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Trapped Toddler Parents of Winter 2020/21 Support Thread - Puddlesuits at the ready!

(986 Posts)
ReallySpicyCurry Sat 24-Oct-20 17:44:54

Are you the parent of a small child who doesn't yet sit still for more than five minutes? Do local lockdowns mean there are no baby and toddler groups for miles? Are you sick of walking the same three routes every day since March? Then come and join our support thread! I have started this after some of us had a good moan on a thread in AIBU ("To be worried about staying sane stuck inside all winter with a 2 year old?") because I thought it might be nice to share ideas/activities/general moans and concerns, over what is probably going to be a tricky winter for those of us with babies and toddlers.

Don't forget the answer to all your prayers though... The ever reliable puddlesuit. Puddlesuits are absolutely mandatory this year, and you are expected to wrestle your child into one and make them jump in puddles daily. If your child goes blue with cold, administer a swift dose of hot chocolate and hope your local Amazon delivery driver gets move on with your latest order of kinetic sand/playdough/ball pit/stickers. Failing all else, Peppa Pig is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, in October as in March.

OP’s posts: |
Juniperandrage Sat 24-Oct-20 17:49:54

Toy rotation! It's really good to stop her getting bored

MessAllOver Sat 24-Oct-20 17:53:38

Important question... Where can we buy adult-sized puddle suits?

It's not usually the toddler going blue with cold here... The little toad is toasty and warm in his waterproof, thermal, lined puddle suit as he shouts, "You jump too, Mummy, It's fun!" and splashes cold, miserable, saturated me with mud.

Juniperandrage Sat 24-Oct-20 17:55:28

Mountain Warehouse do decent waterproofs

teaandcustardcreamsx Sat 24-Oct-20 17:59:16

Assuming you already have good waterproof coats—waterproof over trousers are brilliant! I got mine from go outdoors and mountain warehouse but found the go outdoors ones better smile

ReallySpicyCurry Sat 24-Oct-20 18:01:35

I ordered a pair of waterproof overtrousers on the Regatta ebay outlet for less than a tenner. I could do with a new warm waterproof jacket too actually - I have a lighter coat for hiking, a longer and smarter coat for wandering round farms and National Trust places, but nothing that won't get in the way and which will keep me warm and dry as I jump in puddles

OP’s posts: |
MessAllOver Sat 24-Oct-20 18:02:32

Thank you...Will look at all these!

ReallySpicyCurry Sat 24-Oct-20 18:03:48

Would also like to give a nod to Dunlop wellies- I have their welly shoes for the garden, and their short half-boots in the car for muddy walks (see, I am actually an outsidey person just not EVERY FRICKIN DAY FOR ALL WINTER) and they're better than fancier brands in my opinion

OP’s posts: |
FolkSongSweet Sat 24-Oct-20 18:07:19

Following! I’m going to have a newborn as well god help me...

Janaih Sat 24-Oct-20 18:07:51

Checking in!

Twilightstarbright Sat 24-Oct-20 18:08:16

@MessAllOver Amazon had some.

My hunter wellies are genuinely excellent at keeping my feet dry. I got tk maxx.

OhToBeASeahorse Sat 24-Oct-20 18:08:38

Oh my goodness yes to this thread!

I also have a newborn just to make life fun...

MrsL2016 Sat 24-Oct-20 18:13:17

Can I join. We enjoyed the outdoors quite a lot before lock down, mostly because it was cheap, but it became so tiresome when we couldn't do anything else. My DS is 2.5 and his puddlesuit and wellies are already well warn as winter descends. We do have an annual ticket to the local aquarium and it will be getting A LOT.

MonkeyPuddle Sat 24-Oct-20 18:13:28

Oh god this is my future for the next 6 months. Also with a newborn. God help me.
DS is ready with new wellies and waterproof trousers. I need to drag my 40w pregnant arse down to Go Outdoors for wellies. We went to the park today, sketchers Go Walks do not keep your feet dry. Sling ready for newborn, massive cagoule ready. Mummy not mentally ready!

ferntwist Sat 24-Oct-20 18:21:49

Great thread! Looking forward to it.
Could anyone enlighten me as to what a Gruffalo Hunt is? Do you need to buy the book?

Juniperandrage Sat 24-Oct-20 18:22:01

Have you done that thing of buying a ginormous cagoule to zip you and your baby in? I did that because I wasn't shelling out for a hideously expensive baby wearing coat

OhToBeASeahorse Sat 24-Oct-20 18:27:04

@MonkeyPuddle we have a toddler and newborn survival thread over in parenting - please join us!

MonkeyPuddle Sat 24-Oct-20 18:32:16

@Juniperandrage I have indeed! I’m not spending £££ on a special coat when I have my trusty ancient cagoule!

MonkeyPuddle Sat 24-Oct-20 18:32:46

@OhToBeASeahorse on it! Thank you! I’m 40+2 today and crabby as fuck grin

OhRosalind Sat 24-Oct-20 18:34:11

Thanks for the thread! Décathlon is your friend for cheap adult wet-weather gear.

The guardian had an easy recipes to do with kids section today if you’re not too sick of baking, we made the snake breadsticks this afternoon.

I am genuinely envious of your national trust and aquarium plans, however repetitive. Monday to Friday 22-month-old DS and I are stuck in a very small town with 4 crappy playgrounds designed for older kids, and everything else closed for Covid. The streets are full of potholes though so puddles are not lacking, and we are armed with puddlesuits and wellies so we’ll survive.

ReallySpicyCurry Sat 24-Oct-20 18:35:44

Other things that have been good indoor hits with us recently

Skittle set
Kinetic sand
Taking all the cushions off the sofa and jumping on them while I hoover months of cracker crumbs.

I've also just purchased this beanbag/ring toss set - they're on Amazon and ebay if you search for "throwing beanbags" or "carnival combo", I got mine for a tenner off ebay but there's slightly more expensive ones with good reviews on Amazon if you don't want to risk it. Bonus that they can be used indoors and out.

Another thing I'm going to try and do this year is keep using our garden through the worst of winter, especially on days where it is so utterly miserable that I just can't face a walk (with all those lovely puddles) but toddler still needs a run around, even a few fifteen minute stints. We practically live in it in spring, summer and autumn so I'm working on ways to make it winter proof- I've put chairs in the shed along with some crayons, paper etc, the idea being that I can sit there, sheltered, with a coffee while weatherproofed toddler roams outside/in and out of shed- rather than going out into the garden and coming back into the house five minutes later because it's rubbish out. Sort of an all weather classroom. Wish I had a summerhouse.

You can make a DIY mud kitchen for very little money or effort - they do this in the forest school I take DD to. Get one of those big plastic storage boxes-a good sturdy one. Fill it with old saucepans, spoons, jugs. When you want to play with it, tip everything out of it and turn the box upside down - and voila, you have an easily stored, transportable, practically free mud kitchen

A magnifying glass, bug viewer, and bug identification book can all be bought for less than a tenner- ours were all a couple of quid each from Amazon/eBay and DD will look for woodlouse for hours.

An acrylic mirror and some window crayons have also been popular with DD - none of our windows are safely accessible to a toddler so ergo the mirror

Orchard Toys do excellent games and puzzles aimed at 12 months plus which can be found second hand/fairly cheaply in charity shops and ebay.

For those of you who find it hard to make dinner with a toddler in tow, I got mine a booster seat for the kitchen chair, and a Kinderkitchen (think that's the name) knife, which is basically a safety knife for kids. I give her something to chop- bit of onion, celery - and it keeps her occupied for quite a while.

I have also toyed with the idea of asking on Facebook if anyone local would like a socially distanced puddle jump, but I'm a bit worried I'll be scolded by the online curtain twitchers- i don't even know what the rules are for meeting outside anymore, they seem to change constantly. If anyone has managed this then I'd love to know how you get on.

I think part of the problem is I can't seem to tire DD out enough. Even if we go on multiple walks a day, or stay in and do activities, it's the combination of all these plus the social side she's missing. The few times we've managed to play with other children since March she's been so much more engaged and excited.

OP’s posts: |
Nancydowns Sat 24-Oct-20 18:46:38

Hi all. I'm also one of the possibly mad or about to go mad women who have a toddler and a baby due. I'm 38 weeks so not long to go.

Window crayons would keep dd busy, but she's already writing on stuff she shouldn't, so I'm not sure letting her write on the windows is giving her the right message.

I'm struggling with crafts because she litrially eats everything. Sand, mud, glitter, sequins, crayons, paint. Not just to try either, she full on eats everything. She bites the nibs off pencils and felt pens. She is only 22 months so maybe she's still just too young.

We're going on a scarecrow hunt next week. That should be fun but puddle suits will be at the ready as I think it's gonna be rainy.

She's into dinosaurs so I thought about trying to make a habitat for them together, blue Peter style, all toilet rolls and paper machet.

MessAllOver Sat 24-Oct-20 18:49:12

Things which have been a hit here are car track tape (you can create a huge car track on the floor with it), cardboard car ramp down the bottom stairs and double air mattress blown up in the middle of the room with sofa cushions round it as a homemade trampoline.

Unwrapping kinder egg videos on YouTube (suggested by another poster on here) have kept DS busy for hours when I just needed some peace and are strangely compelling.

Stamping also good... Bought a lot of cheap washable stamps online, less mess than painting and keeps DS busier for longer than drawing with crayons.

Put any toy on a raised tuff tray and it seems to become a hundred times more exciting. Keeps crayons and paint mess contained too. That has definitely been our best lockdown purchase.

Juniperandrage Sat 24-Oct-20 18:51:48

Mine loves, loves, the bath so some afternoons she is in there for ages.

Also have a gazebo that I sit under when she is playing in the garden in the rain

I've accepted she has more screen time than she would pre pandemic

EssentialHummus Sat 24-Oct-20 18:53:30

Checking in. For my contribution I give you... picnics in the back of the car or, for an added frisson of excitement, a work van.

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