In the perfect world, my toddler never watches TV, I always have the time and energy to have quality time with him and provides him with stimulating activities, I’m healthy and of my ideal weight, the house always clean and tidy, I have a child friendly garden, I cook healthy balanced meals for the family every day and still go to work and bring money home.
But this isn’t a perfect world.
The reality is, my toddler goes to childcare 4 days a week, when he gets home, it’s peppa pig time while I organise his often not balanced dinner. My husband has to cook for himself, my house is in a mess, my garden is full of weeds and ants and other questionable creatures. And oh, I go to work and what I earn just enough to pay for his childcare. Oh and I’m overweight.
To make up for the lost times while I’m at work, I do try to spend as much quality times as I can with him over the weekend (fri-sat-sun). TRY is the keyword here. More often than not, he ended up plopping (is that a word?) In front of tv watching random cartoons on abc4kids or peppa pig or thomas, or whatever kids show dvd he can find in the house because I’m either 1. So tired 2. Got to cook 3. Got to eat 4. He’s just not interested in anything else I offer him. “Play car?” “NO!”. “Read books?” “NO!”, “Play cooking?” “NO!”, “Bake a cake?” “NO!”, “Go outside?” “NO!” “Playground? “NO!”, “Bike!” “NO!”, “Peppa Pig?” “YAYYYY!!!”.
Anyway, with TRY being the keyword here, I often rack my brain trying to find activities that’s different and interesting for him. Since he’s at childcare 4 days a week, things like painting, drawing, crafts, playdough, singing, dancing, playground, even baking don’t interest him anymore. Been there done that is his attitude nowadays.
So I TRY to think outside the box. Problem is I’m bad at it. I’m not the creative type, so it takes real effort to get out of that box and see what’s outside.
Sometimes however, accidentally I will find an activity that’s a novelty to him and makes him excited. Problem is, I don’t note it down, next time I need one, I forgot what I’ve done in the past and I’m back to square one. By square one I mean peppa pig.
I was looking at some photos the other day and saw this photos my husband took of me being chased around by my toddler who was aiming the garden hose at me.
Then I remember that he likes to play water outside.
So yesterday, during one of those ‘I’m so bored, I’ll just watch some peppa pig’ time of the day, I took some empty little and big containers outside, turn on the hose, take the bubble wand, and let him go nuts. I blew bubbles, he tried to aim the water to the bubbles. Then because the ground was wet, the bubble didn’t pop when it lands on the ground so he had fun jumping and popping the bubbles. Then he ‘jumped on the muddy puddles’ ala peppa. He uses the hose to fill the containers, stacks the containers, nested the small ones into big ones, poured water out, refill, etc. We spent an hour outside before it was getting cold and dark and it was time for a bath.
So my point of this post is as a note to myself to record down this fun activities so next time I WILL remember when I need it.
I hope I can write every week so I eventually have a collection of ideas.
So this weekend we did:
1. The water and bubble thing
2. Playing tent by tying bed sheet/piece of long cloth on his cot as a ‘roof’. But it became so much more than a roof. At the end it became an obstacle course for him to jump over, sit on, put things on and shake shake. He had heaps of fun with the ‘tent’.
3. Took the ride-on motorised car for a drive and taught him basic driving skill, mainly ‘look in front when you’re driving!!’ ‘Drive two hands!!’. Note to self: charge the car. The car was a birthday present from someone and I thought it was pretty useless as it’s motorised and he doesn’t get to excercise when he’s on it unlike other ride-ons. So we hardly use it but today he suddenly wanted to take it outside to drive. Turned out he ended up getting some exercise with it as it’s really meant for flat surface and it’s very slow. He ended up pushing it on the way back as it was running out of power and was extremely slow. And at some slopes it just won’t go so I have to push it. So we had fun.
4. Pushing the big tonka trucks up and down the drive way.
5. Cutting paper using those kids friendly blunt plastic sciccors. I had to hold the paper though while he cut.
6. Had a shower like mommy. Meaning stand in the shower (not in the bath). He hold a small plastic bowl and kept filling it with daddy’s shampoo and then water to make bubbles. I think I need to buy an inexpensive soap in a pump container just for him to play as daddy soon will find his shampoo runs out so quickly.