Those of you who have busy toddlers at home know that sometimes you just run out of ideas to keep them busy. You love them and would never change them, but sometimes you’re just extremely tired. I love being a stay-at-home mom and love every age. It is fun watching my kids learn new things and have new experiences. I love watching them conquer fears and be creative. I have two older kids and one very curious toddler who likes to get into everything.
I have learned over the years if I have a good plan and some activities my toddler enjoy my house is less messy and everyone is happier. Sometimes there are activities that are just not age-appropriate for your toddler even though they are age-appropriate for your other children especially if you have a child that has a developmental delay, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, autism, etc. I have learned to reach out to other moms and do kid swaps. So if I have to take my older daughter to the doctor, I will drop off my toddler at a friends house. Then I try to be available when that friends needs to drop off her baby to do an activity with her older kids. Yes I could take my toddler with me to the doctor but it is so much easier when I can focus on my older child that needs me as well.
Even though I have school age children I have learned to utilize MOPs, library story times, and the children’s museum for fun activities to do with my toddler. Most children’s museums have a free day once a month and the public library has free story times. MOPs is a great place to meet other moms with toddlers and preschoolers. Having other moms with kids your toddlers age to do play dates is key to keeping your toddler happy and keeping you sane. Moms need each other.
Another thing I have learned is to keep containers or boxes with toddler toys in my older children’s room so while my older boy is playing with his Legos my younger son can play with is Duplos right next to him and everyone is happy. If not my toddler is destroying my son’s special creations then everyone is crying. I moved the play kitchen into the kitchen so my toddler can pretend to make dinner while I’m making dinner instead of getting into things he is not supposed to. I have also learned to have my older kids help with things like putting my son’s wooden train tracks together. This gives them an activity to all do together. For even more activity ideas, check out this site.
I think the key is to make sure you are doing activities that each of your children enjoy and not leaving one out. This can be tricking if your toddler has sensory processing disorder issues because this can be time consuming. Sometimes it’s your toddlers turn and your older kids can go to a friends house for a play date. Other times it’s more appropriate to find someone to watch your toddler while you do a fun activity with your older kids. When we went to Disneyland with our older kids for the day we had our toddler stay with grandma. Grandma had a great time and we didn’t have to pack diapers, wipes and a stroller to Disneyland. Everyone had a good day. It can be hard running a household with all different ages but if you allow yourself to be creative and ask for help everyone is a lot happier.