I have read so many blogs, articles, follow all the insta parenting accounts known to man and women kind and still I was unprepared for this.
Every child is different and of course mine is extremely unique! Without any rhyme or reasoning Evan battled against the stereotypical ‘normal’ fun activities that seemed to be everyone else’s go too!
So of course, you can do the baking – personally this is one I now avoid as it took me longer to clean my kitchen after we attempted to bake fairy cakes. Being completely transparent we got more cake on the floor than in the oven and our efforts rewarded us with 2 cupcakes…it was not worth the hassle. Could have just bought pre-made from Morrisons and actually focused on the fun part of decorating. Then there is painting – again my child is currently not a fan. We’ve attempted this numerous times and after 20 minutes of set up, we at best manage 5 minutes of painting based fun before terror reins over us and Evan throws a tantrum over having paint on himself and being dirty.
So we’ve had to look elsewhere for inspiration and had to consider the options which sit lower or in some case do not appear at all within this this generic list.
- Visit the park – okay this is fairly normal and expected. But truthfully it is one that Evan is still only now learning to love and even then it depends on his mood that day. Also, from experience the park itself makes a massive difference as to how engaged he becomes. Semi local to where I live there is a park with a pirate themed play area – this is by far his favourite and sparks his imagination a lot more than the one 2 minutes up the road.
- Muddy Puddles. Like all of our favourite pink pig, Peppa, my son also loves ‘jumping up and down in muddy puddles’. Like every parent knows the muddier the better and you get bonus points if you manage to get mud down your wellies or splattered up Mummies leg.
- Read a book – We love Julia Donaldson in this house! That women has made reading enjoyable for me but Evan also. To the point that he can almost relay the whole of ‘Zog’ and ‘The Gruffalo’ as we’ve read them so much. However, if you’ve not these books to hand or you’re a tad fed up after reading it a million times already times today, fear not as IPlayer have amazing animated version they can watch and listen to.
- Become a human horse – this is a timeless classic. I remember being young and sitting on my dad’s back whilst he crawled around the floor. Yep – this is a favourite in our household now too but the role has definitly change. Instead of having the best seat in the house you are now getting carpet burn on your knees whilst being kneed in the ribs.
- Get out the playdoh. As a parent it makes me cringe when the colours get muddle and mushed together until it resembles a grey/brown mess, or it get ground into your furniture or carpet…but we except it for the look of joy as he squishes, pokes and moulds.
- Walking the dog (if you have one of course). Evan loves our four-legged furry baby and any adventure than involves taking Jasper is always a winner. He loves chasing after him when we’re out walking, calling him back to us and feeding him treats. It really is an outing with his best friend and really what can be better than that!
- ‘Helping’ mummy with housework. I kid you not but my child likes to ‘clean’ he loves to get the vacuum out and push it around the floor. Gets a water spray and cloth and go off dusting. TV goes off, Spotify’s housework hit or ‘the greatest showman’ sound track on and we can happily entertain ourselves for a good while.
- Go race car driving! Evan will sit and play for hours nicely within the seat of a plastic laundry basket. Set that up with his portable steering wheel and he has a race car. Maximising the use of Alexa we play F1 sound effects and with some effort and pushing from mummy, can go scooting across the floor . And, when he tires of being the next Lewis Hamilton he places his favourite toy (in our case a very well-loved elephant originally named Nellie) and pushes her around the home race track, weaving in out and of the dining table legs instead
- Do a jigsaw – we love them! The simpler puzzles will keep him occupied for a while independently – as long as he can show off the finished picture and receive high fives, we’re golden. For the more complex ones we do them together – mummy or daddy guiding it and encouraging the thought process.
- Playing fancy dress. Currently we have two favourites. First one is playing Iron Man (aka robot), where we put the red mask on and hold our hand up with an ooshing noise where we ‘obliterate’ one another and our second is getting out the foam swords and shields and playing knights of Zog, with being dinosaurs a strong third. Of course, use your creative licence here and pick a character that is influential in your child’s life but this a definite must in our house.
What are your toddler’s favourite activities? Any other less orthodox ones that work for you?