August 24, 2009,
J.J. asks from Studio City, CA on August 19, 2009
Indoor Activities to Do at Home with 21 Month Old
Hello fellow Mamas! I am currently a stay at home mom, now in Central California. My only child, is a sweet little girl who is 21 months old. Just recently, I have felt a little bored and she has too. We are pretty active, as much as the hot weather and a small town will let us be. We walk with our dog every morning, go to the park, go to the zoo, visit daddy for lunch at work, swim in our backyard, play in our backyard and much more. However, after doing these things 7 days a week it gets a little boring and my little gal is at the age where she wants me to be involved in everything, which can be a little exhausting. We have gone to a moms group a couple of times, but I just didn't click with the moms after a few attempts. She has friends that she sees almost every weekend, lots of weeknights and a cousin who is close by that often plays with her (she's 3 1/2).
All of that to say, I am looking for ideas to keep my little gal busy indoors. She has TONS of books, building blocks, dolls, scarves, colored pencils. coloring books, musical instruments and much more that can keep her busy. She watches Sesame Street once a day, sometimes not at all, sometimes more if we are in a bind, busy packing before a trip or something. She asks to see "Elmo" several times throughout the day. I guess that just is what it is? Is there anything that you do indoors with your toddler that he/she loves? I'm thinking of fun activities, crafts, really anything I'm open to. Do you have a website(s) that you go to for fun ideas? I guess I just need some new ideas, because often mornings I wake up, look at her and think to myself "What are we going to do today?!"
4 moms found this helpful
C.P. answers from San Diego on August 23, 2009
THE CRAFTY CROW
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L.C. answers from Los Angeles on August 20, 2009
What about some simple puzzles or board games? They have memory match games that a 2 year old can play and puzzles with big pieces that will help with fine motor skills. There are a bunch of puzzles with alaphabet and numbers and animals so she can learn while she puts the puzzle together.
Hope this helps.
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S.H. answers from Honolulu on August 19, 2009
You can always enroll her in some toddler classes... ie: Gymboree etc.
To me, actually, your girl seems to have a real full day... already. It is just that she has a routine, and perhaps she/you are bored of that. Its okay. That is life... and actually a child can 'learn' from that... that not every second is entertainment 'for' them. That sometimes quiet time and just doing nothing is valuable too. And actually, they (the child experts) say that many children are actually "over-scheduled" and they haven't learned to entertain themselves or to have self-reliance or self-directed/motivated moments. Kids learns TONS from just being non-busy too.
My daughter and I would love to just lay out in our yard, on a picnic blanket, looking up at the sky and talking about anything... mainly my prodding her imagination... about what she hears or sees or HOW she can describe it. We made a game of it. And sometimes, we would just read and lay out... or I would just read and 'let' her just be in her own thoughts... and if she had a question she could ask me anything. She told me she actually "liked" doing nothing sometimes and hearing her own voice in her head (ie: in her thoughts). She said it felt 'less crowded' and nice and quiet... to be just hanging out without "having to" go anywhere or do anything. It was actually our "special" time together and our quality time. I now do that with my son too.
For me, I like that my kids actually have nothing to do sometimes.. and then I challenge them to think of something on their own and then they do... often constructing things with whatever we have in our living room... Or making up their own games and then they 'teach' me their games and we all play together.
try playing Simon Says... or charades with your girl. Even at this age, you can adjust it to their age level and its tons of fun.
Sometimes my girl will tell me its "boring" and I tell her "yes, sometimes it is... but its how you look at it...that's life. and then I tell her "I bet you can be resourceful...." and then her wheels turn and I see her "invent" new games and crafts ideas and then she is SO proud of herself. I sometimes "on purpose" do NOT entertain the kids... just to see what they can do on their own or come up with... or to help their ability to think on their feet.... and be resourceful. And it gives them good thinking processes...
Just my thoughts. But yes, I know some days are just that "what now?" and I get that way too. But I have realized, now with 2 kids, that I don't "have to" entertain their every second just to be a "fun" or "good" Mom. Sometimes not being busy is just so great too.
All the best,
1 mom found this helpful
B.O. answers from Visalia on August 21, 2009
I am a SAHM living in the Central Cali, as well. Those hot, hot days make it tough with kids. We spent a lot of time at the library (renting a new video, books with ideas for you, as well), just walking around the mall or favorite stores (pet store was a hit), going to indoor activity places- the kids loved the inflatables. They helped make homemade play-doh (after it cools, a bit), no bake cookies, and any recipe that did not require the oven to avoid adding additional heat.
Search the internet for free games, printables, teaching tools for younger children. pbskids.org is would be great if she loves Elmo. The TV gets a little old but if you can find other things that have her favorite character it may distract from the TV. My kids also loved listening to music and dancing around.
I am also involved in my church. I go to Bible studies where child care is provided. Playtime for them. Also, MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) is a great organization. Check local churches. You don't have to be a member of the church or a christian, it's a great way to be encouraged as a mom.
Hopefully this might give you a few ideas. Cooler weather is on its way. Hang in there.
K.R. answers from Los Angeles on August 20, 2009
I would let my toddler son take all the cushions off the couch and make a soft mountain out of them on the floor and climb to his heart's content, then we would stack them against each other to make a fort/cave/tunnel - this is especially fun with another kid (her cousin maybe?) I turn on kid music and we dance like crazy! Finger paint (with paint or pudding!) Just have a good old wrestling match - maybe boys are more into this one ;) Use masking tape on the carpet to outline a road and play cars. Get easy mix muffins/cornbread and bake with your toddler. Go to payless and let her try on all the pretty sparkly shoes (if you know that with a prior explanation she will leave without a tantrum without all the pretty shoes! My son was happy to leave the shoes, knowing we would be back to do it again another day, but not all toddlers will agree to this!) This isn't really the right time of year, but you could start a garden - maybe an herb garden indoors (or maybe just a chia pet!). Pop her in the bath tub - it never seems to get boring to my kids. Squirt shaving cream on the table or bathtub wall and let her paint with it. Hope this is helpful - another place you can get ideas is if you visit a teacher supply store that has curriculum books for toddler teachers - TONS of ideas that are age appropriate :)
L.Y. answers from Los Angeles on August 21, 2009
My boy is a little bit older (29 months), but we just started playing with play-doh and painting with those little water-color paint sets. He paints on paper or in a coloring book. He also loves to play in water, so he'll play in the bathtub with containers or in a plastic baby pool on our deck. I also make him finger paints for the bath with 99-cent store shaving cream and a drop or two of food coloring.
Here are a few online sites for games and such. We do computer only sparingly, but from the time he was about one, my son loved the fisher-price site and by 18 months he knew the ABCs because of their ABC Zoo game. They can hit any key, so they don't need to use the mouse. He also loves the Thomas site. He can do the matching game by himself, now that he is learning the mouse and does the emotions game with my assistance.
If you can get out some, a pet store or tropical fish store is always good and when I was little I loved going to the Hardware store, believe it or not! I loved all the little things in tidy little boxes. My son loves going, too. I just make sure he puts the stuff back and we don't get hassled. I explain, to the best of my ability, what the things are for.
Down in Orange County, our county puts out books called Kid Builders which are full of activities for the whole kid (mind, body, etc.). One is for babies, one and two-year-olds and another is for 3, 4 and 5-year-olds. Here is their website: www.occhildrenandfamilies.org. There is info on there on how to obtain them.
Good luck in finding fun things! Enjoy the rest of your summer.
B.H. answers from Los Angeles on August 20, 2009
have you tried www.MeetUp.com? Find your city and find some groups to join. You can join moms groups, family groups, hobby groups almost anything in your area.
When my daughters were little I LOVED taking them to the store on a scavengetr hunt. We would spend about an hour cutting out pictures from a flyer, then go to that store and have her find all the items she picked out. We made it colourful, fun and educational. The grocery store was the first place we started doing this. I remember the first day we did the grocery store, it was wonderful. There was Rydel, 3 years old, with her scavenger hunt paper in front of her, 5 items to find, she was brilliant. She could figure out what aisle she needed quite quickly. She jumped for joy, screamed at the top of her lungs I FOUND IT I FOUND IT jumping smiling, everyone around her laughed.
You can do a scavengetr hunt for ANYTHING. PS it activates so many brain functions in a child i can't even begin to tell you. Have fun.
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D.M. answers from Los Angeles on August 20, 2009
Sand box, play doh, fingerpaints (or even with shaving cream or peanut butter (you can google them, peanut butter playdoh or peanut butter fingerpaint). Games. Hoppity Hop. Give multiple directions (go to the toy box and pick up... then go to the couch and put it down and pick up this. etc.). Introduce her to the computer. There is the sesame street website that has lots of games or pbskids.org. She can sit on your lap and enjoy it. My kids were starting to navigate when they were two and knew what the mouse was for.
C.S. answers from Los Angeles on August 20, 2009
My son is 28m and we don't watch tv w/him much, maybe 20min a month.
Playdough, water color, finger paint w/paints or pudding..., simple crafts
Look up toddler classes through parks & rec
library story and play, music, craft times
F.R. answers from Los Angeles on August 20, 2009
Oh I know all too well the hum drum days. One of my best sources for new and fun ideas is http://familyfun.go.com/ it has thousands of ideas. From crafts to cooking. You can can choose cratfs by age, materials, or even cost. They also have a cooking wih kids section. I hope this helps. I would also try the mommy and me play dates again the turn over in groups like this is pretty high.Old members drop while new members join. You can go to meetup.com for groups in your area. Try to keep in mind that you may not click with the other mom's but it's for your daughter and if she enjoys being with the other kids it's well worth it right. You can also check your local YMCA, or other community programs for kids activities.I hope this will help you tackle some of the hum drums. = )