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Entertaining pre school and toddler simultaneously - help!

(8 Posts)
Judd Wed 27-Jul-05 20:49:12

Hiya, I'd be grateful for any words of wisdom that you could give me on this subject. DD is 3y7m and fairly rubbish at playing on her own. She likes me to be very involved in her games, either as the audience or equal participant. Fine...until you add 14 mo DS into the equation! He is walking well and adores DD - consequently wants to be where she is, and do what she does.
Downstairs we have one long room so very little chance of putting DD somewhere DS proof whilst I am still within earshot to offer praise/advice when needed. We have a conservatory but it doubles as DH's office 3+ days a week and is more or less filled with dining table anyway.
DD will happily join in games with the baby toys (anything to be near beloved mummy ) but I'm slightly concerned that she is not getting enough play at her level.
Is there anything I can do?
When will their play needs converge a bit so that I can play one game with both of them? (desperately seeking light at end of tunnel now)
I feel fairly down about this and my inability to amuse both at the same time. Any help or advice would be appreciated!

PrettyCandles Wed 27-Jul-05 20:54:41

My two have a similar age gap, and at your stage I still found it necessary to keep the more advanced toys and play times separate for the elder child. Playing with younger toys is fine, IMO, especially as your two need to learn to play together, and that may be a peaceful way of doing so.

What about when your ds naps? Could you have some time with your dd alone doing more age-appropriate stuff?

If you can keep things peaceful between them right now, and teach the younger to respect the elder's 'privacy', then, when he's a little older, they wills tart playing cooperatively and your dd will probably turn into a huge bossy-boots, teaching her db all the complicated rules of her made-up games. That's where my two are at nearly 5y and 2.6y

Judd Wed 27-Jul-05 22:19:26

Thanks Pretty Candles! I'm sure that this year will make a heck of a difference, as she realises he can actually be good fun and not just a little pest! They've started rough and tumbling together but that's as far as their cooperation goes so far.

GeorginaA Wed 27-Jul-05 22:54:55

No real solution from me, Judd, but just wanted to let you know that we're pretty much in the same boat only ds1 is 4yrs 2mths. I think much of ds1's "inability" to play by himself is a cry for more attention, as he can play by himself when he wants to - but those times seem to be rapidly diminishing as ds2 is getting more mobile and more interfering.

It's a struggle and a finely tuned balancing act, isn't it? I sometimes wonder if I'll ever feel like I'm getting it right...

Judd Wed 27-Jul-05 23:02:35

Yep, get to the end of the day, weigh myself and also find I'm wanting.....

Judd Wed 27-Jul-05 23:02:50

always not also

PrettyCandles Thu 28-Jul-05 13:58:55

Rough and tumble is good. They learn a lot from that, and so do you as you bite your lip and sit on your hands to stop yourself interfering! Of course, you need to keep an eye or ear open to make sure no eyes are gouged out and that they learn the groundrules of no nails, no hairpulling, no fingers in orifices, no kicking, and when to stop.

I've been thinking about your dd's clinginess, and wonder whether you can try to withdraw, perhaps for starters by being busy next to her (reading a paper, putting laundry away, that sort of thing) while she plays, and lavishing attention on her when the two of you are alone.

PrettyCandles Thu 28-Jul-05 14:01:41

Hang on a sec, what do you mean by bashing yourself and always finding yourself wanting? That's not allowed! You're actually doing a very good job - the fact that they will play to gether is proof of that.

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