October 24, 2008,
A.B. asks from El Paso, TX on September 30, 2008
Entertainment/Games/Activities For Energetic 11-Month-Old Boy
I'm looking for suggestions on what I can DO with my 11-month-old little boy. He is so very, VERY active (he walks in circles around the living room if nothing else), and I just feel overwhelmed trying to keep him entertained. I realize I don't have to be interacting with him every minute of the day, but when he does want my attention, I'm at a loss for what to do with him.... He's not interested in sitting still to read a book (or even listen to me read one), he doesn't play with his toys for more than a few minutes (think three minutes) at a time, and he is constantly getting into things he's not supposed to--because the cereal boxes and my lotion bottles seem to interest him more than any toy. I do take him on walks and to the playground, but there are some days that I need to get things done--or I just don't want to get out....which is a whole other issue. Honestly, I find myself being bored and frustrated with him, and I HATE feeling that way! I want our time together to be fun--not a chore. Please help!
2 moms found this helpful
C.D. answers from Norfolk on October 01, 2008
When did we get to feel like we should be entertainment for and entertained by our kids? They are a job, sometimes it's a real chore to get out of bed and do it one more day. Take a break for yourself and leave him with his dad for a boys day once in a while, they have to bond too, and it's hard with a military life to find that time. That being said:
I had a cupboard in the kitchen full of tupperware and wooden spoons, all the rest were locked but that one was open and I have quite a few pictures of boys with bowls on their heads; I had to pick up tupperware a couple of times a day but it was worth it. I read at bedtime when they were sleepy, otherwise it was a frustrating exercise for all of us. Clean after he goes to bed. Get a baby gate and close off a room as a play area if you have the space, fill with stuff he likes, he'll be able to safely occupy himself while you're busy elsewhere; I was able to have a play room and it was a lifesaver since I was mostly alone with 5 kids. It's okay if he plays alone, he'll find you when he wants you (more boring for you since then the laundry is waiting with no excuses). As they got older they helped with chores more, and I did pop in videos when I needed them occupied and out from underfoot.
N.R. answers from Richmond on October 01, 2008
Oh My Gosh! Are you sure our boys are not related?! LOL! My 2yr old is just like yours! No joke! He does not play with any toys for more than a minute or two. He runs around like a wild man all day getting into EVERYTHING! Thank GOD for non-toxic cleaners and things because he climbs and gets into them. He LOVES water and will run into the bathroom when I'm not looking and play in the sink. He has even pulled his clothes off and got into the bath tub to take a bath. We hear the water and go running. Now this is with my two older sons here too. Unbelievable! I say that God has a plan for his life that will require LOTS of energy. LOL!
Now here is what I have found to work a little better for me. A daily schedule or routine. He learned really quick what came next each day. Our schedule was based on 30mins so we changed duties every 30mins. He has learned play time with me and with his brothers and alone in his bedroom. He too doesn't sit still for me to read to him but I do it anyway. I have also learned to put him to work with me. He is mommy's helper man. Is it more work for me in someways. But it's worth it to know where he is and what he is into. LOL! He helps take clothes out of the drier, sets the table for meals, throws trash away, etc. Art time is fun and easy for me. He sits in his highchair and does water paints on a coloringbook page, he plays PlayDough, he colors, etc. Our meals are base points, we have BF at 8-9am, snack around 11:30am, lunch at 1-2pm and nap time (thankfully) from 2-4pm and snack when he wakes up, then dinner around 6pm (whenever dad gets home) and bedtime is 9pm. It wasn't easy in the beginning but it sure has been great now days. Even though your son is only 11mths old, sounds like he can hang with you during the day pretty good. LOL!
Now, do you get out of the house much to be around other moms in your area? How about a MOPS group? He can play with 'friends' as we call it, while you get some much needed adult time with other moms.
You can always email me anytime. Being a SAHM is truly a tough job with the most rewards in the END. LOL!
And to you and your husband, we send a big THANK YOU from our family for his military service. We support him 110%!
N. :) SAHM homeschooling 3 boys 12, 7 & 2 yrs old and married to my Mr. Wonderful for almost 15yrs. I love to help moms, who want to become SAHMs, reach that goal. If you or someone you know would like more information please contact me anytime. Thanks!
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S.C. answers from Washington DC on October 24, 2008
Get an older child to play with him. My neice and Nephew 8 and 11 tire out my 7 month old.
B.C. answers from Washington DC on October 01, 2008
All the suggestions you have received are great. I would add a couple of things. Look for some classes aimed at kids his age--your county recreation centers (usually very reasonably priced) should have programs. If he is walking, tumbling is EXCELLENT. I have a 2 3/4 year old girl and 15 month old boy and they both run themselves ragged and have very nice naps after tumbling. It also allows you to have brief conversations with other parents which helps a lot. Classes are also a way to focus your child and they may give you some ideas about things to entertain him with at home. Other classes for his age are either Music Together or Kindermusik, Baby yoga, swimming. It may sound like a short class won't help for the whole day, but I have found that it does. My daughter really sounds just like your son and it helped us both tremendously.
I would suggest getting out of the house every day. If you can combine getting out to do something that combines activity for your son and adult stimulation for you, that is the best thing. I take my kids to the zoo, museums, petting zoos, whatever. Since you are at home, going during the week's working hours makes the crowds a little less and gives your little one more freedom. I also just don't feel like going out or desperately need to do get something done in the house, but my days and weeks are so much better when I do get my kids out. They also nap better which makes my productivity better. I have also had to struggle with understanding that I just can't be as productive as I would like. Thankfully, I have an understanding husband.
The other thing that helped me this summer and that we will be continuing now after school in the fall is that I had a high school girl come over to entertain my kids while I got work done. It gave my kids a new person to play with and I got a TON of stuff done. The first couple of times were not as productive because my kids still knew I was in the house and wanted me, but once they understood the routine, it was great and they really didn't bother me much. The kids adore her. And she loved the extra money.
Also, don't worry about your feelings of boredom and frustration. We all have them. The thing that makes those moments worth it is when you witness your child learning a new skill or discovering a new ability. That is cool. Those are the moments I cling to when I feel like I want to pull my hair out because my two darlings won't even let me type an email out in one sitting...Hang in there.
B.B. answers from Washington DC on October 01, 2008
First of all, don't feel bad that you get bored. YOU are not 11-months old, and what's fun for a toddler is not necessarily fun for an adult. I got bored too. Try to make sure you get some time to do things you enjoy. (I know you've probably heard that before, but it does help!) (And if your husband's away, make sure to take care of you too!)
Also playtime can be like his attention span-in short bursts, it doesn't have to be a big chunk of time at this age. Just spending time interacting with him is one of the best things you can do at this age. Follow his lead and talk about what he's doing or the object he's playing with. He won't really play with another person for a while, but he'll watch and listen to you. He will get more interactive as he grows! (My son is now 4 and I sometimes long for the days when he found his socks interesting!! Now we have tons of toys and still there's "nothing to do"!)
There are lots of books out there that can give you ideas for activities to do with toddlers, which can be helpful (although not all the ideas will be appropriate yet). You also need to keep in mind that everything is a learning activity for a toddler! Follow his interests-give him some empty cereal boxes to play with until he starts eating them. Wash some old plastic bottles from lotion or things in the kitchen (remove the lids or hot glue them on). Let him tear some paper (fine motor skills!). Talk about colors and shapes, sing silly songs (or anything you know). Try some lift the flap books-kids at that age like interactive books, or use silly voices when you read short, simple books, or sing books that are based on songs (those were my son's favorites). Turn on some music and dance together. Go outside and talk about what you see. Just hang out and talk to him-that's all he needs!
T.T. answers from Washington DC on October 01, 2008
You have gotten a lot of good ideas from everybody already! I just wanted to add that naps may help, too. You didn't say whether your son naps well or not, but if not, see if you can get him on a good nap schedule. My daughter is 13 months and usually naps very well - 1 1/2-2 hours in both the morning and afternoon. If she misses a nap, she gets a sort of "second wind" and gets VERY active. If you didn't know her, you wouldn't be able to tell that she was tired, you would just think wow! that girl doesn't stop moving! So, anyway, just thought I would throw that out there!
C.D. answers from Washington DC on October 01, 2008
My son was the same way. Still is sort of and he's now 6. He liked to explore and finding the new toy/object was more fun than playing with plain toys. I had a cabinet in the kitchen that had safe kitchen things (ie pots, pans, big wooden spoons, empty cereal boxes, empty containers, and occassionally an actual toy). We also baby proofed our closet and he used to love to play in their with our off season clothes and other safe stuff we stored in there. Sometimes he would be having so much fun he'd fall asleep right in the kitchen or in the closet. One other thing he loved was playing in the sink. This took careful attention but he would play with containers in the running water while I was making a meal or cleaning in there and he could do that for hours (but he was probably closer to 15 months when he did that).
M.R. answers from Roanoke on October 02, 2008
if you want to introduce him to the computer, there is a free program called baby banger, where anytime he touches any key, it makes a cute cartoon.
Also boys in particular need an energy outlet. I go to a different park almost every day, even if it's only half an hour. Sometimes we'll picnic there. I have 2 boys, 5 and 3.5 and a little baby girl. Fenced in parks rule.