First let me start by saying that I am a bit late writing and posting this blog. I must have started writing it about 3 weeks ago! Once this whole covid thing hit and I
First let me start by saying that I am a bit late writing and posting this blog. I must have started writing it about 3 weeks ago! Once this whole covid thing hit and I got temporarily laid off I was all like (ever the optimist!) “Oh I am going to really take advantage of this time… I will keep the house clean, do yoga… spend time with the kids…” Oh what a naive lady I was!!! If I could go back in time I would smack that lady!!
So, needless to say, the last few weeks have been hectic, it’s been true mix of chaos and blessings, as we try to navigate this new normal all together.
Not only do we need to worry about T.P hoarders, and the lack of any kind of baking ingredient left on grocery shelves, but if you are trying to manage working from home whilst entertaining kids or toddlers, then you are going to think that running out of toilet paper is the least of your problems.
If you have more than one child under 5 at home, while you are still trying to clock in a few decent hours of work, then I tip my hat to you, and please send me your address… your SAQ gift card will be in the mail. (just kidding..please don’t)
In any case, I can only write about what I am personally going through, in the hope that it helps some of you out there. Like many of you, I skim the posts made in various Facebook mom groups and one thing I have been seeing quite a bit, is how to keep your kids busy and your toddler(s) entertained.
I’m WITH YOU folks.
With the hubs still working, I have been watching over our little munchkin plus two teens 1 week out of two, full time. Much like many of you in the same situation, we have a lot of indoor hours to fill. And who knows how long we will be facing this. We may be looking at a few more weeks -months now?!?- at home. (Note to self – buy a lock for the fridge and pantry.)
Kidding aside, after 2 weeks of letting the two older kids just do their thing and hang out, I knew that we had to work in some kind of normalcy, which meant creating a structure to their days. So, to help us get through this, I set up a somewhat loose schedule. Nothing there was set in stone, but it was a good start. Move over Martha Stewart, your fancy day planners don’t hold a candle to my messy white board schedule! HA!
Whatever it looks like, it has been helpful. My two teens not only appreciated having a routine again, but for the first time in a few weeks they didn’t complain about being bored! I let them navigate how they would structure the various time slots, but I feel like it gave them some much needed direction. And as an added bonus, they aren’t eating us out of house and home anymore!
So with problem 1 somewhat solved, I now have to find a way to keep the littlest one occupied. As much fun as it is sitting on the floor with her for hours at a time playing, I’d also like to get some other stuff done if I can. And I don’t think I am trying to be an overachiever here guys, I just want to maybe wash some floors, clean a toilet, finally dust the blinds or even just get some laundry done. (Or write a few blogs, laundry be damned!!! hehe)
So, with the next 72-504 hours looming over my head and no idea what to do with my toddler to fill all the hours of the day, I am not gonna lie, I panicked and DID place a small order from Amazon to bring in some new toys. For 30$ I got a wooden puzzle and a little toy car shipped the next day so that I could pencil in at least 20 minutes of play with those new gadgets. (FYI – she played with them for like 10 minutes and got bored, so my ROI on these is weak at best!)
At least the bigger kiddos could find ways to fill in the schedule with their own imagination, and for that I am so grateful.
Back to Brie. Here we had a good selection of toys and she didn’t want to play with any of them anymore! Even before this pandemic, I found it hard to keep her busy over the weekends. She didn’t want to play with anything alone, and Lord knows she had a myriad to choose from!
I was starting to wonder if maybe she was bored with her toys?
Brie is my third baby and in all honesty it never would have occured to me that we had too many toys out for her to play with. Lucky for me, I was able to ask the advice of a good friend. Not only is she a mom of two babies, but she has a background in early childhood education, and is a Kindergarten teacher – so FYI her advice is LEGIT!!!
Her response to my question about Brie being bored was 100% YESSSSSS! Who knew??
My genius friend told me about when she faced the same issue with her eldest daughter, when she was around the same age. And here is where her education and experience come in to help us all; she was able to draw from what she did with her students, to bring the same result at home. Basically, she said to minimize the options, and swap things out to keep the little ones engaged. So simple, yet so NOT EVER DONE!! How many times have you said or heard other parents say – Sheesh with all these toys and they would rather play with the box?!?
I immediately followed her advice, and with the help of her lending me a few toys to start the process, I hid ¾ of what was out and displayed a few new toys, and in different places around the main floor.
All that to say that, I saw an instantaneous change in Brie. She was playing independently again, and for longer than just a few minutes before wanting my immediate attention! Or at least long enough for me to reheat my coffee for the third time and eat a quick breakfast alone at the table. BLISS!!!!
This was about two weeks ago, and I am continuing the same process by swapping out toys every week, and placing them around the main floor. So far, it’s been working like a charm!
So back to the main question I keep seeing over and over on Facebook groups about keeping your toddlers occupied so you can work/clean/cook/shower. BAHAHAH Just KIDDING, what’s a shower????
The answer is simple and so easy for anyone to do without spending your mortgage/rent money at ToysRus. Swap.. Hide..Limit and create play stations. Even better if you have a few friends with kids the same age; create a rotation cycle of lending/swapping toys and that will save you some dough to boot!
Money that can then be spent on hoarding TP instead… hehe