there's usually a cafe and sometimes a playground. Indoors is good too if the weather's rubbish.

BertrandRussell Wed 06-Jan-16 18:22:11

As dp's late grandmother would have said "They're not made of sugar, love"

toffeeboffin Wed 06-Jan-16 18:22:18

Indoors of the garden centre, not just indoors!

Needmorewine Wed 06-Jan-16 18:36:21

Thank you everyone these are some really good ideas and it's good to know I'm not the only one . Had a bit of a pants day today DD up in the night a couple of times, refused to nap and just had the nightly toothbrushing battle I have to kind of pin her onto my lap to do it and she threw her head back and head butt me in the nose it really hurt ! So I shouted at her and she cried and I cried sad . I know I should be enjoying this time at home with her but it's so bloody hard sometimes and some days just seem very long. She used to be quite good at playing independently and would love to sit and do crafts but it's all just gone to pot recently and she won't settle to anything. I'm going to make a list of these ideas and try them out.

BertrandRussell Wed 06-Jan-16 19:32:46

I am a great believer in fresh air and exercise- for toddler and carer! Outside regardless of the weather. Blow away the cobwebs and get them properly tired!

waterrat Wed 06-Jan-16 20:34:14

I feel your pain and I offer my answer...go out twice a day. I can't bear being indoors with my children ....The best way to avoid tv is to get out. If she is still sometimes napping might she have a little sleep in the buggy if you go to park mid afternoon?

I do lunch then tv then once they have had a rest we go out again. I was in our park until it was pitch dark today! 18 month old and 3.5 year old we did puddles swings and then had tea in the cafe in the park. However crap the weather is always better to get home at tea time having had fresh air.....

waterrat Wed 06-Jan-16 20:35:49

And btw dnt feel bad. I found the transition to no nap v hard as the day is so long and they get grumpy. But they get used to it...and the evenings will be lighter soon and the afternoons easier ....

Needmorewine Thu 07-Jan-16 08:18:16

Thank you both. We're meeting a friend this morning and the plan for this afternoon is to wrap up and go to the library weather regardless !

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