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To wander how you keep keep toddlers busy all day

(52 Posts)
Fiona80 Fri 26-Feb-16 14:45:28

Inspired from the other thread about tv when you are I'll.

My younger kids 3 and 1.5 watch a lot of tv. They play with their toys for a bit but get bored quickly. I know I'm gonna get nagged at here for being a bad mother as they do watch quite a bit of tv, but I feel that have learnt quite a bit as its only cbeebies.

Looking for activities and things to do. Curious of how others spend the day with toddlers and what their routines are like.

Fiona80 Fri 26-Feb-16 14:46:31

*I'll shoud read ill.

WifOfBif Fri 26-Feb-16 14:50:51

Do you go out in the garden? Or to the park or just a walk in the fresh air?

Joolsy Fri 26-Feb-16 14:52:45

Well my DDs are much older now (7 and 12) but at weekends I'm still scouring the internet to find a nice craft activity we can do together (DD2 that is, DD1 does her own arts & crafts, mainly complicated colouring!). It's not so bad when the weather is ok, then we're out as much as poss. Libraries are also a godsend - our local ones often have free arts & crafts sessions. My DDs still spend a considerable amount of time on tablets/PC though

Salzundessig Fri 26-Feb-16 14:58:40

We do classes at the local baby cafe or go for a walk to the park in the morning. After his nap we either go for another walk (trying to get him to walk more!!) or we play Lego and read books. Occasionally we play playdough or draw but he's not really into it yet. If I am feeling particularly suicidal i get the finger paints out but always regret it after... Most of the rest of the day he just either plays by himself or 'helps' me do the washing, load the dishwasher etc.

I am interested to hear why at others do though because he is getting bored of being my helper now...

Niloufes Fri 26-Feb-16 15:28:08

Our routine is wake up, bit of play, some ipad/cbeebies whilst i shower, breakfast no tv, bit of play and/or some tv when getting ready to go out depending on the mood, out by 9-9.30, out all morning at park/group/shopping etc, lunch at 12.30 ish no tv, at 1 a tv programme before nap ('bedtime' bing perhaps), read books upstairs, nap, clean and tidy, my chill time, get up from nap about 3, walk, shopping, play or more tv depending on mood, dinner at 4.30-5 ish, chill, play, tv depending on mood, at 6 bath, bedtime, books, in bed by 7 ish... i hope. If we go out all day then ofcourse no tv on the road unless we have a meltdown alert and then i can set up the ipad in the car. If i;'m feel crap or they are and moody then we might fall bakc on my tv than if we are both feeling tip top and up for it.

BillBrysonsBeard Fri 26-Feb-16 15:45:46

Me and DS (22 months) haven't gone out much this winter so spent it drawing, reading, messy play, building, painting, sorting stuff and of course educational tv which has really helped him speak! Then the odd trip to the shops or park and sometimes Stay&Play.

AnnaMarlowe Fri 26-Feb-16 15:59:07

I used to make a rough timetable for the week with dry weather and wet weather plans but they would usually include:

Park Or outdoor activity every day
A visit to friend once a week
2/3 baby and toddler classes
Painting
Story time
Singing/music
Some kind of messy play
Board games
Baking once a week
A visit to a free museum/art gallery
Playing hide and seek round the house
Face painting/dressing up
Counting games with blocks etc
Construction play eg Lego

To would only go in at 5pm to allow me to make dinner.

Try switching off the tv for two whole day. It's hard the first day but gets easier after that.

ThursdayLastWeek Fri 26-Feb-16 16:04:05

Gosh. I dont amuse my DS all day!
TV quiet time is a very good substitute for a dropped nap which is what has happened in our house recently.

Being 38 weeks pregnant TV is my friend!

We go to playgroup once a week, he goes swimming with DH once a week, to my parents once a week. Walks the dog with DH most days.
On stay-at-home days I get him to help me out a bit, give him a nice long bath in the afternoon, get him to lie down with me when I'm totally knackered and have a cuddle or read some stories.

But mostly he watches TV grinwink

Runningupthathill82 Fri 26-Feb-16 16:10:19

DS is 3, DD newborn. We do something every morning, just us or with friends as I hate playgroups/baby groups!
Swimming weekly, climbing weekly, then park/ local farm/ walk in the hills on the other days. Home for lunch then usually a film on after lunch, or games/crafts/baking at home. Sometimes a walk in the park if we haven't been that morning.
DS also likes "helping" with housework, so we hoover, do washing, do dishes etc together and make games out of it.
Tea at 5pm, then a bit of tv before bath and bed.

AppleSetsSail Fri 26-Feb-16 16:11:06

Mine are older now, but I just had to get out of the house. We went to the Science Museum seemingly thousands of times before they were 5.

I was not one to get down on the floor and play with blocks or whatever, I'd just gather up a few things and let them amuse themselves with me narrating their play.

poocatcherchampion Fri 26-Feb-16 16:11:24

Here is our routine although it is fairly fluid currently as new baby in the mix.
Children are 2 and 3.

8am get up - they play in their room til then very noisily
Free play while I do jobs, brekkie about 9-9.30
10ish - out for morning activity - toddler groups ballet etc
12ish back for lunch
1pm naps or quiet play eg colouring, little people, play doh etc. I always sit down. Occasional film - maybe 2 or 3 times since xmas
4pm - nap time/relax over, free play, more jobs and cooking for me.
Bed by 7pm, bath every 2-3 days.

(We don't use tablets or smartphones for their entertainment mine though yes too right

Runningupthathill82 Fri 26-Feb-16 16:12:25

Oh yes, and the museum! We go to see the dinosaurs at the local (and free) museum at least once a week. DS never tires of it and DD is too little to care...

Jw35 Fri 26-Feb-16 16:26:30

My toddler doesn't watch TV.
We always go out in the morning even if it's just for a walk. 3 mornings we go to toddler groups.

Example
7am-up, milk
7.30-getting dressed
8am-breakfast
8.30-play
9.30-leave for toddler group/swimming/park/walk
(Packed Lunch at 11.30)
12/12.30-home & nap
2.30/3pm-up, snack. Then either garden/park/creative play such as gloop, coloured rice or pasta, paint etc
4pm-her big sister comes home from school & plays with her while I do tea
5pm-tea time
6pm-bath
6.30-7pm-milk & bed

Fugghetaboutit Fri 26-Feb-16 16:29:33

We go to the park/playground. Being outdoors is very important for children and should happen every other day if not every day.

IJustLostTheGame Fri 26-Feb-16 16:32:31

Toddler groups
Visit friends or have them over from toddler groups
There's a free museum near us with LOTS of charging about space
Very cheap swimming sessions at health centre
Bake cupcakes
Some days did seem endless though and cbeebies did get put on

Eggsandketchup Fri 26-Feb-16 16:42:00

I have three toddlers (not all mine). In the morning we tend to go out to a park or playground, or a walk in the woods or a toddler group. Back for a snack and a nap at about 11. Then wake up and lunch. Then play with toys or draw, or play doh, or trip to tesco (lucky kids), or I'll sit on the floor and play mega bloks with them, or kick a ball about in the garden or whatever they're into really. By 4pm they're tired so some TV or chilling out time while I make dinner. Then dinner, bath, bed.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Fri 26-Feb-16 16:52:10

Mine liked making a camp (sheets over a table or chairs)
Getting out saucepan and wooden spoons to make drums
Threading pasta tubes on string for a necklace (but your 1yr old might try to eat it)
Having a bath with loads of toys in it
Playing shops with a bag, some random items and fake money
Collecting leaves and sticks

Gets easier in the drier warmer months when you can go out more but it is hard. Toddlers have a short attention span for most things really.

imwithspud Fri 26-Feb-16 17:00:59

Dd1 is 3, she attends pre-school five mornings a week now which helps break up the day and fill some time, she loves it and they go next door to the school playground for half an hour every day. Other than that we visit my dnan twice a week, she can't drive so this usually involves going to lunch at a cafe and taking her shopping/to run errands.

Hell on earth Soft play once every couple of weeks, if I can stomach it.

This afternoon we went to a garden centre for lunch, and she had a play on a little play area they have outside, there's another one around here that has a play frame indoors.

The park when the weather's nice, either that or in the garden. We have a sand pit and a trampoline along with various other garden toys.

We never really did play groups but of course they're an option.

We have a small nature reserve which is cheap to get into and has a surprising amount of interesting animals and a lovely little play area.

I have a 9month old dd too so some afternoons are spent indoors so she can get her nap (doesn't nap well when out). Dd1 is allowed one hour of tablet time a day which I try and save for when I need to do chores and she is allowed some tv time too.

Bonywasawarriorwayayix Fri 26-Feb-16 17:09:25

Playgroup, library (most have a Rhyme Time), play session at local gymnastics club, museum, swimming on Sundays.
I try to spend 9/10- 12 out doing one of those things each day. Afternoons will be at the park, having a walk or messing around in the garden.
In between DS plays (trains and Duplo being current favourites), draws or paints if I have the nerve. Also reading and quite a lot of rough and tumble at the moment.

Gwenci Fri 26-Feb-16 17:24:55

I've read this thread with interest as I have a 2.5yr old and an 11 month old so always looking for activity ideas I haven't thought of.

It's so tough though as toddlers have such ridiculously short attention spans. I find with 2.5yr old DD I'll get the playdoh out; 10 minutes later she's bored. Tidy away, get books out; 10 minutes later, bored again. I swear we could easily cram all the above mentioned activities in to one day!

I stay sane by getting out of the house every single day. Park is out for us at the moment as 11 month DS gets bored as can't crawl around so we go to toddler or crafty type groups every single morning. Soft play is my friend at the moment. But I'm haemorrhaging cash on entrance fees, coffee and cake!

Seeyounearertime Fri 26-Feb-16 17:31:28

wake up - 9.30 TV and Breakfast
9.30 - 12 TV Off and Out and about time, Messy play time or toys and games time
*If We're in - 12-1pm Youtube Time and lunch (Youtube will be educational stuff like busy beavers, mother goose club etc)
*If we're out - 12 - 1pm Lunch at a cafe, greggs, chippy, Mcdonalds, wherever.
1pm - 3pm Self play time with a dvd of what she likes on in her room. (this is when i get house work done)
3pm - 6pm If she wants to come down then she'll help me wash up (i purposefully leave a few bits for her to help with) and then we'll cook tea
6pm - 7pm Youtube time (educational again)
7pm - 7.30pm Music and wind down (she likes different music on you tube, Gorillaz, Kylie, Crazy Frog etc)
7.30pm - 8.00pm Changed for bed, teeth, stories, lights out at 8pm.

this is our general structure right now. it fluctuates a little now and then but mostly this is about it. Shes almost 3.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Fri 26-Feb-16 17:32:13

I agree Gwenci some of the activities can add up to a small fortune.

Fiona80 Fri 26-Feb-16 17:35:39

I spend most of the time in the house, find winter weather horrible to go out in, really don't like the cold.

Only to Leave Dd1 to school, maybe do a shop on the way home and then to pick her up. Her school is half hour drive away.

In the summer I would take them to the park everyday, it's just this weather.

So I really need to take them out more, I don't like mother and toddler groups as I'm a bit shy with new people and find it all a bit awkward.

Fiona80 Fri 26-Feb-16 17:39:56

Gwenci you have said it all, it's the short attention span, esp with my 18 month old, she is always emptying cupboards or climbing chairs/ sofas.

Soft play costs a small fortune.

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