Well, these really are strange times we find ourselves in. It’s been nearly 2 weeks now since the enforced isolation started, although we’d been distancing for a couple of weeks prior to that. I thought I’d write a quick post about how we’re keeping a toddler entertained at the moment.
Before total isolation, we started to plan some things to keep Grayson entertained indoors. He’s never been one for huge collections of toys and books, he tends to pick a toy and stick with it. So we carefully picked out (aka, we bought whatever was left on the shelves after the masses raided them for, well, anything at all) some crafty bits, and a couple of new toys to introduce, should he get too bored.
The tent. We’ve had this since he was a baby, it was very cheap from Ikea (like, £12). It had been under the bed since we moved house – so we popped that in the lounge, and filled it with some balls we bought from Home Bargains. Needless to say, this has been the biggest hit. Everyday, “Mummy, Daddy, can you get my tent out please?”. It’s cute, but it’s like a sauna in that thing, and he insists we sit in there with him. Laptop and all. It’s less than ideal!
Now he’s a lot more stable on his feet, we’ve dug out his Paw Patrol Fire Truck and his Skuttlebug. He’s had these for months, but never really used them (he kept falling off the fire truck so we took it away). Now, he’s quite the expert driver. They keep him entertained, and offer a bit of exercise too.
Third on the list
Painting. He has quite a short attention span, but Ashleigh has been painting stones and making craft butterflies with him – and I think he’s enjoying it. We bought a few craft bits to make things with him. As with most toddlers though, it’s quite short lived before he decides that something else, anything else, would be more exciting!
We’re trying to ration the walks – he loves going to the little forrest at the end of the road to see the birds and squirrels, and it overlooks the sea. It’s lovely to visit, but the fear is that if we go too much, he’ll get bored – and when it’s our only real escape that’s near by, we don’t want to over do it. It seems that the smallest of things, a daisy in the grass, or a pine cone, really are the easiest ways of keeping a toddler entertained – he seems more than happy gathering pine cones for the squirrels! We don’t want to exhaust the fun of the little forrest, so instead, we’ll go for our daily walk around the block and look at peoples rainbows in the windows, or talk to any cats that we see on the way around. He doesn’t need long outside, just enough to get him thinking about the things he sees whilst out and about.
Grayson is really low maintenance when it comes to keeping him occupied, really. He’s happy helping with chores around the house – he’ll hold the hover as we clean, or pretend to dust with his own cloth. He’ll sit on the floor whilst I sort through Laundry, or look out of the window whilst I’m changing the bedding. He’s quite independent, too. Give the lad his mini trains or his Cars, and he’s gone for a while whilst they talk to each other and “crash bang” off the sofa. We’ve also been finding new ways to help Grayson learn about independence, and doing things on his own.
Of course, he needs to let off steam – and we tend to have madness time before bed – we’ll clean the toys away, and he’ll run around in circles like a mad man for a few minutes – just enough to make him suitably shattered in time for bed!
It’s unprecedented and uncertain times that we’re living in at the moment – I for one will certainly never take a walk outside for granted again. I’ll never underestimate the freedom we have – the ability to go to the Zoo, or to have family over for a coffee. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since Covid-19 joined us, it’s that we have lived an incredibly lucky and fulfilled life – and I won’t ever take that for granted again once all this is over. We’re loving spending all this time as a Family (on the face of it, it’s not hugely different from our standard weekday).
If you have any awesome ideas to share about keeping a toddler entertained throughout this lock down – please do share them on the comments for everyone else to try out