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toddler advice please

(36 Posts)
fillygumbo Fri 06-Jan-12 10:57:04

My partially disabled dh and I are looking after myuch loved gs 2 full days a week, our problem is how to fill the long winter days when the park is too wet and cold. He will only play by himself for 5 mins and I must admit we get absolutely exhausted pushing him around in his car or his other favourite thing dancing, he likes books but only for about 5 mins so you can imagine 8 hours can be hard to fill, there is nothing at the library at our particular days.
Any advice or games we might play much appreciated

absentgrana Fri 06-Jan-12 11:13:08

Play dough, rolling pin and plastic cutters? Painting? Action rhymes and songs (Wheels on the bus, If you're happy and you know it etc.)? Lots of children's CDs with these sorts of things and lots of the action can be done sitting down. Duplo? Helping granny – shucking peas kept my two- and three-year-old grandchildren quietly entertained for half an hour and helped get supper ready.

I would say that unless it's very wet and windy or knee-deep in snow, the park is always worth considering as long as you're both wrapped up well. Even walking round the block and jumping in puddles can be fun.

Annobel Fri 06-Jan-12 11:42:01

I probably shouldn't say this, but, if all else fails, C-beebies!

grannyactivist Fri 06-Jan-12 11:48:06

I look after my grandson very often; he'll be two next week. In the morning I get him up and after wash/teeth/breakfast we usually go for a short walk to the nearby river; this takes about 30/40 minutes or sometimes longer if there's plenty to interest him. Hot drink on arrival home and a piece of fruit and a play with his toys or a story/nursery rhymes, then we watch an episode of Chuggington on iPlayer whilst he's sitting on my lap. He then has a nap followed by an early lunch. I run around like a scalded cat when he's sleeping because it's the only free time I have until I put him to bed. After lunch I usually take him out in his pushchair whatever the weather. Sometimes we just go for a walk to the sea, occasionally there's the library or a toddler group to go to. On our return home, after his fruit and drink with a story, he often 'helps' granny and he especially likes a duster or a damp cloth to 'clean' things with. Then it's playtime with his toys/colouring/playdoh before tea, bath, story and bed between 6.30 - 7pm. I never have a shortage of things to do with him - just a shortage of the energy needed to keep up!

Carol Fri 06-Jan-12 11:48:48

Collect a drawer full of things like farm animals and drawing materials, old greeting cards that you can cut out shapes from and stick onto scrap paper to make pictures, collect bits and bobs that fascinate children - my twin grandsons love mooching through a tin of odd scraps and odd objects and using them in imaginative play. The Mr Tumble (Justin Fletcher - brilliant) DVDs with songs and sketches are fantastic - 2 and 3 year olds love watching them repeatedly and singing and dancing to the songs. My daughter also records programmes on CBeebies like Grandpa in my Pocket, Dora the Explorer and Gigglebiz to watch again. Having something like a garage, dolls house, or similar will keep them occupied.

We play games like 'I went to the shop and I bought.....' and get them to scurry off and pretend to come back with ingredients for a cake, or their tea. My grandsons love pretending to come back with the 'wrong' thing so they make me laugh - it all uses up energy - theirs, that is, not mine! I spy, asking things like 'where can you see.....a squirrel, or a telephone, so they have to search the room to find what you have seen.

Also, don't forget everyone can settle down after lunch for a cuddle on the sofa and afternoon nap, which children that age still need.

fillygumbo Fri 06-Jan-12 12:09:41

thanks for your replies all, much appreciated, I should perhaps have mentioned that he is only 17 months, I really like some of these though - especially the playing shop, I have a feeling our dgs isnt as cooperative as many others! eg sitting on a lap - almost never he would have to be ill first! I also like the playdough idea, alas my dd thinks the television has no place in her home I would love to sit in front of cbeebies for at least half an hour!

grannyactivist Fri 06-Jan-12 12:20:14

I don't have a TV filly, but I have bought DVD's for GS and we always watch Chuggington on iPlayer. From birth I've sat GS on my lap to read stories and he will sit for a very long time being read to or looking at books by himself. I sometimes have a battle of wills getting my GS to co-operate, but he's learning that 'no' means 'no' and actions have consequences. I do actually quite like that he has a mind of his own though.

fillygumbo Fri 06-Jan-12 12:23:25

thanks granny activist and all,I basically think I need to toughen up our little darling has been running rings around us and we have been slaves to his demands! A new approach next week lol

Annobel Fri 06-Jan-12 13:19:57

Two of my GC loved the Baby Einstein series of videos. They branched out into things for toddlers too. American, but stimulating. I don't think they did those two any harm as they are both in the 'gifted' category at school.

nanapug Fri 06-Jan-12 16:51:31

I think fillygumboif your dd is reluctant to allow your dgs to watch age appropriate telly to give you and your DH a rest occasionally in the day, you should ask her to suggest and supply you with plenty of alternative activities. Does she not realise how tired you get, and also that watching the excellent, age appropriate very educational programs offered will help you dgs ability to concentrate, sit quietly for ten minutes (which he will need to do when he starts playgroup/ pre school) teach him songs, numbers, letters etc. and make his day less frustrating for you all. Perhaps you should have a chat with her about this.
I used to child mind two of my DGCs at the same time when they were both between the ages of 6 months and four. It is exhausting and the only way I coped was by having a good routine, set sleep times, lots of walks and watching some carefully chosen programs. I also bought masses of second hand toys from charity shops so they has lots to play with. Good luck!

JessM Fri 06-Jan-12 17:03:13

a bowl of water and some bubbles, a few mugs and things .
If no area for messy play - in the bathtub with no clothes maybe. Who says baths are for bedtime...

My DIL lets hers do "cooking"
Mixing bowl with flour. Then she gives them random ingredients and they enjoy making a spectacular mush of food colouring, lentils, brown sugar, washing up liquid - whatever. all interesting colours and textures.

nanapug Fri 06-Jan-12 17:30:36

Have just remembered a fantastic (if not a little messy!!) thing that we used to do. Dissolve quite a large quantity of cornflour in water. Then let them play with the result. It changes from liquid to solid depending on if it's being touched or not. Great fun. Sadly I can't remember quantities. Maybe someone else can help?

Butternut Fri 06-Jan-12 17:36:14

Wooden spoons, scraps of material and wool, string, a box to cut up, a few crayons/markers, and you have the makings of a mini-theatre.

Potato prints.

Masks made from paper plates.

Rolls of discounted wallpaper liner - terrific for going 'large' with pictures, prints etc.

.....and, if you can, try to plan out the day ahead of time (not always easy I know) - with plenty of 'quiet time' if you can manage it whilst you catch your breath.

Good luck

Stansgran Fri 06-Jan-12 18:31:57

My dgcs went to a brilliant nursery-activities were changed every 15 minutes- about 5min. play and 5 min getting toy out and 5 min putting away-it meant the the floor wasn't covered in toys and they understood tidying up -doesn't necessarily mean they did it for me but now older they tidy up quite well.

Nsube Fri 06-Jan-12 18:36:56

I have my 19 month old three days a week, and yes, it's tiring. But I think you need to draw up the agenda! When you read books name every object on each page and encourage him to point to it. He'll soon be happy to spend a long time doing this. Small world play (things like Duplo people) and so on with lots of imagination is good. Two and three piece jigsaw puzzles can be practised endlessly. Stacking cups, bunny in the barrels, and and other size ordering games are good. I do think a walk is important. It tires them out and gives you some exercise. And, every so often say 'Granny's busy now, you must play nicely for ten minutes' or whatever. Good luck.

Anne58 Fri 06-Jan-12 18:41:39

When my youngest was around 9 months, I was laid up for 6 weeks (my mother had to move in to help, when I say laid up, it was to the extent that I had to have a commode next to the bed for the first three weeks!). My mother would bring him up after lunch so that I could have some time with him. As I couldn't move much, we did rely on books quite a bit, and even at that age he loved "Where's Spot?" and a series of books called "What's in the jungle/cave/what's on the beach? Let's find out" (They were all lift the flap books)

When I got a bit more mobile, I discovered that he just loved being massaged! More sort of lying down and having baby lotion stroked gently into his back, legs etc, but it would fill some time and seemed to always make him very relaxed. I think I might have made a rod for my own back there, though as even up to the age of around 4 he would appear with the bottle of lotion saying "ticka ticka mummy!" (The very light fingertip stroking touch is almost but not quite like a sort of tickle, hard to explain, try it out with your OH)

HildaW Fri 06-Jan-12 19:44:09

2 days a week! I hope your daughter is suitably grateful!....yes its a delight looking after grandchildren, a privilege also. However, its exhausting because one is always on double alert because one is somehow in a position of trust even more demanding than with one's own children. (We've had this conversation in here numerous times)
I am a trained pre-school educator and do not see any problem with offering young children small doses of Cbeebies in a domestic environment. You must never use it as a 'baby sitter' but to sit along side a toddler, chatting and prompting them whilst they enjoy the odd 10-15 minutes of age relative tv is a jolly good way to have fun.

fillygumbo Fri 06-Jan-12 22:02:03

I am so delighted with all your so useful replies, I am hoping for a fresh livlier outlook when I begon next week am going to start ith long walk to toyshop to buy playdough - I think to be honest I had no idea (stupidly) that I would get so exhausted its just as well most women have their babies in their 20s or 30s!

Carol Fri 06-Jan-12 22:13:43

Agree with you HildaW. There's such a downer on children's TV, but I have found such delight in sitting with my grandchildren, talking with them and explaining what they are watching, and prompting them (they sometimes prompt me) when significant things happen that they can relate to. My grandsons aged 3 years know several Spanish words from Dora the Explorer, they have learned lots of nursery rhymes and accompanying actions from Gigglebiz, and they 'get' jokes from watching events unfold on certain Cbeebies programmes. They know which are mummy's programmes, and which are theirs, and they themselves turn the TV off when a programme finishes so they can concentrate on a story or have their evening bath. The TV has never been their babysitter, but it has introduced them to exciting things that they can go and experience themselves, like going to the children's farm, preparing for pre-school with Peppa Pig, riding a pony or donkey, planting sunflowers seeds and watering them whilst they grow, and generally having fun.

Dancinggran Sat 07-Jan-12 21:53:14

fillygumbo, - why not make the playdough it's easy to do (if kept in airtight container it will keep for quite a while) good recipe on

I look after my 22 month old grandson, 2 afternoons a week and he loves when I give him the wooden spoons, plastic bowls and pans, keeps him entertained for a while making music. Can obviously be rather noisy, but great fun if you can stand the noise.

PoppaRob Sun 08-Jan-12 05:37:52

Confession... Over the Christmas / New Year break I my daughter and SIL were off work so they looked after the GD. I was a bit bored one day and found myself doing a catchup on ABC iView 'cos I missed watching Chuggington, Bob The Builder, DirtGirlWorld, Rastamouse and Charlie Bear! smile

Some of our viewing habits (and my thoughts on some shows) have definitely rubbed off on the GD. My daughter reported that they were visiting friends and the friends' toddler mentioned Angelina Ballerina. GD piped up "Angelina Ballerina is a pretentious rat!"

bagitha Sun 08-Jan-12 08:09:40

Ha! Ha! Love the pretentious rat, popparob! I always thought so too but was never brave enough to say so. I don't think we ever came across her on TV but I avoided the books.

There are some lovely CBBC programmes (or were when my kids were little). Some people say children don't learn anything from TV but mine all learned a lot. It depends what you let them watch and, of course, the TV doesn't have to be on in the background all day long. Just watching a few programmes each day makes it much more valuable as well as more enjoyable.

Annobel Sun 08-Jan-12 08:35:40

I know the Simpsons isn't a children's programme or necessarily educational, but my GS, aged 7, came up with some interesting vocabulary (no, not 'eat my shorts'). Luckily his role model is Lisa Simpson rather than Bart and he informed me that I was a 'cruciverbalist'.

JessM Sun 08-Jan-12 08:42:48

Oh yes PoppaRob. Far too girlie a rat for me. I prefer Rita from Roland the Rat.
Big fan of Sean the Sheep too.
My GD when 18 months used to sit and watch Toy Story, Shrek, Finding Nemo etc. right through. Her first long sentence was a quote from Toy Story... At 22 months, really poorly with a chest infection we had an arduous movie watching Boxing Day (her mother was working) during which she announced irritably "I don't want to watch Shrek 1 there's not enough princess Fiona in Shrek 1"
I don't think her interest in the art of cinema was harming her development!
(If you want to quote me on this feel free. And "my friend said" that her GD just got an end of year award for academic achievement [proud - but bemused that the school is giving such a thing to a 6 year old...])
I think "research" in this area may be contaminated by the fact that some mothers plonk their kids in front of telly all day and don't talk to them at all. At the other end of the spectrum those with very verbal demanding kids would go insane if they could not put them in front of something for a while, especially in the winter.

Her brother at the same age was not so verbal but much more physical and liked nothing better than climbing the scary climbing frames in the park (about 6ft off ground) while I hovered beneath, ready to catch him if he fell.
Oh and they loved dancing. I had a DVD from early learning centre with children dancing and singing nursery rhymes for instance.
A bus ride is a huge treat form my GS. Or a train ride. Entranced.
Oh i have remembered something else - looking at machinery, preferably moving machinery. Building sites are compulsive viewing and the activity only limited by how long you are willing to stand around peering at JCBs.
Good luck with your new term.

Annobel Sun 08-Jan-12 09:21:47

JessM - so right about JCBs. My GS's route to nursery is past a place where they are parked and there is trouble if Mum takes another road. Older brother, aged 6, still likes to say goodnight to the 'diggers'. However, they also like to watch and feed the wildfowl on the local lake.