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deluded mothers ... any top tips on what to actually DO with your children?

(28 Posts)
greenandpleasant Mon 11-Aug-08 11:47:51

DS is 15months, can crawl and stand but not walk. It is raining a lot and when we are inside I am just hopeless at playing with him, it is boring and tedious. The Motherhood Delusion thread has made me feel so much better about that fact - BUT any tips on things to do with him gratefully received - PLEASE???

Tried colouring - he waves the pens around, eats them (all washable of course), puts one pen to paper, makes one scribble. End of activity. Took less than 5 mins. Ditto playdough, ditto ANYTHING that the books suggest would be a good activity. He is either behind or they are suggesting things much more suitable for 18 / 20 /24 months.

He can potter round by himself fairly happily for a while but then really wants me to be with him and I have NO IDEA what to do with him that could be interesting, fun, whatever. Or am I being too ambitious?! Shall I just sit on the floor so I am near him and let him play round me?

MuffinMclay Mon 11-Aug-08 11:57:10

Does he have toy cars? At this age ds1 loved to get them out of a box, line them up, and put them back in again (repeated ad infinitum). Kept him amused for ages.

ruddynorah Mon 11-Aug-08 11:57:36

look up treasure baskets.

they're basically a basket you put normal everyday things in that are a bit interesting to him. so maybe a pine cone, some ribbons, a silk scarf, a bike bell, a wooden spoon, some measuring cups, a nail brush, some bangles..things like that. and the best thing is you musn't get involved. you let him discover it all.

cockles Mon 11-Aug-08 12:02:30

Musical instruments? I do remember this stage and it does get better -activities now often last half an hour! Mine loved hoovering and pouring at this point. Washing things also a big hit (bowl on floor) has he got a ride-on toy or one of those little wooden trikes?

poorbuthappy Mon 11-Aug-08 12:06:10

Saucepans, wooden spoons etc.

Leave the room though cos it gets blary noisy!

sherby Mon 11-Aug-08 12:08:00

can he help with household tasks

putting washing in the machine, playing on the beds whilst you make them, putting toys away

DS 11 mths loves playing with a metal tin filled with dry macaroni on the floor whilst I do the dishes, throw loads of cushions on the floor and crawl over and around them, playing chasing him with a teddy, music on and dance around, tin foil rolled into a ball and a big sheet to scrunch up and play with, hiding and jumping out at each other, get in the bath with each other and just play with the water

will try and think of some more, but these are some of the things we do

Othersideofthechannel Mon 11-Aug-08 12:08:12

Getting things out of containers and putting them back.

Too young for playdough and scribbling. DCs used to like finger painting and body painting. Strip down to nappy, do just before bath time and let them cover themselves in the stuff.

Adventure course for crawling - cushions and tunnels (clothes airer or dining chairs)

Othersideofthechannel Mon 11-Aug-08 12:09:01


AMumInScotland Mon 11-Aug-08 12:10:28

Stacking beakers or wooden bricks? He would at least enjoy knocking down stacks if you make them for him, even if stacking them himself isn't an option yet.

sherby Mon 11-Aug-08 12:10:54

DS loves playing with my purse (take the money out first)

he loves taking the cards out and putting them back in and playing with the zips, put interesting household things in a bag for him to empty out and fill up same as a treasure basket really but he pulls it around with him, ballons blown up always a hit, DS loves fetch blush just sit on the sofa and throw a ball and he goes after it, brings it back then high fives!

Overmydeadbody Mon 11-Aug-08 12:12:45

filling and emptying containers is a big thing at this stage, doesn't have to be toys, anything will do.

You don't actually have to 'play' with him the whole time, or sit there with him, just give him a big container filled with something, and other emlty containers, and leave him to it.

I collected milk tops and filled a container with them, I seem to remember DS happily playing with these on the kitchen floor while I cooked or enjoyed a cup o tea or whatever..

Overmydeadbody Mon 11-Aug-08 12:13:34

Also, make a 'post-box' out of an old cardboard box, for him to post items into.

moondog Mon 11-Aug-08 12:14:56

Long walks
Fill a cupbpoard with junk and let him at it.

nooname Mon 11-Aug-08 12:15:48

Oh I so sympathise - that's exactly how I felt when ds was that age! Now he's 2 he's so much more fun and interesting to be around!

Imo he's far too young for any activity type things like the things you mentioned (ds is getting better at those now but he's 2.3).

Ds used to (actually still does) love emptying my kitchen cupboards and drawers - in fact any cupboard or drawer. That can keep him entertained for ages - during which you can be doing something like washing up/cooking etc.

Playing with water? Is he big enough/capable enough to stand at the sink? prob not, but you could put him in high chair with bowl of water plus toys - even just some cups and spoons and things.

Playing with pegs?

IME kids of that age are happiest when doing what you're doing when you're doing an adult activity - so just try to include him in what you're doing. Then it's not so boring for you as well!!

EBenes Mon 11-Aug-08 12:17:22

What I've found is that I can make brick statues and houses, read every book she owns, draw pictures, sing songs, have a morning snack, run around upstairs with the bouncy ball, run around downstairs with a wooden spoon, go outside and play with the pegs, come back inside and read every book again, and glance at the clock to discover it's 10am. That's when CBeebies takes over.

smallwhitecat Mon 11-Aug-08 12:21:02

Message withdrawn

S1ur Mon 11-Aug-08 12:21:37

Make ramps and roll things down them.
Put different sized household objects in different sized containers. spoons in jugs kinda thing.
Make lots of noise with stuff and then be relly quiet.
Crawl through lots of coloured fabric.
Hide from each other, hide objects under blankets etc.
Water play. Get a washing up bowl and chuck in some stuff that floats some that sinks and a big spoon to stir it with and some stuff that can pour.

Tortington Mon 11-Aug-08 12:21:49

the trick is to do something you like to do

i always found
singing and dancing - fun and usually great to tidy up to.

i also liked artsy stuff and idn't mind kids getting dirty house getting dirty

so - it wouldnt bother me if the kid got wet outside in rain squishing about in mud for instance.

also baths - aren't just for bedtime, if the kid likes a bath stick him in with toys - sit onbog - read magazine whilst making encouraging noises.

i always tried to make a point of doing stuff that would knacker them out.

like swimming

or walkin up a hill - or a long distance.

Tortington Mon 11-Aug-08 12:24:05

i remember - sitting the twins in there kick rocking things infront of the washing machine whilst it was on spin - to keep them quiet - a few months old - at the same time i gave my son a wooden spoon and some pans

left them on the kitchen floor

and went and had 5 mins to miself.

TheProvincialLady Mon 11-Aug-08 12:28:14

I thought I was the only one who sat on the bathroom floor with a book whilst DS entertained himself in the bath! Fantastic fun for DS and gives me half an hour of not exactly peace, but time to read anyway.

At this age household things were much more fun for DS than toys. Makeup brushes, dustpan and brush, measuring spoons, a bowl of flour and some plastic cups, my purse full of credit cards etc and basically anything that isn't dangerous.

MsDemeanor Mon 11-Aug-08 12:28:48

It's hideous isn't it? Remember it well. I remember being so pissed off with bleedin Penelope Leach when she trilled that my baby would be entranced to see me peeling potatoes. No he bloody wasn't. He howled until I did what he wanted (being picked up/walked around endlessly with me holding his hands).
And you are right, rolling things, taking stuff out of a cupboard, bowl of water all lasts about five mins MAX and then you spend 20minutes trying to tidy it up while bored child howls (again) because you are tidying up.
Get out of the house. Only answer IME. If wet try softplay, mate's house, another mate's house, cafe, even Sainsbury's is better than being at home. If in, don't underestimate the power of a bit of tellytubbies when you need to do something. I find a constant supply of raisins/breadsticks/organix biscuits also helped a bit. It's a question of their teeth v my sanity!
This stage doesn't last forever though.

witchandchips Mon 11-Aug-08 12:31:20

We'd go out twice a day, once before lunch and once just after a nap. Having had some external stimulation (like playing on the swings or climbing over chairs in the library), dc would be actually quite happy to have a cuddle and read a story with me or help me do some chores (sitting at the table helping me chop for example)

Know mil and others thought i was mad to keep going out but actually it just made the long day much more manageable because it broke it into chunks.

Things i would do out on raining days
a) soft play (often free for non walkers!)
b) shopping
c) library (you look for books, toddler crawls around at your feet)
d) swimming
e) in term time things like toddler play groups
f) bus rides to garden centres

booksgalore Mon 11-Aug-08 12:34:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

greenandpleasant Mon 11-Aug-08 13:20:46

thank you all - feel much better as we actually do most of the things you suggest! They just never seem to fill up much time and I think I just feel guilty because we don't really sit down and "do things" together, he finds things and plays (while I'm on MN wink). Going to chuck away the books on things to do with small children as they are clearly aimed at older ones.

EBenes and MsDemeanor thank you for making me laugh - TOTAL recognition of what you say.

calsworld Mon 11-Aug-08 13:39:01

I feel so much better for having read all these threads today, I have found I'm def. not a natural entertainer for my DS, although he does entertain me very well sometimes grin. I actually thought it was just me that looked at the clock at 10.00 am and wondered how it could be that it was still soooo early and what on earth was I going to do for the rest of the day?

Am currently a full time WOHM and thought that perhaps it was because I didn't spend enough time with him but now I see it doesn't actually make any difference - other people experience exactly the same thing.

My big sis is all arty crafty and a constant source of entertainment for her children - she loves it, is brilliant at it and is permanently an exhausted zombie! My little sis just tells me that everything is perfect all the time and she doesn't have time to get bored hmm. I don't have any RL friends with kids so get no support there either....

so thanks for your honesty and for your ideas - although I still don't know how to stretch these activites beyond five minutes each!

And on that subject, I'm glad to see its not just my DS, I was beginning to wonder if my lack of stimulating him enough had resulted in him having an attention span problem.

Someone today gave me the suggestion (can't remember where) of making icecubes with interesting things frozen into them, like flowers...he loves ice cubes so will try this at the weekend!

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