24 answers

Need Help with Activities for 19 Month Old

I don't even know what to title this request but I need some advice. And I am sure that once our weather gets better and we can get outside more, then I will feel better. But I am bored and find it hard to figure out new things to do with my daughter. We try to be really active. We go to gymnastics, the library, the children's museum, out for walks, go to the park, playdates, etc....But sometimes I just feel tired of doing kids stuff all the time even though I know that is what my current job is. I feel horrible if I let her watch TV for more than 30 mins and feel worse when I let her play alone, but I just don't know what to do. I just feel like a bad mom We have tried coloring, which she loves, and tried playdoh, but she just eats it. What kind of things do other SAH moms do to help the day go by? I try to be very cost effective, so any low cost/no cost advice would be great. I just am running out of thoughts/ideas and I know there are tons of moms out there like me. Thanks in advance for any advice you can pass along

3 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

I knew I would get tons of great ideas. Thank you all so much. I do let my daughter have independant play often with a little mommy encouragement every 5 mins or so, but being a first time mom to a single child, I just didn't know if that was really the right thing to do. She does well playing by herself, I just felt like I was being bad by stepping out of the equation every once in a while.
Anyhow, we headed to the craft store and got some fun things like feathers,curling paper, foam cut outs and paper and finger paints. And we got a big tub of oatmeal to dig thru. I just felt so "out of ideas" but now I have tons. Thanks so much. All you Moms out there Rock!!!!

Featured Answers

I don't have any fantastic suggestions of things to do. But I let my 20 month old have some alone play time. I still keep an eye on her, but I don't get too involved. I think it is good for children to have time on their own to develop their own imaginations. They play differently when their parents are involved.

1 mom found this helpful

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Hi AnnMarie,

I went through EXACTLY the same thing with all of the same feelings, at about the same time with my daughter. She's 21 months now, and somehow, some of that has passed. I agree with what other moms wrote, that it's important for her to learn to play alone some. And it's frustrating when she just won't. What I've found is that if I get down on the floor with her and play for a good solid 20-30 minutes where I am totally involved, then I can usually tell her I'm going to do something for mommy now and she'll play on her own for about the same length of time. So we do our day in fits and starts. I've also gotten some new-to-her toys that I thought at first were too "old" but she seems to play with them really well on her own - a dress-me-up dolly; a tea set; a wooden dollhouse with furniture and various small dolls; a wooden Thomas train set; a bunch of scarves for dress up; and lots of books. Most of these I got at yard sales or second hand stores for just a few dollars. (The train set was a gift from a friend, and a timely one at that).

Also, I try to get her involved in chores, so that she understands some of the work of the household and has fun too. She has her own broom, and one of her favorite games is sweeping. She "helps" with the laundry, with washing vegetables, stirring batter, rearranging the bottom shelves of the refrigerator, digging in the dirt to plant the garden, etc. She loves "helping" Daddy in the garage, so we have set aside some small tools and a couple of shelves for her to play with out there too (supervised, of course).

Also, we try to get outside at least part of the day, even when the weather is bad. Even 20 minutes can help change a mood (yours and hers).

I've gone through feeling like a bad mom too, but my husband is great at reminding me how much I do with her and how much positive, constructive attention she does get. So be gentle with yourself, and know that you are doing your best!

good luck!


2 moms found this helpful

Encouraging your child to play alone at this young age is a good thing and may help keep her occupied with things that are interesting to HER instead of what you think might be good for her(which she and you are both getting bored doing).

If you honestly feel like she needs more closely supervised play, then another idea is to join a play group. Then you can interact with other adults while the kids keep themselves busy.

2 moms found this helpful

You can borrow activity books from the library. I like to be physically active with my kids - bike riding and going on the trails around here, taking them to the parks.

There are also books on things to do in Seattle - just ask the reference desk at the library. There is so much to do in this are - it's AMAZING! Check out the city web sites for the various cities around you. They have free concerts, activities for the kids - festivals, you name it.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't have any fantastic suggestions of things to do. But I let my 20 month old have some alone play time. I still keep an eye on her, but I don't get too involved. I think it is good for children to have time on their own to develop their own imaginations. They play differently when their parents are involved.

1 mom found this helpful

you are not alone. I have two boys who are now 9 and 7. I have talked to soooo many moms who did the same thing that I did with our eldest children. You don't want to let them play alone because you feel like you are not being attentive to them. Well, in hind sight, one hundred percent of us wish that we had let our first borns play by themselves more. My second son played by himself all the time (due to number one being the squeaky wheel gets oiled syndrome) and to this day is better at being able to entertain himself. Don't beat yourself up. How you feel is normal and yes, let her entertain herself now and again.

1 mom found this helpful

I completely understand, I was a nanny for 6 years before having my own children and I feel that I constantly have to be doing something fun with my boys and be loving it. It's not always that way though. I have had to learn to let them play on their own, which is really good for them. We like to do all sorts of things:
finger painting (washable of course and non-toxic)
making puppets (paper and crast sticks, socks, paper bags)
"hunts" we use paper towel tubes for telescopes and they have to find certain things around the house-catagorized by colors, shapes, clues, etc. (this is good if you have to be doing something else too)
decorate t-shirts
build forts (fitted sheets work well with chairs or couches)
water play - in bowls or the sink (fun things are basters, cups, balls, clean sponges, spoons)
collages with any scraps, craft foam w/ sticky backs are great for little ones
beading with noodles or large wooden beads
make up stories together and write our own books (fold and staple a few papers together)
I could go on and on, but I hope that helps some, or sparks some new ideas.
Know that all moms feel burnt out sometime and not much fun, but you are doing awesome by wanting to be with your child and wanting to have fun. Make sure to incorporate things that you like and include your daughter in some way. This will let her get to know you better and learn something knew. Doing different things side by side is great too. You don't always have to be involved in what she is doing, hard I know. If you are near her, she'll still feel secure and she will learn to be independent. Keep being an awesome mom!!! And have lots of fun1

1 mom found this helpful

It's perfect timing to read your e-mail and some of the responses. I'm 38 w/ a 19.5 month old son who I adore. He was born 10/28/06. We've tried going to different parks with creeks or bridges and garage sales but w/ gas prices I've stopped doing it unless in conjunction with errands. He's helped with gardening or burning the trash ( I have him pile sticks away from the "hot"). We're learning about bugs, flowers, trees, etc. Since we live in AK we look out the window and say the sounds: airplane, train, bird, etc. He likes to talk while I do chores ( he kissed the vacuum bye bye). If I wrap a present for father's day he plays with the empty card board roll or boxes. I'd like to go get things to scoop and pour and measure but money is an issue for me since I quit working last Aug. I'm starting a cabin rental business out at our lake but I may have to return to work in the eves just to have alone time. I don't necessarily want to, so getting new ideas will help for me as well. I take pictures of him and e-mail them to family/friends and he can sit on my lap to see photos and then go back to playing. Yesterday at the park we played bubbles. Good luck to you and I'm sure your child is happy and well adjusted. I've started saying positive thoughts in my head. It's working. I am active, motivated and happy. I love financial freedom. Or whatever works for you. Making forts with blankets or pretend games are fun. (What animal am I, pirates on a ship, etc.) Hang in there. I'm even thinking of having a second child. -Tiffany & Xander

1 mom found this helpful

There are some great books out there with activity ideas for kids of all ages. Check out your bookstore or library. Some of my favorite books have craft ideas using stuff you already have around your house, or games that you can play without special equipment.

In many ways it is harder to have just one child because you end up being the playmate and you have other things to do, too. It might be helpful to find another mom with a same age daughter and do an exchange. Your daughter will have a friend and you can have some time to yourself.

1 mom found this helpful

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