What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10Find out more
Entertaining 3.8 year old dd(11 Posts)
Looking for help really! Am a single SAHM and find it soooo hard keeping my 3.8 year old busy!
She goes to nursery a few mornings a week which she loves but if we are just at home together in the afternoons (we do go out often but sometimes with the weather etc. you just can't) I really struggle to keep her occupied. After doing the usual drawing, making, cooking and desperately trying to get her play on her own for a bit it doesn't seem long before I am reaching for the shock, horror, remote but she even gets bored watching tv.
I love her to pieces and I guess like all toddlers she does seem to have a low boredom threshold but how do others stop both yourself and your littlies going completely cray cray!!
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
One activity an afternoon, craft cooking etc or a trip out. Rest of the time playing on her own or watching telly. Idon't think the telly is that bad.. Life is pretty exhausting if she is being entertained all the time (for you and her!).
However I so recommend full waterproofs for both of you. Makes going out so much easier (although waterproof trousers and a wet slide is scarily fast!)
My 3 year old boy has little (zero?) interest in crafts, painting etc. He loves his toys (Fireman Sam, Duplo, kitchen, the odd jigsaw) and watching TV. It can be hard toeentertain him on rainy days!
Swimming, soft play, collect leaves and make autumn pictures, charity shops, baking, messy play/crafts, visit friends, pet shop, garden centre.
Make a weekly list of activities, spend 30 mins or so after nursery watching TV or whatever then do your planned activity. Definitely go swimming!
Role play activities are good and they love learning about real-life. Some ones I've tried with my dd of the same age are:
Playing detectives - I set up a mystery (usually a toy gone missing) and she puts on her detective hat (a sun hat!) and has to find it by following a trail or something like that.
Toy circus - make posters and tickets and have her toys coming to watch and other toys performing tricks.
Treasure hunt - set up a treasure hunt using pictures as clues to where the next clue is hidden e.g. a picture of a bed.
Restaurants - great one if you have plastic play food but certainly doable still if not. You can make a menu and have fun complaining when the food is yucky.
Police/Ambulance - have a pretend incident (obviously keep it tame) e.g. a toy hurts their leg or a toy is in trouble for driving too fast in his car and she has to phone 999 and explain what's happening. This then leads on to a toy going to toy jail for being naughty or a toy going to toy hospital etc. etc.
Make play dough hedgehogs or aliens using play dough and dried pasta/spaghetti.
You can also make things like eggy cress heads (very easy just google it) - you just need egg shells, cress seeds and a bit of cotton wall/kitchen paper - put the cress seeds in, draw a face on the egg shell and within a couple of days the egg grows cress "hair". Potato painting and paper mache always good. Libraries, swimming baths and museums are always good as are garden centres with aquariums.
The main thing is keep it simple and imaginative where you can and don't sweat it too much. She's no doubt getting lots of stimulation at nursery so it's not a big deal if her afternoons are more chilled out.
My DD is 3 and I also find it hard sometimes. She goes to preschool 3 mornings and I have a baby too so swimming is out on my own!
Most afternoons we do: tv/ Peppa for an hour/1.5 hours with a snack
Duplo (she loves it, especially the food sets)
Picnics ( with her plastic food)
Reading - which she's into Atm
I usually save preparing dinner for when she gets home so we can do that together as she enjoys 'helping'
Sometimes I put kids songs on YouTube and she sings and dances for ages!
Thank you for all the replies and ideas, they are fab. Will def. be trying some of them out and helps me to know what others do too.
I think dd has inherited my late dh's 'can't sit still' gene which I find hard at times as I have the 'laid back' gene!! Although, I guess things will turn around full circle in a few years' time when those teenage hormones kick in and I can't get her out of bed!
My son is the same. I think its good to leave them to use their own imagination a bit. Do you have a toy library near you? A trip and some new toys every couple of weeks could do that.
Or I buy v cheap toys on ebay just to rotate things. ..
To be honest there is no way we can stay in all aftrrnoon whatever the weather ! Library /cafe for a milk and reading a story. .../even half an hour in a cold rainy park is better than nothing !
Also if you don't object too strongly there are some great educational ipad games that can kill half an hour - dd is brilliant at counting and letters because of them!
Does she like jigsaws? These take up a lot of time in our house- she can do up to about 100 pieces alone and anything bigger I tackle with her
Join the discussion
Please login first.