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Finding playing with 3 year old v boring. Can you help me come up with some ideas to amuse her which don't invole too much mess, aren't dull and can be done with a newborn attached to me

(48 Posts)
Bumperlicious Fri 05-Nov-10 14:30:54

DD is 3 and also have dd2 who is 6 weeks and refuses to be put down. DD1 is mostly pretty independent and plays beautifully on her own, but her behaviour (which has been a beit crap since DD2 came along) significantly improves when she has a bit of attention and playing.

The problem is I find pre school playing so dull, I'm not great at reading allowed and don't want/can't make too much mess with crafty stuff. I'm absolutely knackered and drained from the baby too which doesn't help my parenting abilities or my patience.

Can anyone help me find the holy grail - activities to amuse a 3 year old and make her feel attended too without too much effort on my part and without making too much mess, that can be conducted with a baby strapped to me?

I know this sounds horrible, I love DD1, she is great but I just find this age hard work and difficult to juggle with a newborn.

scurryfunge Fri 05-Nov-10 14:35:01

Hunt the thimble? You hide something and from the comfort of your sofa you can direct her.

Treasure hunt -"find me 3 blue things", "find me something shiny", etc.

Scrap book doesn't make too much mess if you do the cutting.

Teddy bears picnic?

notnowbernard Fri 05-Nov-10 14:42:23

I used to have to get out of the house to save my sanity

A trip to the park. Good for you, good for the baby and great for dd. She gets a run around and it's something you're doing together

notnowbernard Fri 05-Nov-10 14:43:06

At that age dd1 was happy with a pair of scissors and a magazine

Prit stick is crap not too messy

Bumperlicious Fri 05-Nov-10 14:48:30

Hmm scissors and a magazine with pritt stick sounds like a good idea, and to be honest I can just leave the mess for DH to clear up or make sweeping up a game.

Treasure hunting also good. I could give her picture list.

We do try and get out but with the weather so crap and by the time we are all trussed up warm, with snacks, spare clothes, water, nappies etc, and negotiated our way out of the house I generally want to strangle someone!

Trubert Fri 05-Nov-10 14:49:38

Cuddle up under a blanket and watch Cbeebies together. You have a newborn - take it easy on yourself. Now is not the time for Mr Maker standard crafts if that's not your thing.

Bumperlicious Fri 05-Nov-10 14:52:43

I feel bad as we are watching a lot of TV already

She goes to nursery two days a week, and I must admit I count down the days till then.

colditz Fri 05-Nov-10 14:54:12

Plasticene not too messy, v theraputic for edults. Make farm animals and aliens/

mylifewithstrangers Fri 05-Nov-10 14:56:23

Play doh is always good

Yes to a mag, scissors and a pritt stick

Washing up bowl of warm water on the kitchen floor, with some bubbles and brushes and pots

In fact bubbles anyway!!

We also have an aquadoodle mat which she loves

mylifewithstrangers Fri 05-Nov-10 14:57:27

Oh and Fuzzy Felt - she got a big compendium box last Xmas and I love getting it out as much as she does (sadly DS is now 13 months, and into everything so we can only get it out when he is napping)

BollocksToThis Fri 05-Nov-10 15:06:05

Mine are the same age as yours and we're getting by with Duplo (got mine from ebay, huge box which lives on the sitting room floor, indispensable), playdough, jigsaws and occasional painting sessions. I do get out every day, especially if he's not at nursery. I don't bother with nappies etc as long as DD's changed and fed, just stick the lad in a coat and wellies and bundle the tot into her sling or pushchair - at 3 year old pace we're out for an hour just going to feed the ducks!

But yes, we do rely on the square babysitter most days at some point.

BollocksToThis Fri 05-Nov-10 15:08:32

I should add that the plastic toddler table and chairs MIL got us has been fab - stationed next to the sofa I can almost help while feeding. I think it was around twenty quid from ASDA.

RhinestoneCowgirl Fri 05-Nov-10 15:09:35

I found that stage really tough - we read a lot of books, DS turning the pages while I fed DD. You can take the opportunity to play with toys with little bits before the youngest gets mobile and tries to eat them all? Things like plastic animals for farm/zoo, putting them all in trailer. 'Building' a farm with old cardboard boxes etc. Duplo also really good.

Mine are now 4yrs (at school) and nearly 2yrs - sooooo much better than the early days!

MIFLAW Fri 05-Nov-10 15:13:47

"I'm not great at reading allowed" - what do you mean exactly by "not great at"?

LeninGuido Fri 05-Nov-10 15:15:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bumperlicious Fri 05-Nov-10 15:17:22

Thanks for the replies. Was just thinking some plastacine would be good. Want to make my own play doh but never get the chance.

Doesn't help that our house is so small that it immediately looks messy when you get anything out which is stressful and there is no room to keep much 'out' and available.

dh at work till 7 today which is hideous. don't know how i'm going to manage till then!

i have bought dd1 a puddle suit and going to treat myself to a waterproof coat so we can get out and about on days like this.

i wonder if i need a craft box with easy things like plastacine and scissors ready in it to keep on the table? it's the having to get stuff out and tidy it away which puts me off a lot of the time.

LeninGuido Fri 05-Nov-10 15:19:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LeninGuido Fri 05-Nov-10 15:19:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bumperlicious Fri 05-Nov-10 15:20:18

MIFLAW i just hate reading aloud. awful i know, i love reading, just not reading out loud. i do force myself to do it though, and she gets a bedtime story from dh every night so she's not being too deprived.

LeninGuido Fri 05-Nov-10 15:21:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bumperlicious Fri 05-Nov-10 15:21:29

Really lenin? is it easy to make?

plupervert Fri 05-Nov-10 15:21:41

Shadow-play, either outside or inside (against a wall) is quite fun. You can "hide" your DD and/or the baby in turn, "tickle" her shadow and let her "tickle" baby.

We collected leaves yesterday, and stuck them onto paper for DS to draw on. Clear adhesive cover-stuff for about 78p at Sainsbury's, to seal it all up, incl the leaves.

Hide and seek.


Weeding the garden.

Thanks for all the ideas, everyone else. I've just had to put the television away completely, thanks to a crescendo of tantrums upon turn-off time, and I need to keep DS busy without the box, and need more and more ideas!

Bumperlicious Fri 05-Nov-10 15:29:32

We have loads of character colouring print outs for her.

Gah i just feel like i am surviving at the moment,just clawing my way through the day. there is so much i need to do and have no time to do it. we have a house inspection on monday so instead of dh's one day off spent having a break it is going to be spent cleaning the house

Sorry i'm just moaning now.

LeninGuido Fri 05-Nov-10 15:29:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LeninGuido Fri 05-Nov-10 15:31:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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