When Your Days are Full of Plains, Trains, and Automobiles
The life of a toddler… play, eat, sleep & repeat!
The life of a mom... watch them play, make them eat and hope they sleep! (Okay.. I’m partially joking, but some days that is JUST how it is.)
But it doesn’t have to be.
Our kids want to have fun, just as much as we do.
They want to be just as involved,
And even though they can give us a run for our money, at the end of the day, kids really are like puppies, and just want to please us!
They want all of the high fives, knuckles, hugs and kisses.
You might be wondering, okay, but how do we facilitate that?!
Don’t worry, you don’t have to be into arts and crafts to have a good time.
Find what works for you and what works for your kids.
Keep in mind, that your child will develop not only their learning style at a young age, but their Love Language as well.
I have listed five suggestions, if one or two of them don’t work for you, that’s okay! You are already on your way to finding out your child’s way of learning and giving/receiving love.
Living in California, we spend most of our days outside, even in November and December. However between the occasional rain, just downright cold and the time change we do find ourselves in doors more often.
While my to-do list is as long as the next mom’s, I try my hardest (most days, well more like 80/20) to conquer those to-do’s either before my son wakes up, during nap time, or after he has gone to bed. (Or I bring in reinforcements AKA Grandma or Dad.)
My First Suggestion: Get them involved!
Do you have a dishwasher to empty, floors to vacuum or laundry to rotate? (YES.. lol)
Liam LOVES to empty the dishwasher, if he is in another room, he will stop what he is doing to come in and help me. (Note: Do remove knives or anything sharp first!) Yeah it takes me an extra 3-5 minutes to empty the dishwasher because he is handing me ever other plate, cup, spoon and fork. But who cares, he is a 2 year old emptying the dishwasher, and I can only assume I am planting a seed that will flourish over the next 16-18 years.
One of the major benefits to using only non-toxic products is that my son can participate and i’m not worried about his health or his safety.
I will give him an spray bottle containing water and a microfiber cloth and he can go to town on whatever window, wall or surface he desires. (He is also now a master at the spray bottle, so he can help me spray cleaner where I need it, even into the toilet!)
Let them vacuum, when my son first started getting into “chores” he would push the vacuum around for 20-30 minutes (this would buy me major time to pee alone, catch up on my texts or work on the next chore.) He loved the vacuum so much, that it was constantly being left out (which come to find out, stresses me out LOL) so we bought him his own matching vacuum from Amazon!
I think you’ve got the picture, when I first became a parent, I never imagined my toddler would be such a HUGE help. However, by letting go, being okay with things taking longer, or occasionally spilling, Liam has learned how to feed the dog (which in itself is a process LOL) take out the trash, empty the dishwasher, hang his own cloth diapers etc.
Which is a great reminder that they are watching our every move!
My Second Suggestion: Quality Time
Liam recently started patting the ground next to him when he wants me to stop whatever I’m doing and sit with him (I realized that was what I do to get him to sit with me) and of course I must oblige.
Somedays, our QT is building the largest and most complex train track setup possible. Other days, it is sitting on the couch sharing a snack and watching our favorite Pixar movie. (Current obsession are balloons and dogs, so of course our favorite movie is UP.) Which, can we just take a moment, and say Thank You to Pixar for creating movies that adults can love too!
Or it’s reading a book on the floor.
Or it’s a chair pulled up to the counter while we make coffee, a smoothie or lunch.
Or it’s chasing each other around with trucks (check out my favorite pre-nap time energy zapper aka “Truck Gang” as my husband calls it.)
Whatever it is, either bring them up to your level, or get down to theirs.
My Third Suggestion: Make something for someone else
This is where the crafts come into play! Because… let’s get real.. I’m not keeping all that stuff around my house. (HAHA!)
Plus every time I come home from the craft store with a couple containers of paint, a $.99 brush and a tiny bird house, Liam thinks I brought him a present. So it’s a win/win in my book.
If you are looking for some holiday craft inspo, check out what I’m pinning on Pinterest. This week we are making handprint wreaths (okay I will be making one of these for us to keep,) painting mini bird houses and testing out a Gluten Free Salt Dough Ornament recipe. (I will be posting it on my Instagram story/highlights.)
The perfect activity for a cold rainy week, plus giving the wreaths to all of the Grandma’s will take up at least an entire afternoon.
My Fourth Suggestion: Share a nap, a bath or a shower every once in a while. (Because it won’t last forever!)
Typically when we are done “painting” (which BTW if you’re still in the finger painting stage, highly recommend doing it in the bathtub, no water of course!) we head into the bathroom to “play with our boats”. Because no toddler wants to take a bath in the middle of the day, but hoping naked into a tub of water to play with boats is no big deal. (Or if it’s summer, kiddy pool!)
Sometimes I’ll join him or other times I soak my feet.
When he was super young, sharing a shower/bath was usually how I got my shower/bath for the day! (I almost said week…. Because when you have an infant, sometimes a whole week can go by!)
As far as naps go, when Liam was first born, and we co-slept, we also co-napped, (you can read more about that here.)
As he got older, and we transitioned him to his own room, we actually skipped a crib (you can read more about that here,) and went with a non toxic pack n play/travel crib, that is flat on the ground, and actually unzips for a parent to lay inside. #brilliant
We also put a queen size bed in his room, when my husband and I upgraded to a king, which is perfect for those shared naps, sick nights and a toddler changing table!
Like I mentioned before, I do try and keep my to-do list (that Liam can’t help with) to when he is asleep, however, I know that the days of napping together (or at least waiting until he falls asleep) are numbered and priceless.
My Fifth Suggestion: Speak Life Over Your Children
You might be thinking, this isn’t an activity to do inside while it’s raining?!
No, and it shouldn’t be an activity, it should be a regular occurrence.
Telling your little one that you love them, they are doing a great job or that you are proud of them is only going to encourage them more. Yes, they will get to an age where, they don’t want to hear it, or it might cause them to rebel against you. (At that point you will know Words of Affirmation is clearly not how they give or receive love.)
About 6 or 9 months ago, I realized how much I told Liam Thank You, because anytime he hands ME something he says it. While we are still working on I love you, (LOL) I know that my little sponge is listening to the good (and bad) things that come out of my mouth.
Speaking life of your children truly makes the day go by faster!
I will be praying for you, if you are a new mother I will be praying rest and peace over you. If you are a mother with multiple children I will be praying patience and wisdom over you. If you are not yet a mother, but one day will be, I will be praying courage and discernment over you. Feel free to connect with me on Instagram at @the_realrebekah or send me and email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post! XO