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Play at home and outside for a toddler

(19 Posts)
ArriettyMatilda Wed 08-Jul-15 20:51:05

What activities do you do at home and outside? What toys and equipment is most used? Anything that would suit an 18 month old to 3 year old would be great so that I can plan activities as she develops.

I'm just a bit stuck at the moment, we go to groups but at home we just eat or clean and she has access to most of her toys and books.

Huwlett Wed 08-Jul-15 21:04:13

I made an all weather sand box. I purchased a large plastic see through toy box with tight lid and half filled it with sand and toys. When DD wants it out she can play with it indoors on a play mat (I can Hoover up escaped sand) or if it's nice out I move the box outside. Another idea is water painting on a hot day. Fill a jam jar with water and give toddler a paintbrush, let them paint on brick walls, slabs or concrete and the sun dries up the paintings so they can create new ones for as long as they like! We have lots of cheap free ideas of fun at our house.

SeahorseSid Wed 08-Jul-15 21:04:57

Inside : playdoh, duplo, toy kitchen stuff, play food, picnic and tea set
Outside: ride-on, car, swing and slide, sand table and balls of various shapes and sizes

If I had to pick one of each I would go for kitchen and play food and sand table

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 08-Jul-15 21:12:11

Outside try painting with water, just let them paint whatever they want with a little bucket, some water and a paintbrush or just let them water the plants.

Indoors do you do baking, playdoh, things like dry pasta, a wooden spoon and a couple of saucepans?

Will try to post a few links in a min smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 08-Jul-15 21:19:28

Have a look here and I probably shouldn't say this on MN but have a look on Pinterest at Montessori activities. Loads of good inspiration on there smile

ArriettyMatilda Wed 08-Jul-15 22:25:47

Hewlett that is a brilliant idea, especially as we only have communal gardens so couldn't permanently leave a sandpit outside.

SeahorseSid and JiltedJohnsJulie we have a play kitchen with pans but no play food and haven't added play doh yet. I just feel it would be a bit frivolous to buy any new toys since its not Christmas or her birthday! (though I wouldn't include art materials as toys so I am happy to pick them up).

I need to majorly declutter her toys as there are some that are really for under 1s. I just can't keep on top of tidying and cleaning at the moment, so I don't seem to have the energy or motivation to set up any fun activities for her. It makes me feel so guilty, as I'm not the parent I thought I would be.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 08-Jul-15 22:28:40

Sleep deprivation is a killer, so really don't beat yourself up.

No need really to buy new toys, just use your saucepans, wooden spoons and dried pasta. If you don't want to buy stuff, you can make play doh you know smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 08-Jul-15 22:38:12

Should add that my DS never slept, well unless I was holding him. I used to aim to do one thing a day, and thought I was doing well if I suceeded, at first that was just having a shower grin

Could you try something like this? It doesn't have to be exact and you can take it outside if you don't want the mess smile

ArriettyMatilda Wed 08-Jul-15 22:53:16

JiltedJohnsJulie I'm not sure how you know but yes my dd does still wake at night, at least once, but often more. You are right it does make the day so much harder, which is why we spend half the day out of the house! I find her a delight when I'm not at home worrying about the mess and the housework. At least I am not dreading the end of nap time anymore or praying for the end of the day.

I also aimed for one thing a day, but as time goes on I feel guilty if we miss something out. For example every day I now shower, go to a group, make dinner from scratch (or at least have something I've batch cooked and frozen), spend time outside each day, so now if I don't do one of those things I feel like I ought to.

We'll give the pasta a go tomorrow and I will definitely do the water too but perhaps without the food colouring wink

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 09-Jul-15 07:58:41

Guilt is awful but I try to cope with it by setting really low standards grin. If DH ever phoned home asking how we were, I'd sometimes say that both the children were still alive, so we must be doing ok grin

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 09-Jul-15 08:05:50

And I just recognised the sleep deprivation from how you were feeling. It does get better thanks

OreosOreosOreos Thu 09-Jul-15 08:07:37

DSis almost 2, and in the recent hot weather he's really enjoyed sitting outside with a washing up bowl full of water and his stacking cups - he spends ages pouring from one into another!

He's just about big enough now to reach the kitchen sink stood on a stool, and likes to 'help me' wash up - a sink with like warm water and some bubbles and kitchen Tupperware bits!

Love51 Thu 09-Jul-15 08:08:20

You can take inside toys outside! We have allocated certain jigsaws for outside, and megablocks.

OreosOreosOreos Thu 09-Jul-15 08:10:26

Also if you search 'busy bags' on Pinterest there are some great ideas for keeping them occupied.

ArriettyMatilda Thu 09-Jul-15 22:08:33

Thanks all, didn't do the pasta today as we went to a group this morning and after her long nap I was cleaning so filled a few containers with water and fairy liquid and put them in her old baby bath. I need to make the effort to have a go at all your suggestions as they are so simple and use things around the house so it shouldn't be hard! I just want to make sure I've enough ideas for the next year or so plus have some ideas of toys to tell people for birthday and Christmas presents. I just want dd to have enough opportunities at home and out and about to develop her skills.

Oreos the busy bags look good, but some them have tiny pieces and sometimes I just need dd to play alone. Will bear them in mind for the future.

SlinkyB Thu 09-Jul-15 22:18:36

OP I know what you mean about not knowing what to do with an 18mo when at home. It's so much easier when out and about, I feel like a good parent; "look at the ducks! Quack quack" etc. But at home I just don't know what to do, and always have housework and Mumsnet to do so get distracted and I feel guilty for not doing focused activities.

I have a 4.5yr old as well, and he's a lot easier to entertain/is better company (I know this might sound horrible, but my 18mo bores me sometimes when it's just me and him. Kids are far more interesting when they can hold a conversation I think!).

My problem tho is that we have too many toys, and I don't know where to start. We've been lucky as get given loads of hand-me-downs from relatives.

Favourites I agree are play kitchen with food (IKEA things are fab - esp the soft and therefore quiet, food) and anything to do with balls.

I'm not ashamed to admit that some days, CBeebies is the cheapest babysitter ever wink

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 09-Jul-15 22:19:44

Shouldn't worry too much about them developing, as long as they are fed and get enough sleep and you read to them occasionally, they'll be fine.

Just thought of another one, if you don't mind buying art materials, get a bag of those little Pom poms, put them in a bowl with an empty bowl nearby and get your 3 year old to transfer them to the empty bowl one at a time with your kitchen tongs. Cheap, good for motor skills and a bit of quiet time smile

ArriettyMatilda Thu 09-Jul-15 23:01:50

SlinkyB I am in a way glad to hear that you feel the same. The Internet and housework can be so distracting at home, but usually the Internet distracts me whilst dd is napping and then no housework gets done! I'm desperately trying not to have the TV on, but in the night garden has made a daily appearance the past couple of weeks. I am sure if I had two it would be on more often, the chances of them both being occupied at the same time must be slim. Dd is good at occupying herself a lot of the time, I hope that doesn't change and I don't want TV to change it. We also have too many toys, but it's hard to get rid when well meaning friends and family have gifted them to dd. I feel like they aren't mine to get rid of!

JiltedJohnsJulie I only have an 18 month old, I wanted activities up to 3 so that I can think ahead. Thank you anyway will be another to keep in mind.

SlinkyB Thu 09-Jul-15 23:02:32

Oh, thought of some more free fun in the house on rainy days:

Building dens with chairs and sheets. Having a snack in there.
Balloons! My 18mo loves me blowing them up and letting them go, or slowly releasing the air in his face so his hair blows grin
Hiding small objects under plastic cups and getting him to guess which one it is under
Sometimes I give him a bath and just let him play with his toys and cups in there for a while
Bubbles! He is obsessed with them at the moment.
Always good to get them interested in joining in with housework from an early age; my two like playing with fluffy dusters, and cleaning the kitchen floor with damp kitchen roll.

I'm pinching the sand in a big plastic tub idea smile

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