February 21, 2012

The Dilemma

Millie and I have a mission for you, should you choose to accept it. We're having a miniature crisis of sorts, and we need your help.

You see, we are home a lot. Most of the time, actually. Sky works most days, of course, and he take the car with him. His hours are topsy-turvy and not conducive at all for me to drop him off and pick him up. We technically have a second car, but it's been parked most of the last couple years because license plate stickers, insurance, and gas cost a lot of money- and that's if the old thing runs anymore.

All of that is to explain our predicament. I would rather be at home most of the time anyway, so it doesn't always bother me. But some days, it can drive me a bit crazy- and it' starting to get to Millie, too. Lately, I've been watching her lack of enthusiasm playing with the same toys and reading the same books over and over. She seems disinterested at best. Disinterest often turns to grouchiness or getting into trouble.

I've seen 500 activity ideas on Pinterest, and haven't been too impressed with them. But I've never had a 19 month old before, so I don't know much about this stuff. After we dance around the house, scribble on a drawing pad, and read a few stories, we both kind of look at each other as if to say, "Now what?" We aren't able to go to to church because of Sky's schedule, so she doesn't get to play with kids there. We don't live within walking distance to anything, so even going to the park isn't that simple. I know that things will get a little better as the weather warms up and we can at least run around in the backyard. Until then, though, two stir crazy girls need your ideas. I'm not going to lie- asking for idea of how to play with my own child doesn't make me feel like mother of the year, but Millie and I will both appreciate the responses. Until/if the second car is back in business, we're at a bit of a dead end.

Whether you've babysat, had kids of your own, or remember things you did with your siblings, I want to know your advice. Extreme messes are off limits (i.e., finger painting the walls), as are daredevil stunts, adopting another child Millie's age, and zoo animals.


14 kind comments from you:

Anonymous said...

Move closer to town! Things that are in walking distance!

HeWearsCombatBoots said...

Arts and crafts! Get glue stick and kid safety scissors. Use feathers and cut up pretty pieces of paper then glue them to another piece of paper. It doesn't have to be any special way just let Millie create something in her own vision. At 19 months it's a great time for her to learn to use scissors and glue. Arts and crafts are so good developmentally for children!

Another great activity for fine motor skills is stringing beads onto a string or pipe cleaner. You can have her make a necklace or bracelet.
If you want more ideas on things to do that can help her development while having fun just search on pinterest for occupational activities for toddlers....or something of that nature.

Ashley said...

Emma loves Play-Doh, and she's been playing with it since she was about 20 months. I still have to watch her about putting it in her mouth, but she loves the texture and squishing her fingers in it. It may take Millie a while to get the hang of it, but I think play-doh is an excellent learning tool. Also, do you have any other friends who have children Millie's age? Maybe you could schedule a play date at your house. Also if you have a MOPS program in your area you can check that out. Sometimes they offer car pooling. Just a thought :)

Jennifer @ Also Known As...the Wife said...

Arts and crafts are my sister's go-to with her 2 year old daughter. Just blank paper and crayons do the trick. We gave her tons of Play-doh for Christmas and that also keeps her busy.

Do you have reliable public transportation? Most kids under a certain age ride free on public transportation. You could check out your local library (some do story time for the little ones) or just get you close enough to a play ground that you can walk to it from the stop.

I sort of know how you feel...I have no idea what to do with Sophia some days. She's bored with her toys but she's only 8 months old so we're limited in her attention span and her abilities. We've taken to just going to the park or just taking a stroll around the neighborhood. Yesterday we used a plastic tote flipped upside down as a walker and she pushed it around the living room.

Mel said...

Gah! I am so the wrong person to ask...

Are you walking distance to anything? Like a library? They usually have great FREE events for families and kids that would get you out of the house and give Millie something to do/learn/etc...

Otherwise, check your community center boards for playdates and other kids in your neighborhood. You could get a monthly playdate together where the kids do a new craft and the moms get to hang out. It gives you both a little something different each month!

Just some ideas from a non-mom!

Deanna said...

1. making an at home ball pit with cheap plastic balls and a blow up swimming pool
2. making our own playdough
3. drawing on the chalkboard
4. creating our own dance moves to a pandora toddler station
5. bubbles
6. finger painting her highchair tray with chocolate pudding
7. playing with cars...making everything into a "road"

those are some of the things that we're doing this week...

Lydia said...

I'm kind of in the same situation with our son. We usually home all day, and trying to come up with things to do gets difficult. When my husband is home, he'll grab a couple blankets and drape it over the coffee table or the kitchen table, turning it into a little "cave." Ian's eyes just light up and suddenly it becomes something amazing to play in. He'll start getting his toys and books and drag them in there.

Get some blocks and have a block building competition. See how many blocks the two of you can stack without the tower falling over.

It's noisy, but pull out the pots and pans and some spoons and let her go to town!

Put a bowl of cheerios (or whatever is her favorite cereal) in front of her and then put an empty bowl a little ways away. Tell her to try throwing the cereal from her bowl into the other bowl. My son isn't quite old enough to understand this concept yet, but I plan to do this with him eventually.

Sue said...

I admit it- I have no ideas to add to your list here but I stuck around to read everyone else's. *Someday* they might be helpful :) Good luck!

No Model Lady said...

That is the worst!! Do you have a library nearby? Maybe one evening you could go when Sky gets home and pick up some fun books and movies for both of you to enjoy, then surprise her in the morning! Craft time was always a favorite around here and helped break up the time. $10 spent at Michaels goes a long way! Honestly, some days I remember counting down the minutes to nap time. Then I'd read or craft or pop in a 10 minute Pilates DVD, but it was MY time and I needed it. Also, I love walking. I actually miss stroller walking. I'd give Peanut snacks or toys and pop my headphones in and just walk and think.

JRS said...

Oh my god, you know we never thought about that. I mean the 120 dollars for insurance and a sticker might be out of our current price range but paying a 750 dollar security deposit and then paying first months rent...yeah I think that is in our price range. You have officially saved the day!

Karen said...

What? No Zoo Animals?? that's no fun lol. (by the way - I'm just kidding lol). Check out my friend Krista's Pinterest page - http://pinterest.com/hbkrista/
She has a ton of stuff that is kid friendly (she was an elementary school teacher and now stays at home with her son). She has some great ideas. I made cookies with my friends little girl when she was around 20 months old - I mixed everything and then she put them on the cookie sheet. We also played some dancing games - if you need some music ideas let me know, I taught creative movement to little ones before I had my baby. Good luck!!

Holly Robertson said...

those foam peices at hobby lobby will stick to windows and bath tub walls when wet. I bet you could get scrap lumbar from the hardware store and make your own building blocks. paint them different colors, glitter, ect. Music time is always fun though noisey.

Holly Robertson said...

oh! and saturdays sometimes at joanns they have free crafts for kids.

The New "Normal" said...

It's been a while since my kids were at the toddler age, but here's a few things we did:
1. Baking tray filled with shaving cream to play in (or let her play in the bathtub)
2. Baby washing - plastic baby doll and give it baths in the sink or tub
3. Obstacle course - use pillows & couch cushions to create an obstacle course. Things to crawl under or over, stop and do dance moves/jumping/run in place, etc. at different stations.
4. Build a tent with blankets in her room for her stuffed animals/dolls to read or have a tea party.
5. Mystery box - take a cardboard box and fill it with random objects around the house that she can play with (wooden spoon, old craft supplies, bucket, etc.). On days when she is really bored, take out the mystery box and let her explore the things that are in it. She'll come up with some really great ways to play with the things inside. Switch out the items every once in a while so that it is always a mystery what is inside.

I'm sure there are much better ideas than these, but they worked for my kids when they were little! Good luck!

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