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Grandparenting

Things to do with a toddler.

(77 Posts)
Grandmabatty Mon 19-Oct-20 11:44:09

I look after dgs two days a week. He's 20 months old. I'm just looking for ideas for playing with him. We read stories, he has toys at my house, bricks, cars etc, we dance, watch his favourite films. He lives to push the mop around and clean so we do that. Most days we go outside and splash in puddles or walk or go to the swings. He's not a fan of colouring and would prefer to eat crayons. Does anyone have other ideas that I could use? I'm sure he's happy enough but I don't want him to be bored.

ninathenana Mon 19-Oct-20 12:00:26

Can I come and play smile it sounds like toddler heaven, not boring at all
for a not yet 2 year old.

ninathenana Mon 19-Oct-20 12:01:51

PS what about letting him "help" you make simple cookies

Grandmabatty Mon 19-Oct-20 12:04:05

Oh thank you Nina. I worry that I'm not giving him enough variety though. He has a toy guitar and he plays with that too. Of course, if it wasn't for the virus, we could be at the shops, garden centre and local farm but I'm not keen to do that just now.

Grandmabatty Mon 19-Oct-20 12:05:30

I actually did that this morning Nina! I make peanut butter cookies and he watched the mixer work then I gave him a ball of dough to squash.

Grannynannywanny Mon 19-Oct-20 12:10:02

When my grandkids were toddlers they loved it if I gave them the mop bucket with some water in it and a large paint brush. They would spend ages drawing on the garden slabs with water. My grandson would work his way round the garden and “paint” the entire fence and shed.

Grandmabatty Mon 19-Oct-20 12:13:32

Thank you Grannynanny that sounds excellent. Too wet today where I live, so it'll be puddle splashing but I'll bank it for a dry day.

Chewbacca Mon 19-Oct-20 12:13:37

When DS was a similar age, I used to cut colourful and interesting pictures out of magazines; of things that I knew would catch his eye. I then gave him some glue, a brush and a sheet of paper for him to stick them on to. Then when he went home, the masterpiece went back with them as a "a present for mummy and daddy"! grin

(it's a good idea to cover the surface of the table before you start- polished surfaces don't like pva glue)

Grandmabatty Mon 19-Oct-20 12:15:42

Another good idea! He has a wee table in the kitchen just for him. I'll start cutting stuff out. Thanks Chewbacca

GagaJo Mon 19-Oct-20 12:16:22

Play dough, but you will have to supervise and help him or he will eat it or squish it everywhere.

If you have an iPad, you can screenshot pictures of things to help him develop his vocab. I have one for my grandson (when I am able to spend time with him) with things like pasta, table, bath, cloud etc. He loves swiping the screen to move to the next pic. It's only a 10 minute task but he enjoys it.

Play horsies on the floor on your hands and knees with him on your back. My grandson thinks it's hilarous and will shout 'horse, horse' at me when he wants to play.

Duplo is great and your GS is just getting to be old enough for it. My GS has had it since he was 1. Again, you'll need to join in to help him but it won't take long until he has the hand of it.

Stickle bricks are fab and obviously, not small enough to be a choking hazard.

If you're allowed, playing in the bath with bubbles is fun.

A big blow up ball that you can roll backwards and forwards to him.

Balloons are fun. My GS loves batting them around and they are harmless if they bounce off things.

If it is raining, taking him out to splash in puddles in wellies is fun because it feels naughty.

Beaches are good, if you have a car seat and can drive. Particularly once the weather is not warm, because the beach will be deserted. Check the tide times and go when the tide is out and there will be rock pools to explore. I put a warm jacket on top and put him in trousers that can be rolled up. Take a complete change of clothes with you though, because no toddler can stay dry at the beach!

I envy you. I would love to be able to have two days a week with my grandson. The first lockdown was lovely for me because I wasn't at work and spent it all with my lovely boy.

Grandmabatty Mon 19-Oct-20 12:22:45

Thanks GagaJo. Lots of these we do already, ie bubbles and bricks and balloons. I like the beach idea, although it would be a bit of a drive. I will invest in playdough I think.

genie10 Mon 19-Oct-20 13:00:34

Homemade playdough with plastic cookie cutters is good under supervision. The one I do is made from foodstuffs but tastes very salty so if he does try to eat it, he won't like the taste.

genie10 Mon 19-Oct-20 13:00:35

Homemade playdough with plastic cookie cutters is good under supervision. The one I do is made from foodstuffs but tastes very salty so if he does try to eat it, he won't like the taste.

vegansrock Mon 19-Oct-20 13:32:07

Water play is always good- small washing up bowl on low table( preferably in garden ) Bib etc useful small yoghurt pots to pour water into or “wash the baby” - vinyl doll from charity shop he can mix up washing up liquid to make bubbles and little flannel to wash dolls face etc. Finger painting or potato printing with roll of wall lining paper spread out on floor ( plenty of newspapers underneath. Play do is a favourite too as are making a picture with stickers . Get old cardboard box and some foam balls and play throwing the balls into the box. Make a ramp out of small plank of wood to roll little cars down .

MamaCaz Mon 19-Oct-20 13:33:41

Do you have a board or easel for him to scribble on with?

I got one last Christmas for my dgd, who was, at that time, a similar age to your dgs (and who like him, wasn't into colouring), and she loved both scribbling on it and ordering me to draw things.

Have you made a den for him under a table? My eldest dgs used to live me to do that, and he would than fill it with lots of toys, cushions etc. Strangely, my dgds have been less keen on this activity.

When out of ideas, just chasing each other round and round the kitchen table keept mine occupied and happy for quite a while at that age!

It's exhausting though, isn't it! Fortunately the dgd I look after is now into imaginative play with dolls and soft toys, and likes to make both them and me lie down for regular naps - I jump at the chance. grin

Grandmabatty Mon 19-Oct-20 13:48:09

Lots of great suggestions, thank you all. We've just returned from puddle splashing and leaf collecting. I think tomorrow will try making a picture with pva glue, leaves and pasta.

PinkCakes Mon 19-Oct-20 14:56:31

Playdough, jigsaws, crayons, potato-stamping (shapes cut into potatoes and then painted and pressed onto lining paper (you can get rolls of it cheap enough), or getting him to do a bit of dusting! Little kids often like to "help" by wiping round with a dry duster.

boops Tue 20-Oct-20 10:23:14

large cardboard box to make car, train, den and also den by using blanket over a couple of chairs

crazygranny Tue 20-Oct-20 10:27:14

BigJigs wooden railways are just brilliant!
All my four grandsons have loved the collection I have gradually gathered. Their products are good quality but much cheaper than Brio.
Making dens - always popular
Collect old packets and cartons and make a shop - that went down well with all of them too.
Used to have a really good recipe for making playdough - should be some available on the web.
Good luck! x

lemsip Tue 20-Oct-20 10:31:51

I kept plastic bowls of different sizes and wooden spoons to bang them with, my grandson would sit on the floor and enjoy this for a short while.....On the floor play, where he couldn't fall so was safe! also I'd sit on the floor facing him 3 feet away and roll a ball to him and encourage him to roll/through it back singing little songs. at twenty months old I think he'd need a nap after that! ha ha

Nannabumble70 Tue 20-Oct-20 10:33:30

Dust pan and brush, sweeping up leaves, watering the plants, "helping" with household chores, cleaning windows, emptying washer and of course mopping.
Enjoy x

SooozedaFlooze Tue 20-Oct-20 10:39:33

My kids loved sticking, any old rubbish cut out of magazines.
Painting pasta and making necklaces.
Learning to count with beans and pasta, when you get to 10 beans that becomes a pasta.
H&S brigade will go mad now but my dad used to put nails in a large piece of wood & let the kids knock them in.
Remember though his attention span is roughly half an hour per activity if that.
Good Luck

Craftycat Tue 20-Oct-20 10:39:40

I used to get the cushions from the chairs & sofa & we would make a 'train' on the floor ^ then make believe where we were going & what we were seeing- all 4 of my DGS used to love this.
Don't feel you have to entertain him all the time tough - he will probably be happy messing about with his toys on his own a lot too.

inishowen Tue 20-Oct-20 10:39:50

For quiet times let him watch Topsy and Tim. That's if you have Netflix. Its a delightful series about twins and their day to day lives. Its English, and not a cartoon. My grandchildren love it.

Gwenisgreat1 Tue 20-Oct-20 10:40:38

Grandmabatty At this point I would invest in just one tub of playdough - My dgd decided she wanted pink so mixed the blue and green. She was disgusted that pink didn't emerge! Animal shaped cutters are good, he can learn the name and sound of the animal while he uses the playdough