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What do you do with dc during the day?

(49 Posts)
DesperateHousewife21 Wed 08-Aug-12 11:00:21

Ds wakes at half 6ish every morning, dh leaves for work at 8. I then have 10 hours to fill til dinnertime and dh is home again.

Some days I'm v busy, usually when I have set plans i.e going to see a friend who lives a fair drive away so that takes up most/ all of the day.

However days like today I've got no plans at all, we've been inside all morning so far. I'm going to take him to the animal park this afternoon after nap/ lunch but that won't be til about 2ish.

I find he watches way too much tv when we stay indoors alot. I'm 6 months preg as well so long walks aren't really an option anymore. Also he's 2.1 and I can never tell if he really needs a nap so I often stay in just in case he does need one.

What I'm trying to ask in a long winded way is what do you do with your dc(s) to fill everyday?

brightonbleach Wed 08-Aug-12 11:52:35

do you have a garden or outside space? mine is 2.8 and very happy with a bucket full of water and his mini watering can (old clothing required! smile ), he can pour the water in and out of the bucket(s) for well over an hour and then help with watering my pots and stuff. we also have a 'sand table' which is good fun and a mini bike, but then we have quite a big yard, this means I can sit and watch him and not have to run around until we've been out there over an hour by whcih time he will get a bit bored and ask me to kick a ball with him!! we will go to the park as well if the weather perks up (IF!). Locally to us we have 2 toddler groups still running during the summer hols, 1 at the beginning of the week and 1 at the end, worth googling ones in your area to see if theres anything on? they're only 2hours a time, but its something different to go to, last weeks one was all about painting and this weeks is cooking, in our area these are goverment funded free ones smile

yesterday we had a playdate and I got an old tablecloth on our table and put out lots of playdoh, pastry cutters and paper/crayons etc and that passed an hour as well smile

it must be hard being pregnant with a toddler, so I've tried to suggest things that dont require too much movement on your part grin best wishes

DesperateHousewife21 Wed 08-Aug-12 12:04:26

Thanks for your reply.

We live in a flat with a communal garden but it's not enclosed so he runs around the car park etc which isn't ideal and I don't really feel comfortable out there with all the neighbours able to see us.
I go to my parents alot when the weather is nice to use their garden.

I used to go to toddler groups once a week maybe more but started to get a bit bored of them and they were always so crowded and ds is clingy so didn't like the amount of people there.

I guess I'll have to carry on going to the park/ beach and meeting up with friends. I just get so bored on days like today and think everyone else is busy filling up their days and I'm letting ds down by staying indoors.

brightonbleach Wed 08-Aug-12 12:35:30

no worries smile sorry to hear that your gardens not ideal.

do you have any softplay centres local to you? we have one thats about £3 to get in, an enclosed quite big-ish softplay climbing frame, ball pit and bouncy castle type things and a cafe, I'm going to go next time it rains! and if I can get the energy up for it am going to take him swimming next week at the leisure centre, keep meaning to go swimming once a week with him but havent quite managed it yet.

we've been in all morning too, have done some drawing on the table, played with cars up and down the hall, and we've read a couple of books and sort of enacted the stories, and he's had an hour of telly, oops. am taking him to a park this afternoon after he's finished lunch, wheres theres a nice set of slides and swings and a field, but won't be doing much more than that today I don't think. Our local library has 'rhyme time' sessions once a week, its only about 45m but mine enjoys the songs, you could check on the internet if your local library has anything on? (and if your little one likes books the library can be quite useful as somewhere to visit anyway, where we used to live there was a big childrens library with toys and a teepee etc as well as big sofas for the adults so if I needed to do some tasks I would go via the library so he got a fun visit as well). Mine has always liked sitting in a cafe with a cup of warm frothed milk and a spoon as well so I used to do that as a treat when we walked to the bank! Gave me an excuse to have a hot choccie for me smile don't get too down, am sure you're doing your best in your situation. We were in a flat last year and I remember having to go out alot more than now that we've a garden.

wanttomakeadifference Wed 08-Aug-12 12:42:52

Hi desperate, I'm having a bit of a 'blank mind' moment but I wanted to reply to let you know I've seen some great posts on similar threads to this before (lots if simple yet effective ideas).

Hopefully you will get lots of useful replies on this thread, but if not it might be worth using the search facility to look up some past similar ones....

DesperateHousewife21 Wed 08-Aug-12 15:16:05

I've had a bit of a search but the ideas are either what I already do or gardeny things which I can't do.

I have ideas for each day but I guess it's just boring sometimes when it's just me and ds because he likes to go off and do things on his own. I took him to the beach/ park today but we only lasted 2 hours because it got hot and we weren't really dressed appropriately (stupid bbc saying it was going to rain!)

So we're back home again! Some friends I have with toddlers say 'oh we're out the house by 9am' and I think but what do you do that takes up a whole day!?

belindarose Wed 08-Aug-12 15:27:49

Have you tried a day when you just do exactly what he wants (within reason, obviously!). I did this a few times with DD (almost 3) when I was pregnant and actually found those days easier - certainly fewer tantrums. She wanted to bake, go to the library, have a pretend tea party, paint etc. all things we do anyway, but on her terms. It was fun.

I worried a lot while pregnant about how I'd cope with two. Wish I hadn't. DS is 5 weeks and although there are difficult moments, in general I find it easier to structure the day. I snatch short periods to play with dd while he's sleeping, read to her when he's feeding etc. Time seems to go more quickly!

DesperateHousewife21 Wed 08-Aug-12 15:34:28

I can't wait for the baby to arrive because in some ways I won't be unable to do things with ds.

When you say you did whatever your dd wanted, did you ask her or just give her options i.e do you want to go to the library etc?

If I asked what ds wanted to do I think he'd say watch tv blush

belindarose Wed 08-Aug-12 16:57:44

I didn't give her options. Think I was too shattered at the time to think of anything! Someone on here suggested it. I was also looking for ideas for bonding as was feeling a bit detached from her. It did work well. In fact, I need to do it more often.

belindarose Wed 08-Aug-12 16:59:12

It's also much less boring when the new one arrives! I'd quite like chance to be bored again. Know exactly how you feel.

DesperateHousewife21 Wed 08-Aug-12 17:16:07

Nothing can beat the boredom of when I was preg with ds though. 6 months of not working, not being able to go out etc it was a loooong wait!

I think maybe it's more the issue of when/ if he needs a nap and then I can only go out for a morning or afternoon and not between 11 and 1 just in case!

IWillOnlyEatBeans Wed 08-Aug-12 19:14:26

Funnily enough, I found my days much easier to fill when DS (now 2.6) did have a nap!

I liked having a time-limited activity in the morning and then another in the afternoon. I now struggle with filling a whole day, unless we plan a trip out and take a picnic. Although I am also pg with no2 (20 weeks) so do find a whole day out exhausting!

Here are some of the things we do:

Go to toddler gym (like gymboree but unstructured)
Walk to the local park. Play on the swings for ages, then go looking for rabbits.
Get the bus into town for a mooch around (DS loves the bus, so this is a real treat for him!) - get a coffee, which is a treat for me!
Go to my parents house - they live right on the beach, so we'll go for a walk, paddle and get an ice cream.
Go to Adventure Valley (it's a farm/play park/soft play place) - we have a season ticket so go there quite a bit.
Go and feed the ducks.
Play football/tennis in the garden.
On rainy days - painting, colouring in, play doh, play with all his toy cars.
His MOST favoutite thing ever is imaginary play. If I gave him the option, he'd happily spend all day sitting on his bed (with me, he wont do it alone) making up stories with his toys/pretending to bake cakes/pretending to go exploring/pretending to be a tortoise etc. This is my LEAST favourite activity ever!
Go swimming (I am trying to get him signed up for lessons at then minute)
Go to the library.
Once a week we go to the supermarket and get the food shopping done!
Watch TV/youtube (thank god for trainspotters who post videos of trains!)
Play on the iTouch (tozzle)
We used to decorate cakes (little fairy cakes I bought from the shop as I hate baking) but not done that for ages.
Read.

During term time we do a lot more plygroups/classes etc, but hardly any run over the summer.

JollyHockeyStick Wed 08-Aug-12 19:18:10

A short walk can be pretty effective too. You could write a letter/draw a picture and walk to the post box to post it to yourselves.

Or you could go round the block and see how many different flowers you can see.

We go to a building site near where we live on a fairly regular basis so DS can watch the diggers. We also plan to go to the train station to watch trains sometime soon.

The library is always a good bet.

FrizzyFrazzled Wed 08-Aug-12 20:25:06

Everything that had been said here - but - I don't think being at home, entertaining himself, watching tv is necessarily a bad thing. We have a day or two a week we spend at home and my ds loves just pottering, playing with his toys and watching tv. It calms him down after a busy couple of days and allows me to get things done and cuddle baby dd. I am relaxed about tv and although he has shows he loves, generally he only sits and watches for a long time all in one go if he is really tired or sick.
I know it's not a popular view on MN but I don't think every day needs to be packed with interesting, stimulating activities. Some of my happiest memories of being a kid are of nice low key days at home grin

SneezySnatcher Wed 08-Aug-12 21:34:29

IWilll very jealous of your Adventure Valley season ticket! I love it there.

DD is 2.5 and these are some of the things we do:
Make and play with playdough.
Making and decorating cakes (or buying and decorating cakes).
Painting.
Running a bath and playing with spoons, cups, sieves etc.
Acting out stories.
Going to the library.
Having a disco.
Dusting and sweeping (she loves it).
She helps pair the socks.
Playing schools (busman's holiday - I'm a teacher)
Reading.
Making dens with bedding and cushions.
She likes 'painting' the garden wall/decking with water.

My favourite thing to do is walk into town and go for a coffee and cake with DD.

If you google 'imagination tree' it is a lovely blog with lots of ideas to do with DC - it's great for inspiration.

IWillOnlyEatBeans Wed 08-Aug-12 22:02:21

We live about 5 mins away so I thought we might as well take advantage of it! smile

backpackingfamily Thu 09-Aug-12 05:18:02

Check out some ideas on this blog playathomemom3.blogspot.ca/, although some of them seem like quite a lot of work to organise both in terms of buying / having the equipment and setting it up.

I really try to involve DD (2.5 yrs) in every day things that I have to do.

I really like "toddler cooking" with her. Google "cooking with toddlers ideas / recipes" for some inspiration. Kiils 2 birds with 1 stone in keeping her busy and gets lunch / dinner ready!

jubilee10 Thu 09-Aug-12 07:19:04

Do you take him swimming? I found that took the whole morning if we had a picnic afterwards. It also then necessitated a long nap, often for us both, after which I felt we deserved some telly time. We often went twice a week and was definitely my favourite activity.

Chandon Thu 09-Aug-12 07:29:29

go out in the morning, just do it. Even just to the shops/postoffice/park/library/swim/lido.

Then the afternoons are free in that you can let him watch TV/nap and you guiltfree on MN.

I really think the key is doing an activity in the morning.

DesperateHousewife21 Thu 09-Aug-12 07:30:34

LOTS of great ideas thank u v much everyone!

Alot of the things we usually do can't be done in the hols because either it doesn't run or it's absolutely packed (which ds hates)

A summer fair has taken over our local park so he can't even run around there atm.
Today I'm going to take him to the next town along to the beach/ parks there maybe get chips etc. I just find the days really drag when I've got no adult company as well though.
Of course I do love spending time with just ds and it'll only last another 3 months before the baby arrives.

capecath Thu 09-Aug-12 07:35:02

Some things I do with DS 24months (and now 39 weeks preg!):
- park. thinking keeping active will encourage labour! so we walk generally as he loves going on his scooter. but if not up for walking we find a different park and drive there, perhaps meet friends there, have picnic or take him in pushchair (less tiring than scooter.. for mommy smile)
- library. our local library has a super play corner and a couch for mommy to park on. esp. good for rainy days.
- go for little walk just to splash in puddles on rainy days
- colouring in and drawing - he is just starting to get into it
- watching telly, though we do try to limit it
- read books - love it when he tells me to "lie down" - mommy says, "sure!" he has this thing when he likes to lie on one couch and mommy on the other and "read" our own books - brilliant smile
- dance around the living room and sing songs
- build things with duplo, wooden blocks, train set
- he "helps" with washing up - makes big watery mess but that's ok. Takes up time splashing in the sink. Also likes water play in the basin or in the bath
- meet up with friends at playgroups (harder during summer) or at cafes
- we sometimes just wonder round the shops and browse

Agree, does seem to be easier when he has nap after lunch, and gives me a break too! Think in morning and afternoon sections.

DesperateHousewife21 Thu 09-Aug-12 07:44:21

I might get ds a scooter for Xmas. Which one has your ds got capecath?

I also have to drive anywhere from where I live because it's so far out of town there is nowhere in walking distance so that limits us too (and constantly think about petrol!)

miomio Thu 09-Aug-12 07:47:20

I found being out in the mornings worked better for us. Would go out with a picnic 9.30 /10 and get home for nap time or DS would nap on way home then play at home after nap and maybe go to local park late afternoon. Ds was happier pootling abiut at home if we had already been out iyswim.

You mentioned beach - my DC would go everyday if we lived near one. Maybe do that more often.

brightonbleach Thu 09-Aug-12 10:22:18

I don't personally go on outings that last the whole day, too exhausting! I find a morning activity best and maybe a 2nd smaller one in the afternoon after lunch, sometimes we do activity and then park and a picnic in the morning and then stay in in the afternoon tbh. I only do those whole day out outings if theres something organised by family and I find it quite tiring!

we do have a farm nearby thats free to visit and has a cafe and mega-nice playground, try googling for unusual places like that to visit, I get a friend and their kid(s) to come and it really takes a few hours to go round the whole farm and see all the animals, have a cafe lunch and then go mad in the playground smile

Bonsoir Thu 09-Aug-12 10:23:21

You need to take your DS to the park or the swimming pool!

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