Occasionally I find myself stuck at home with a couple of kids and a rain day. After the requisite 9am Sesame Street viewing and maybe some Price is Right, there’s a whole lot of space time and energy needed to burn in there. This past winter I found a book called The Toddler’s Busy Book, meant to give stuck at home parents all sorts of jolly craft and cooking ideas. The best idea I got from that book. Get a basket and some balls and play “Toss the Balls in the Basket”. This book is a wee bit too unrealistic for me. I am not lucky enough to have a craft room or even a craft closet. I do have a craft box, filled with stuff like paint and chalk and bubbles and mostly stuff I don’t feel like cleaning up after he decides to smear it on the rug/couch/wall. I am also not lucky enough to have a kid that eats. Anything. So the Super helpful ideas of making ants on a log or whatever other “toddler friendly” concoctions are in that book, not helpful. Does anyone need a Toddler’s Busy Book?
So, for the urban dweller amongst us, here is some stuff I’ve figured out that helps keep the kids entertained and a few that also allow me to get something done around the house.
- Rain boots and puddle jumping. Even if it’s just around the block, loads of fun until someone takes a faceplant in said puddle because the uneven sidewalks are hidden by same said puddle.
- Bear piles. Take all the bears and whatever other stuffed items you have and make a big pile and then jump around on it. This activity hopefully results in leaning back on the pile and reading a nice book.
- Rearranging the kitchen cabinets, because nothing is more fun for a 2 yo than taking things out of the cabinet and putting them back in (get a rag and clean the cabinets while the child is removing items) and imagine how surprised your partner will be when they come home, reach in for the nuts and find a can of beans instead. Keep them guessing!
- laundry. Not as easy with a newborn, but if the baby is napping, the laundry room can be a very exciting place
- Dance Party – fire up that playlist and dance dance dance (which also counts as exercise)
- Puppet Shows – pull out your favorite book (Confederacy of Dunces has worked well for me) and reenact scenes with whatever puppets, animals, figures you have lying around. The kids are entertained and I get to revisit an old favorite.
- Youtube exercise videos, they are short and can target specific areas. Get the kids involved and challenge them to see who can do more crunches.
- Make something – as a last resort, I’ll pull out the glue and glitter and whatever cardboard item I’ve saved, stick them all together and enjoy the delightful sparkly mess we made
Any combination of these ideas along with a sizable nap and “lunch” should usually get us through til 4pm when we can all sit down and watch Oprah or Ellen…although crap, starting next week, we don’t have an option. Oh Oprah, we’ll miss you. I guess I’ll get to enjoy my first attempt at explaining That Television Show Isn’t On Anymore.