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What do you do with your 12-18 month old?!

(25 Posts)
Sleepybeanbump Wed 28-Dec-16 21:41:21

I'm in the yuck zone of winter plus pre-walking 12 month old...

We do a lot of activities out, always have done, and have friends we meet up with but I'm feeling like the rest of our time feels (for me at least!) really aimless. We end up trailing round the supermarket, doing errands just to fill the time, or at home with me trying to do laundry etc while he whines for my attention. So many suggested activities on the web just aren't suitable yet (he puts EVERYTHING in his mouth, throws everything, and doesn't get crayons etc yet).
We bash musical instruments, play with treasure baskets, read books, sing, knock blocks down etc but I feel I don't have enough ideas or enthusiasm to fill the time. It feels really bitty and like I'm never fully focussed because I don't have a plan.

I need ideas to make me feel less dependent on going to classes etc and more confident being at home by ourselves!

unlimiteddilutingjuice Wed 28-Dec-16 21:44:44

Truthfully: I try to encourage independant play.
If you put out some interesting toys and sit close by, will he amuse himself while you get on with something else?

dontpokethebear Wed 28-Dec-16 21:49:24

I haunt the local playgroups in the winter. We go to one nearly everyday to kill time in between school runs.
I went back to work when Dc1 was 9 months and dc2 was 10 months, so was quite surprised how mind numbing it could be.

One thing i do do is fill the kitchen sink up with water and let dc3 stand on a chair and play with a few plastic cups in it. Towel on the floor, can go on for at least half hour grin

Ellieboolou27 Wed 28-Dec-16 21:51:16

i find that my dd 15 months would rather play with my things than her toys, so if I'm putting washing away I'll give her a small pile which she will put in her head / throw about, if I'm washing up I give her some clean plastic cutlery / bowls and pans and amuse herself, it's hard work but the more I try and involve her in what im actually doing the easier it is.

dontpokethebear Wed 28-Dec-16 21:51:25

Agree with the independent play. We have some plastic cotton reels that dc3 will take out and put back in the box for hours, whilst I drink tea and look at Facebook do chores.

mistermagpie Wed 28-Dec-16 21:53:54

This bit is hard but is passes quickly, DS is 17 months now and will sit and 'read' a book with me, do some scribbling with crayons or entertain himself by stacking things or taking things out of one box and putting them in another. He can also walk (only just though!) which makes things feel a bit more interesting! He has no interest in TV or anything like that but finds it entertaining to 'help' sort the washing...

Hang in there, at 12 months they are still too little to 'do' much and get easily frustrated but it does get a bit easier and quite quickly.

Marmalade85 Wed 28-Dec-16 21:57:35

My 12m old has only recently started playing by himself. He will play with various noisy toys, hit things with a spoon, look at books and put things in and out of other things and then cruise and crawl around. My son is in full time childcare though so I don't have to entertain him day in, day out.

Ellieboolou27 Wed 28-Dec-16 22:14:12

Oh and aqua doodle is pretty good too no mess but I've lost the sodding pen smile

Sleepybeanbump Wed 28-Dec-16 22:17:31

He does entertain himself quite well by generally moving objects from a to b (clothes out of the laundry basket, shunting dining chairs etc) but only if I sit nearby read to interact when he wants me. The minute I go and actually do chores he starts protesting. So I do a lot of half hearted interact-read Facebook for a few minutes-interact again rather than actually properly DOING an activity with him IYKWIM.

ODog Wed 28-Dec-16 22:21:39

I know he's not walking but get some good quality mittens and booties (google stonz) and a snowsuit and let him crawl about outside like you would in summer. Get a sandpit for your garden. Crawl around the beach/park with a ball. You will need waterproof trousers too I'm guessing. This is heavily caveated as I have never actually done this. Both mine were summer babies so still very much in the little baby/happy to be in sling of oral for a walk stage in their first winter and reasonably competent walker by the second winter. This is just what i would try if i were in your situation. wink

Sleepybeanbump Wed 28-Dec-16 22:41:01

Yeah, we got said kit in warm dry early autumn, used a few times and then since proper soggy winter hit I just can't face the mud! The grass is so thin and muddy now he'd be absolutely covered....

I'm being a wimp....grin

goodbeans Wed 28-Dec-16 22:47:33

Yes, I found this stage really trying too, especially after having had a summer of being outdoors. I second getting dc out in a snowsuit to crawl around the garden on milder days whilst you get some winter gardening done. Or going for a walk with the sling or a hipseat so you can chat about what you're seeing while you walk. If stuck indoors I used to do messy play with cornflour paste, etc (safe to put in mouth). I used to make the transferring activities more challenging to keep his attention- try uncooked spaghetti into a bottle. Summer with a toddler will be much more fun, promise!

captaincake Wed 28-Dec-16 22:51:34

I put fake grass in the garden <helpful> we went out all the time. soft play for crawling around, toddler groups, tumble tots type classes, playparks, duck feeding, swimming.

OnTheUp13 Wed 28-Dec-16 22:53:45

At that age DD loved-

Dyed cooked spaghetti- hours of fun- no problem if she ate it

Moon sand- again if he eats it not the end of the world.

Empty bottles filled with half dyed water and half baby oil with beads/sequins etc. Glue lid on loads of run rolling it/shaking it/beating stuff with it

Tea set with some water- she loved it!

Ball pond- blow up pool with balls in

Dyed instant mash- again if he eats it no biggie (bloody vile stuff!)

Shape sorter

Vtech singing bear thing. She's 17 months now and still loves the fucking thing! Obs I'm over it

Disco light bulb! They do them on eBay. We would have a "disco" she would roll, crawl, cruise and a few months later dance around. She loves a disco now and points to it and shouts DANCE! At me! Great way of keeping them occupied when you're trying to dust/tidy up as they're entertained!

Sleepybeanbump Thu 29-Dec-16 08:08:15

Bloody garden totally un-baby/toddler friendly. All paving and one tiny swamp masquerading as a lawn. sad can't wait for when he can walk properly and we can spend time out there. He won't tolerate a play pen so we haven't set foot out there together since he started crawling.

ChishandFips33 Thu 29-Dec-16 08:16:42

Sounds like he likes the movement of things if he likes throwing things - Google 'trajectory schema ideas' - a simple length of guttering and some balls/cars entertain for ages

Cardboard boxes - the bigger the better so he can get in and out

Posting things in an a shoe box/Pringles tub - big enough things that he can't swallow/choke on

Sensory/messy the bath - easy clean up

Google treasure baskets and build up collections of 'things' much more interesting at this age than toys!!

Summerdays2014 Thu 29-Dec-16 08:34:01

I feel the same with my almost 12 month year old son. We go to lots of classes which he loves but he seems bored at home with just me and can't entertain himself. Some great ideas that I will try - love the idea of the guttering!

CheerfulMuddler Thu 29-Dec-16 10:48:39

I share your pain! Still not bloody walking 16-month-old here. Could have wept when it got too cold to go to the park every day.

Best toy he's got is his scramble bug. He was a bit older - about 14 months - before he figured out how to use it, but he bloody loves it now. We also got him mittens, hat, snow suit and shoes, and we take it to the tennis courts in the park and let him roll around on there.

We also go swimming once a week and soft play. But sympathies. I am counting the days till summer starts again.

CheerfulMuddler Thu 29-Dec-16 10:50:02

PS playing happily while you sit there and then whining/demanding attention when you start doing something useful is totally a thing, btw, is not just your kid being a dick. Mine does it too and it drives me crazy.

Timetogetup0630 Thu 29-Dec-16 16:06:58

I had a low drawer in the kitchen full of harmless but interesting things.
Wooden spoons, plastic jugs and bowls, cookie cutters etc.
My DD would spend hours unpacking it all and then putting it away.

And hours and hours of Playdoh !

Spudlet Thu 29-Dec-16 16:12:13

I feel your pain too... we go for a walk every day with the sling but what he wants to do is rocket around by himself. But a crawling, thumb sucking baby on mucky soft play etc floors is just a total germ magnet!

Inspired by this thread I have just ordered him a new puddle suit and waterproof mittens though, so at least we can go in the garden. Planning to fence a section off for him to keep the dog out.

Roll on Spring and / or toddling!

ILoveDolly Thu 29-Dec-16 17:59:09

Yy to the low cupboard or drawer full of plastic pots bowls etc. I also did try to encourage some independent play. About 18m my kid's best things were : kitchen drumming with pans and spoon, using stickers to put aimlessly onto paper and crayon scribbling (yes they eat them. It's quite good at this age to introduce drawing tho.) Standing at toy kitchen chewing fake knitted or plastic foods then 'mixing' them in the toy sink. Putting a baby doll in a bed then dragging it about. I also discovered that a bag or large box full of smaller cartons (basically the recycling) provided hours of investigative fun.
In warmer times a washing up bowl and plastic dinosaurs (washing the dinosaurs)

blinkineckmum Thu 29-Dec-16 23:22:40

Mostly chase her around the house as she potters/ destroys things! Look up Montessori? Then sit back and 'observe' as she 'works'!

Sleepybeanbump Fri 30-Dec-16 12:40:07

Ooh good ideas! The trajector schema is interesting. Definitely him!! Like the idea of using the recycling, and the guttering. Play dough and stickers sound like a no go sadly as he literally eats everything. He's like a goat. And I mean eats eats not just licks. He'd honestly eat entire envelopes and magazines if I'd let him. That was one of the things that killed going to the park in the autumn as we both just got cross with me having to snatch everything off him while saying 'not for eating' as he frantically stuffed leaves in his mouth. It's very wearing.

Would now be a good time to buy a play kitchen then? I was holding off until he 'got' imaginary play. I'm looking forward to when he understands the wheely bug we got but he just falls off at the moment!

blinkineckmum Fri 30-Dec-16 15:48:30

My 14mo has been playing with her brother's kitchen for 6 months or so. She regularly makes cups of tea!

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