Jul 22, 2019

Entertaining Toddlers At Home - Calm Activities for Under The Weather Days

So, I want to change gears here for a bit and talk less about minimalism directly and more on quality time with a toddler.
Today, I find myself with a toddler who wants constant cuddles because of a "boo-boo" she sustained the night prior. She has been attached to my hip all day. Now, don't get me wrong. I don't mind at all. I love cuddles and savor each one because I know one day they'll happen less often. I quickly started to think of ways to entertain her while satisfying her need to have me close and also preserving my sanity at the same time. 

And, hey. Maybe the next time you find yourself staying home with a toddler and in need of a few calm activity ideas, you can use some of my mine. 

(Credit: Unsplash)

The End Of The World

My husband and daughter had gone for a walk when it happened. I chose to stay home and relax for a while. You know, let them have some time for themselves while I have a little alone time. (any stay-home parent out there knows how desirable and rare alone time is) They had only been gone for about 5 minutes before they come back in. My daughter's eyes landed on me and I saw her little face scrunch up in pain while she drew in a deep breath and I knew it was about to get real. She began to cry and my husband was trying to tell me exactly what had happened all at the same time. (grr) I couldn't hear much of what he was saying over the tears Bug was dishing out, but then he showed me her little knee, covered in blood. He looked so distraught about the whole thing.

Mom-Mode: Activate

I took Bug off his hands and went to the bathroom. We cleaned her up, put some pain relief neosporin on her scrape and put a Paw Patrol band-aid on it. (she likes to think the pup on the bandage is hugging her boo-boo better)

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This is my favorite neosporin because it helps numb the wound and prevents infection. I've never had any issues with a scrape using this stuff. The only way I can get Bug to accept a bandage is if it's got a show character on it. The struggle is real, yo. 

Our Day In A Nutshell 

There. is. not. enough. coffee. I know those of you who know me are thinking, "Ramona, you never think there's enough coffee even on a good day." I have just one thing to say to you. You need to get out of my face with that negativity. Coffee is my essence. I was born of coffee. It has molded me, adapted me. I can't liv-...Wait, I digress. okay, back to the actual subject. 

Ahem. So our day was spent doing calm activities that didn't require a lot of running around, walking, or jumping. 

(Credit: Unsplash)

  • Educational Puzzles - One of our favorites is this one here. It has 20 different puzzles and each one has 3 or 4 pieces each. They're big and easy to connect for toddlers to improve fine motor skills and dexterity. 
  • TV - I try to shorten the amount of time we have the TV on during the day, but on days like today I just give in. Call me a weak momma, that's fine. We watched an hour of her favorites and then put some relaxing music on as background noise for a bit.
  • Indoor Picnic - We sat on the floor on a picnic blanket and used our imaginations for breakfast and lunch. Summer in Texas is horrible. 
  • Art Time - We busted out the colored pencils and drew some doodles. 
  • I Spy - We like to lay on the floor and stare around the house trying to get each other to guess what we see. She got me on "I spy something burn." I wasn't sure what she meant and after a while I gave up. She then told me "the sun" in the most duh voice possible. 
  • Fort - I mean, you can't NOT play in a fort on days like this! 
  • Silly selfies - Bug likes to make funny faces with those snapchat filters. 
  • Little Helper - We got Bug a toy cleaning set a while back and any time I do laundry, clean the kitchen, or use a spray bottle on counters she will grab her toy version and try to help me out. It's adorable watching her try to be mindful of messes. We have this set as well as this one. 
  • Educational Books - Bug loves bringing me books and telling me "I want to learn this." We spend a lot of time going over things and I'll let her tell me what she knows about it and I'll fill in little bits here and there for her.
  • Darts - We have this toddler dart board that's made of felt and looks like a big ol shark mouth. The darts are these plushy fishes with velcro on the bottom to help them stick. The goal is to feed the whale. It's a fun little pastime and we even enjoy sticking those little fish darts on each other's clothes and acting goofy. 
  • Dress up - Go all out. Tiara, sparkle skirt, wand, tea set and tea cookies. Invite a few stuffed animals along and have a blast. 
  • Race Cars - My daughter loves anything to do with cars and vehicles of any kind. We got her a little race track rug for the floor. We pulled it out and put block buildings on it to create a town. 
  • Spa Day - We grab our favorite lotions and Bug gets a foot rub. She's bonkers for putting lotion on and loves to be spoiled like this. Hey, if my kid winds up spoiled with love instead of with material items, I'm okay with that.

Taking A Break

During her nap I took full advantage to nap myself... HA! Just kidding. Nope, I came here and decided to write about my day for you lovelies. I did drink some more coffee, though, and that's much better than sleep in my book. Reading that back to myself made me realize that my book sounds like it needs a priority check... Meh, I don't have enough coffee in me right now to bother. 

I opened all the windows, turned off the lights and TV and just sat in the quiet for a while, sipping my cup of magic and typing up this new post. I needed the stillness after my morning of activities.

 Excuse my "tired Momma" face (All Rights Reserved)

Ending Strong

Kiddo and I revisited a few of those activities throughout the day, depending on her mood. She's fairly easy to please and I count my lucky stars for that daily. I'm sure there are tons more things you can do at home and even outside, but I was shooting for minimum effort activities and ones that inspired the least amount of motion. 

The day's not quite over yet and I have a feeling we're going to end with pizzazz. I'm thinking it's a sprinkle pancakes for dinner kind of night. What kiddo doesn't get excited for sprinkle pancakes? Instant mood lifter for sure. 

What are some of your favorite home-based play ideas with your littles? What is your kiddo's favorite comfort food or activity? 

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