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If playgrounds, play groups, children's farms, zoos closed indefinitely, swimming pools planning to open but not allowing children, and we can't see friends or family because 2 year old can't distance

(56 Posts)
Pomegranateporridge Thu 04-Jun-20 12:12:12

Please give me some inspiration for something new for our toddler to do!

This isn't a complaint post, I'm just hoping someone will think of an activity that is viable to look forwards to in the future. I don't think it's appropriate to take her to shops etc to look around so obviously I won't, although she used to love it

I enquired about nursery places for September in case nothing is open by then simply for her to have a bit more stimulation and engagement but I'm not sure if that's appropriate either as we don't need the childcare per se? Also a little concerned about not being able to attend settle in sessions as it's mostly just me and her, and unless social distancing rules change I can't imagine us seeing another person for another few months so it seems a bit unfair to throw her in at the deep end at nursery without transitioning

Again not complaining, we're very lucky and grateful, but I'm hoping someone might magic something up for us to do! We walk a lot

Was hoping for swimming maybe but read an article suggesting children may be prohibited. Also had hoped for zoos or children's farms but sounds like these may be kept closed.. hmm! I guess they'll all open eventually

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Pomegranateporridge Thu 04-Jun-20 12:14:31

As well as playgroups, play dates, children's farms, soft plays, swimming etc we used to regularly go to dance classes but I can't see those opening either for some time

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PenguinMama Thu 04-Jun-20 12:17:13

Following as I'd love some ideas too!

Pomegranateporridge Thu 04-Jun-20 12:19:30

I realised what I said wasn't right "I guess they'll all open eventually" should say "I guess any that can survive the period without being forced to close will be permitted to open eventually"

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sixnearlyseven Thu 04-Jun-20 12:19:49

Really hoping our playgroups/ baby groups are open by September!

OnlyFoolsnMothers Thu 04-Jun-20 12:20:47

No idea! But I actually think swimming pools will open last- surely farms have to open before then?

Vargas Thu 04-Jun-20 12:25:28

I've got much older children but I think it's ridiculous that playgrounds and outdoor activities are not open for small children. It's so important for their emotional and mental well being to be outside and playing with others.

I have noticed in our local park that there are fallen trees that children seem to be allowed to play on. Perhaps you could try to find something similar? And I believe the National Trust will start opening properties soon so that might be worth looking into...

My daughter does dance classes on Zoom. Perhaps there are online music or dance classes for little ones that you could try?

Tropical2 Thu 04-Jun-20 12:32:37

We have a sandpit and a paddling pool in the garden. Our son also has a big pot of mud which DP dug up for him to make mud pies out of. We have planted seeds and water them everyday with the watering can. I bake cakes and my son likes to decorate them (usually involves sprinkles all over the floor and more icing in his mouth than on the cakes).

We do painting, play doh, sticking random items onto card with glue. I bought a few paint your own ceramics, a toddler doesn't do the best job of painting them but he loves it.

We have garden toys, slide, scooter, ride on car, trampoline, pop up tent. We have our lunch as a picnic on a rug in the garden, various teddy's join in.

You could make a den in the house, maybe under the dining table or with some chairs.

Maybe you could subscribe to something like a "Toucan Box".

Make some sensory boxes to play in, you could have shaving foam one day, coloured rice or pasta the next.

olivehater Thu 04-Jun-20 12:38:21

Just ignore the rules and let them play with their friends. They have thrown our young children under a bus because they can’t social distance despite them being the least affected by this disease. Well and most of my friends aren’t following it anymore. We can’t keep little children hidden away forever. We are not returning to a society where children should be seen and not heard or in this case not seen either while everyone else gets to start meeting up with their friends and getting some semblance of their lives back. NO MORE.

Sunshinegirl82 Thu 04-Jun-20 12:38:33

It’s very hard OP. I do feel that young children, a group the least at risk from COVID, have had to pay a very high price for lockdown and social distancing. I’m not sure that there was another way but it doesn’t change the reality of the impact.

I would give nursery some serious thought to be honest, it’s the only “approved” way for children to play with each other. DS1 has gone back to nursery this week and his little face has been all lit up since Monday!

Bol87 Thu 04-Jun-20 12:52:51

I second giving nursery a serious consideration. I don’t need childcare, I’m on maternity leave until January but my daughter was first in the door on Monday 😂 She desperately needed to interact with other children. My happy, confident, sociable 3 year old was she was becoming moody, often very angry & terrified of people. It broke my heart. I didn’t recognise her anymore.. so off she went! She had the best 3 days & cried this morning when I said it wasn’t a nursery day!

I think children have been very hard done by in all this. And for young children, it’s such a critical age if development & social skills.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for zoo’s & swimming pools. I cannot see how either of those pose anymore risk than shopping in bloody Primark! Zoo’s can limit numbers, monitor crowds, only have takeaway food etc and they tend to be large outdoor spaces where the virus is a lot less likely to be transmitted. AND with an online booking system where you have to enter your details, easier for track & trace potentially. Similarly pools can limit numbers, chlorine kills the virus & increased changing room cleaning!

Pomegranateporridge Thu 04-Jun-20 13:12:27

So far the good nurseries I'd had my eye on have said at least a six month wait, nearly two years in one case, but I'm going to keep looking.

She's due to start a different pre school next April which is term after she turns 3 but she's too young at the moment.

There's other logistical and financial complications but just grasping at straws to help her development. I do try at home but feel like I really fall short of experiencing things and seeing people! We used to do so much that I was really comfortable with her not starting nursery yet, but now I feel like I've made a bad choice (nobody could have foreseen this I guess, we felt like we'd considered every other element of our family set up!)

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Aria20 Thu 04-Jun-20 13:14:39

You could go to a quiet beach very early in the morning if you live near one? Walk in the woods, get them to spot leaves, flowers, birds and insects etc

Sunshinegirl82 Thu 04-Jun-20 13:32:28

How about a childminder? My DS2 goes to a childminder and she has only 3 in at the moment but he gets to play with the others and they are doing lots of forest school type activities, mud kitchen, woodland walks etc.

fandajji Thu 04-Jun-20 13:33:53

olivehater completely disagree with your username, I mean wtf? Olives are devine. But absolutely yes to everything after your slanderous name!

puffinandkoala Thu 04-Jun-20 13:53:28

I do feel that young children, a group the least at risk from COVID, have had to pay a very high price for lockdown and social distancing. I’m not sure that there was another way but it doesn’t change the reality of the impact

Other countries have handled it better eg Germany.

But we have been better than Spain, shutting up the kids for about two months and not letting them out at all.

I think Jersey Zoo has reopened with a booking system, I would have thought other outside attractions could do similar if they can afford to. I suspect part of the delay in reopening things has more to do with employers relying on furlough than actual concerns about safety. Cheaper to let the taxpayer pay 80% of your wages than open with maybe 50% of visitors (although you can bring people back fro furlough part-time from July.

Lidos could reopen with a booking system but lifeguards need to be swimfit and able to pass their competency test.

Drainedbeyondbeleaf1 Thu 04-Jun-20 13:54:39

Where did you see this information about swimming pools? I’m in Ireland and our pools aren’t open until end of July but there’s nothing about kids being banned. Well I hope not...

Lemons1571 Thu 04-Jun-20 14:11:24

Madness really. I thought the scientists said that children are not really catching or transmitting the virus. So the UK response is to close everything small child related, and make those things the last to open up.

Redolent Thu 04-Jun-20 14:18:39

I sympathise OP, and am in the same boat. Seriously thinking of just going to stay with family for a while (both of us having self-isolated for two weeks beforehand) as that is undoubtedly much safer than sending her to nursery.

What about fruit picking? I’m thinking of taking DD to that soon.:.

Pomegranateporridge Thu 04-Jun-20 14:23:56

Strawberry picking or something! Yes, I love that one, thank you

We do make the most of natural "play" equipment like logs etc and I'm grateful we have outside public space

I had considered a childminder, I suppose it's just that I'd really hoped to have a more nursery type setting, rather than paying for a childminder to take her to same walks I do but I guess the real value is the other children (and nobody is getting ideal solutions at this time anyway, just a case of making best of what's available)

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Pomegranateporridge Thu 04-Jun-20 14:27:38

Forgot to say we did try the dance classes online, I was very enthusiastic but realised DD was getting quieter and quieter and then became very upset, she always says no quite vehemently if I ask to put them on now . I think she's just a bit too young at 2 to enjoy it online, apparently 3 year olds in her class love it

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MarshaBradyo Thu 04-Jun-20 14:29:51

I’m relying on our garden a lot and older siblings. I know it’s harder if you have neither.

We still go for daily walks too.

INeedNewShoes Thu 04-Jun-20 14:32:43

The main reason that DD has returned to nursery this week is that it is the only way that she will be able to have normal interaction with her peers. She is an only child and I feel there is a greater risk to her long term health if she is isolated for another few weeks/months at such a formative age than the risk of catching coronavirus, which appears not to be passing on between children as readily as between adults. Having said that, I gather from friends that some nurseries are trying to social distance 3-4 year olds which could be just as damaging not attending nursery! I'm lucky that our nursery are taking a careful but sensible approach.

Of course it’s not the only reason: I need to work and can get far more done with DD at nursery which helps me feel more financially secure (I’m a single parent).

Bubblesbubblesmybubbles Thu 04-Jun-20 14:39:55

National trust, feed the ducks and go look at horses and cows in fields are our plans at the moment. But yes tempted to send DC1 to nursery as thats legal play time hmm

Pomegranateporridge Thu 04-Jun-20 14:40:16

My thread title may be inaccurate re swimming pools - I think it's purely speculation. I read one article from a regional newspaper suggesting it earlier but another has just said their local pool is planning to welcome children so who knows!

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