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how do you get things done AND keep a toddler entertained at home???

(14 Posts)
rachelgreen Mon 28-Jul-08 17:16:31

DS is 17mo. He goes to nursery 3 days a week, so I have 2 days at home with him on my own, and 2 days with DH also home. he's used to lots of games, toys and company at nursery, and i worry about him getting bored when he's at home with us. - But equally, there are things i need to catch up on round the house when i'm at home with him and can't spend the whole time playing - by the time he goes to bed I'm truly knackered and not in the mood for ironing (and the only things that get ironed in this house now are DH work shirts and my trousers), mopping, etc. so need to pack things in during the day.

Luckily DH loves the hoover (had to do it at 8.30am last week hmm whilst he sits on it being pulled round!), but what's a healthy balance of entertaining them, and letting them entertain themselves??? he is starting to think putting the washing out is a game, but all these people who have said to me, oh, noneed to buy toys, he will love household things to play with?!!?? - which ones???

any tips for keeping them entertained whilst getting stuff done, and good toys (free or not) that suit a toddler this age? TIA.

needtosavemoney Mon 28-Jul-08 18:55:14

when I clean the kitchen I put some water in a stack n store box with some plastic cups and bowls and let ds splash away.
he has special duplo for when I clean the bathroom.
and he plays with his big brothers toys whn I tidy their rooms.
I did this with ds1 from about 12 months and as ds2 is nearly walking at 9 months he is doing it now.
The only thing I can't do is the ironing as ds2 likes chewing wires hmm
If all else fails any type of car goes down well hth

rachelgreen Mon 28-Jul-08 21:26:47

thanks, I should've thought about getting little duplicate toys for when i do the bathroom - i hadn't realised just how much they take in until the day he got hold of the toilet brush (firmly wedged at the back of the toilet - out of reach or so i thought) and started tapping it on the toilet seat! also we went to B&Q yesterday and he dragged 2 mop buckets round the store, - this bodes well for getting some help off him in a few years!

ChirpyGirl Mon 28-Jul-08 21:30:30

DD1 sweeps the kitchen floor and helps mop it as well, she 'helps' me tidy by running back and forth to the bin or helping throw things in and I have left one cupboard unsecured in teh kitchen for her to 'organise' with tupperware and her plates/bowls etc in.

PhDlifeNeedsaNewLife Mon 28-Jul-08 21:33:59

I've trained ds (15m) to help load the washing machine and to hand me clean laundry to hang out grin

I do bugger all very little housework and always interrupt it for stories. that said he drives me berserk when I'm cooking, can't get him to let go of my trousers [aargh]

hairtwiddler Mon 28-Jul-08 21:34:48

DD has always liked to "dust", and also "tidy up", which is what she calls washing plastic toys in a bowl on the floor. Toddlers also quite useful for looking after pegs while you hang out washing.

A mystery bag full of random stuff can be quite entertaining - just fill a shopping bag with different toys and stuff like wooden spoons.

Banging on pots and pans with a spoon is always good (although very annoying after a while).

Other than that, I find doing any housework a nightmare too. I've stopped worrying about it... and I rarely iron. I can do quite a lot during an episode of Mr Tumble though smile My house is much more of a midden since she stopped napping during the day too!

Gemzooks Mon 28-Jul-08 21:48:28

bowl of raw pasta with spoons, different sized bowls, keeps them happy for ages!

lizinthesticks Mon 28-Jul-08 22:09:51

I just let them do what they want. Seems to work.

puffylovett Mon 28-Jul-08 22:17:03

DS sits on the sofa looking worried while I hoover. the rest of the time we -

helps me unload the washing basket and throw the clothes down the stairs cos i can't carry him and the washbasket at the same time

passes me clothes to hang on the line (and also flings clean clothes on the floor but never mind you can't have it all)

leans over the bath while i clean it

I have a dedicated ' plastics' cupboard that I just open and give him free rein for when I'm cooking, which totlly stops him hanging off my legs

while i dust upstairs, he bounces on the bed

Just this evening, he put his toys away of HIS OWN ACCORD !!! so proud grin

that just leaves ironing for the evening

if all else fails, Bob the Builder DVD and a pack of raisins wink

midnightexpress Mon 28-Jul-08 22:25:45

Get another toddler - I have two of them and they fight play together while I do things around the house.

But seriously, I agree let them do stuff with you if you can. It goes more slowly, but it goes.

A cupboard full of pots pans plastic boxes etc is a good thing, as are wooden spoons.

Count yourself lucky if yours isn't terrified of hoovers - I had to wait until ds1 was out for months because he would burst into tears when it came out of the cupboard. But now they both 'help' with that.

They also love 'brushing' (with anything vaguely brushy) and also washing up - ds1 used to spend hours and hours washing things (any things) up when he was the age of your ds - I usually had to do it all again later but hey. I also give him things like veggies to wash.

And you can get him involved in the cooking too if you're feeling brave.

puffylovett Mon 28-Jul-08 22:28:52

ooh yes, forgot about the brushing !!! grin

glad it's not just my ds, my mum thinks he's going to be a janitor when he grows up hmm

midnightexpress Mon 28-Jul-08 22:31:24

grin. We have 4 (count em) sweeping brushes outside, and countless dustpan and brushes too - it's brushtastic at Midnight's. They also both brush each other's hair (both boys).

midnightexpress Mon 28-Jul-08 22:32:09

dustpans and brushes?

dustpan and brushes?

dustpans and brush?

alittleteapot Mon 28-Jul-08 22:41:46

v useful thread, thank you. dd loves unloading the dishwasher but unfortunately can't yet distinguish between clean and dirty!

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