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What do you do with a 1 year old over winter?!(15 Posts)
Help! Ds was 1 on Friday, so last winter he was just a little baby, and we just spend lots of time snuggled indoors.
This year he is going to be at the slightly awkward stage of not quite being able to walk and not quite being able to 'play' (although of course we do play!) but I am wondering how people with babies of this kind of age fill their time when the weather is rubbish! We do do quite a few classes, we go to an nct play session on Mondays, swimming Tuesdays, baby sensory Wednesdays (but this will finish in Nov) Rhythm Time on Thursdays and a playgroup on Fridays......but obviously all these things are only an hour or so, and we generally still have the afternoon free, other than ds' afternoon nap. We fill a lot of this time by going for walks/pottering round town/going to the park but what do we do when its raining and crap?! Playing with his toys is all well and good but I am worried he (or I!) will get bored!
Three words for you...
The Imagination Tree
Google it or look on FB - lots of ideas for creative activities at home!
Get all over waterproofs, and carry on unless its really windy, or bucketing it down or icy.
Little Boys love puddles, and all the slugs and worms that come out when it rains (well, both mine have!)
Is there anything on at the local library?
Do messy play / art at home.
Have you made any friends? Can you have coffee with them, and have them back to yours sometimes?
Exactly the same as I do with them over the summer. You just need different clothing. I have a ds who has just turned 12 months and we've just been for a walk. It's chucking it down. He has an all in one rain suit and wellies and has loved splashing in the puddles and catching rain in his mouth. Watching him stamp in the puddles was brilliant. He also learnt the word 'splash!' I don't do half as many activities as you do (I am a misanthropic curmudgeonly old bugger) but we are out of the house A LOT. We go to the park, go on nature walks, he goes in the bike trailer, we go to see friends, go to the library etc and this is all the same in winter, you just wrap up warm.
DD is 5yo and I did the same with her. And we walk a long way to and from school. She's happy to stomp through the puddles in her wellies/spin in the rain and enjoy all the slugs and worms while some of her friends dash to their cars looking aghast at the wet stuff coming out of the sky.
No such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes.
But if you really don't like the wet weather then there are a million and one things to do indoors with a 1yr old. Baking, crafting, sticking, drawing, splashing in the bath, building towers, reading books, singing songs, looking at the argos catalogue (yes, really), treasure baskets, jigsaws, dancing, hiding things under blankets, basic obstacle courses with cushions/blankets etc. With all that and with going out to sociable type things, you'll be fine.
My DS is 2 in a couple of weeks so I was in the same position as you this time last year.
As others have said, wrapping up warm and still going out was key. If you have an IKEA near you then they are usually pretty child friendly for when you need to stretch legs but really can't face getting cold and wet (again), plus their cafe is usually geared up for LOs. Or of course there is always soft play - I actually found it really useful for when DS was just learning to walk (January-ish), he wanted to be on his feet all the time so it was good to have somewhere with no sharp corners for him to practise!
Daytime baths are also good, put in lots of toys or a couple of balloons and stick some music on if you want to make it different from a bedtime bath.
No such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes.
you need a fleece overall
just go to playgrounds, walks etc as usual. no need to stay indoors just because it's cold...
Go to toddler groups -often held in churches but not usually religious. Make friends and in the Afternoons go to each others houses for coffee, or go out together.
I was the same 2 winters ago (DS born end of August 09) and we found it tricky to fill the time. DS hated being out in the cold or wet so we looked for indoor things to do. We were a bit limited at the time because DS would only sleep in his cot so we often had short trips out and came back lunchtime/just after lunch for his nap.
Ditto the comment about IKEA, it's a brilliant kids 'playground' on a wet or cold day. We often went for an entire morning and killed time opening and shutting drawers, playing in the kids area and having lunch in the cafe. I used to feel guilty about going there without really intending to buy stuff but a lot of families seem to do the same!
Our local ELC was also a good place to go for an hour because they often have toys out for children to play with.
We joined the library and used to have a brisk walk around the town/park then dash to the library to warm up and read books.
We also used to get the bus or train somewhere rather than go in the car because the journey was a novelty to DS in itself. Sometimes we used to get on the train and go anywhere, say 20 mins away, then have lunch and come back again. Not exciting for the average adult but killed time and gave a change of scenery and a sense of adventure.
Are there any children's farms near you? There are a couple near us that are a little cheaper during the winter months and have decent indoor areas with a few animals, ride-on tractors and slides.
As mentioned previously, soft play centres are good at that age, although you do find yourself crawling around them to help out!
Do you have an NCT group or a few friends from the classes/activities you do where you could set up alternate playdates? I still do this in the winter months with my NCT friends and even though most of us have similar toys for the children, they still think it's a novelty playing with them at someone elses house.
I can't add much to the indoor activities that people have already listed. At that age DS always wanted to be out of the house (though not outside in the cold) so we concentrated on trips out rather than activities indoors.
Have you checked out whether any local cinemas have 'screamer' sessions? Some run them especially for parents with children and everyone's in the same boat. Whilst your DC won't understand the film, lots of moving pictures on a big screen (and of course, snacks) will often keep them still and out of the cold for a while.
Good luck x
Thanks everyone. I think in part I need to change my own mindset a bit - I blimmin hate winter and bad weather, and would happily stay indoors and hibernate for the whole thing.
My nct group has dissipated a bit and I now only see a couple of them, the others seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth (although I think we are the ones who did not go back to work. I am not from the area, we moved here last year and ds was born straight away, so I guess I still feel like I'm finding my feet a bit with meeting people.
The Imagination Tree looks fantastic! What a great site!
What is a good all in one waterproof to get?
Also, ds is not walking yet, just cruising and crawling, and doesn't take kindly to spending too long in his pushchair or indeed, having the raincover on! I suspect that once he can walk he will love puddles....
The Togz fleece-lined ones are fantastic and you can get them on ebay. They retain their value, as well and are easy to sell on.
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