Ideas to make Christmas with a toddler less completely shit?

(103 Posts)
Hardbackwriter Sat 19-Dec-20 20:59:31

Feeling quite despairing so trying to cheer myself up by finding some nice ideas - please help! I have a 2.5 year old, am 32 weeks pregnant and tbh DH and I are already really struggling to keep him entertained and to feel like life is anything other than drudgery. I was so looking forward to having some days at Christmas where he got to play with beloved family members and I got to sit down in comfort, drink tea and have a chat with an adult. That's now not happening - any ideas for how we can make it not just feel like another day of the same old drudgery? He won't tolerate sitting around and watching Christmassy films etc (and I also think that is very boring). Please don't suggest walks - I have SPD.

OP’s posts: |
Russell19 Sat 19-Dec-20 21:02:41

In the nicest way possible this is what it's like with children....

LivingMyBestLife2020 Sat 19-Dec-20 21:04:18

I can’t help but feel your pain! Mine is also 2.5 and a pain the ass!

Hardbackwriter Sat 19-Dec-20 21:05:12

Erm, that's helpful russell19 hmm

OP’s posts: |
EnglishRose1320 Sat 19-Dec-20 21:06:02

Decorating biscuits, co op do kits or bake sme simple ones and let them go mad with icing on top.

Christmas disco, just Christmas lights and songs, Dh and toddler can dance, you can rest and watch them!

Make an igloo, a den of blankets with a white sheet thrown on top, tuck up with some Christmas stories inside.

Could you use Amazon to order some christmas/fun bath bits, crazy foam, colour changing bubble bath, my ds' loved baths when they were toddlers.

My ds also use to play for longer with toys I had set up a bit, made the train track or set the animals up in the farm etc, so maybe some mornings during the festive period dh could take them out for a walk whilst you set up some play situations, do you have an christmas small world sets?

Drives to see Christmas lights early evening.

Zoom calls with family members.

Magicbabywaves Sat 19-Dec-20 21:08:42

Might not be helpful, but it’s true. My youngest is 2.5 so I get it. Your DH is going to have to take him out so you can get a rest. I honestly can’t think of much else.

sherrystrull Sat 19-Dec-20 21:12:12

Christmas lights drives
Tons of Christmas craft
Long baths
Playing in the garden
Make dens and assault courses around the house
Messy play
Trips to the park that have a bench!
Toy rotation
Singing and action songs
Julia Donaldson films on iPlayer
Involve them in food prep and cleaning
Scavenger hunts
Painting Christmas pictures to send to family members
Decorate cakes or biscuits


NaughtipussMaximus Sat 19-Dec-20 21:12:24

I’m pretty sure she airways knows that’s what life is like with a toddler, having got one! She was looking forward to a bit of break, ffs. What’s wrong with people on here today? Compassion bypass because they’re so bitter about having plans cancelled?

AllTheCakes Sat 19-Dec-20 21:12:48

If you don’t already, follow Five Minute Mum on Instagram. So many simple ideas that don’t take long to set up and keep the little ones entertained.

DS loves getting his step put up to the sink and washing up plastic cutlery, cups etc with bubbles. Baking is another one, giving him a big bowl of flour and oats to mix up and transfer to other bowls. Play doh, painting, kinetic sand and crafting all help pass the time too.

It’s not easy being stuck at home with a toddler!

SingToTheSky Sat 19-Dec-20 21:13:13

Really simple sensory stuff - lentils and little cups in a tub, dried pasta, bubble wrap etc. I find dry stuff much less daunting as less to clean up 😳

Similar to what English said my DD plays more when I set something up so if you can have something set up for him in advance it might spark his interest more.

A couple of other things I’ve done are sticking dried spaghetti into playdough to thread beads on, and lightly taping little toys down on a plastic tray with masking tape so they can peel it off and “rescue” them.

If you have a printer you could print pictures of his little toys, so he can match them (after rescuing them from lentils/tape/tub of bubbly water or whatever)

SingToTheSky Sat 19-Dec-20 21:16:45

If DH can take him out for walks he could collect things to show mummy. Maybe leaves, if it’s not too wet, to stick on some paper (or you could make him a paper hat to put them on).

One thing I meant to do in the first lockdown was tape some patterns on the floor with masking tape to jump on, walk along etc but never got round to it 😳

Hardbackwriter Sat 19-Dec-20 21:18:53

Thank you so much for all the genuine suggestions, some of these are great ideas that I hadn't thought of before so thank you. I guess I also particularly wanted anything we could potentially do together as a three and (and I know that this wasn't at all clear from my OP) any ideas for things that would be nice treats for me and DH but that would be manageable with a toddler in tow? Nice food, obviously, but is there anything else that people do that makes it feel like a bit of a treat day for the grown-ups too, or is that just unrealistic if you don't have other adults around to share the load?

OP’s posts: |
SingToTheSky Sat 19-Dec-20 21:19:37

I would definitely get some new books as well. Guess they won’t arrive by Christmas now but for the rest of the holidays, unless you have Prime. I have a pile of new to us second hand books I’ve built up with eBay (some sellers also do 3 for 2 etc so it can end up dirt cheap) and charity shops and it’s really useful distraction to get a “brand new” story sometimes - the pile is hidden so they are a surprise now and then.

GlowingOrb Sat 19-Dec-20 21:22:23

All the normal toddler activities, but Christmas themed.

Also, indoor snowball fights. Wad up tissues and start throwing.

sherrystrull Sat 19-Dec-20 21:23:19

Do you have any cafes open for takeaway nearby? Our highlight is a lovely coffee as we watch dc play or run around.
Time your drive for bedtime so you can chat and listen to Christmas tunes while ds sleeps in the car. Transfer to bed when home.
I recommend a tuff tray. Can fill with sand or rice or pasta and play. Then it all goes into a bag to save or up the hoover!
We got a tub of soft furry snowballs from the local garden centre that we have hours of fun throwing around.

ZippedyDooDa Sat 19-Dec-20 21:24:17

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

KatyN Sat 19-Dec-20 21:26:32

Really really simple games. We used to have a game cat and mouse which all players are trying to save the mouse together. It’s not competitive so easier to understand.

Paint sticks. Utter gold. You can draw on windows!!!! In summer (or with a decent coat) mine will decorate the outside windows and then clean them off with the hose.

Anything precious. I sew so my button box is very special. Very very occasionally the children are allowed to look in it (also my ribbon box and my fabric drawer). It’s
Similar with my husbands chess set. That they are precious (!!!) makes them really exciting!

Teddy bath? My 4 year old lost and hour to that this week. Put the teddies in the washer for a spin after and they dried in enough time for bedtime.

KatyN Sat 19-Dec-20 21:27:20

Collaborative... ItMs a collaborative game. I knew there was a special word (to find them on Amazon)

Hardbackwriter Sat 19-Dec-20 21:28:12


If you think life is "completely shit" with a toddler, why are you having another baby? I feel sorry for your children talking about them like that sad

Oh piss off. I love him more than anything else on earth, DH and I both find him the most fascinating, funny little person and we enjoy him immensely. I didn't say life with him is shit, because it isn't. Longing for a couple of days where I get to have a bit of a rest and some fun with other adults, and feeling like Christmas doing the same stuff as we do every single weekend is a bit of a shit Christmas, doesn't mean I don't love him and that I won't love his brother immensely too.

OP’s posts: |
ZippedyDooDa Sat 19-Dec-20 21:30:08

* Oh piss off.*

I think you need to grow up, and stop talking about your child in such a negative way.

Backbee Sat 19-Dec-20 21:30:12

I would get DH to take him for a walk at some point every day so that he gets out, but you also get to rest and have a hot drink and put your feet up for a bit.

In terms of activities, I would just do stuff he normally likes and not worry too much about it being Christmassy, and then have a think about what you and DH would enjoy, and if you can take him along or make sure to do it when he is asleep.

Thelnebriati Sat 19-Dec-20 21:31:33

I used to draw paper dolls and finger puppets for them to colour in and cut out, if you can't draw you could probably find some on google.
They also loved making mobiles, paper crowns, and origami pirate hats from newspaper.
Give them some magazines and a biro and let them draw mustaches on the faces.

paper toys

''rainy day activities toddlers''

GoldenOmber Sat 19-Dec-20 21:32:19


If you think life is "completely shit" with a toddler, why are you having another baby? I feel sorry for your children talking about them like that sad

Can you not think of anything going on in the world currently that might be making life a bit harder for everyone, including toddlers? No? Mind a total blank?

ZippedyDooDa Sat 19-Dec-20 21:33:41


sherrystrull Sat 19-Dec-20 21:34:31


* Oh piss off.*

I think you need to grow up, and stop talking about your child in such a negative way.

This is uncalled for. The op is asking for support. Life is hard at the moment and with toddlers it is monotonous and exhausting.

Try having some empathy.

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