Things to keep your toddler entertained indoors

Things to keep your toddler entertained indoors

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen a few of my play ideas pop up on my stories every so often. If you don’t head over and check my play ideas as I’m always updating with new things we do together to play.

Being in isolation at the moment one thing is on every parents mind… How can I keep my child entertained? And the answer is simple. Just spend time with them. Get to their level to the best you can and play with them. For you parents that may at times struggle with mobility bring the games and toys to you at the sofa or on the kitchen table. For more able bodied mums and dads get on the floor as much as you possibly can and get stuck in and play with them. A child learns best from engagement with parents/caregivers and it can be anything from talking or actively encouraging learning though play and spending the time teaching that benefits them the most. All children are different and learn different ways so what may suit my child might not suit yours but if your child and you enjoy something I do that is good enough for me!

Get yourself down to or online to a craft store. Order the basics of crayons, paints, paintbrushes, paper and glue. Modelling dough or play doh is great fun too or you can make your own!Anything else you want to try is a bonus too! You can make so many things yourself to engage play with your little one. I like to make our own games and activity’s by drawing and cutting things myself and helping Elijah play games or colouring in what I’ve done earlier for him. Colouring books and sticker books are great for lone playing this teaches them independence while they learn. Reusable sticker books are great as you can make a scene and reuse them. Normal stickers are great too as these can be saved for reward charts too! Also if your buying anything I recommend a tuff tray for tidy messy play indoors.

Online resources. Look about online I am always finding free to print resources which I use to help teach Elijah things. Such as colouring and activity sheets. Many children’s centres and online community’s regularly share ideas of fun and interactive play ideas too! Some kids tablets have great educational apps to if that’s something your interested in too!

Emotions. Learning about emotions is important for all ages and something I am currently teaching Elijah now. We like to pull faces and talk about the emotions we may be feeling and also explain our emotions throughout the day so that Elijah can learn to communicate his emotions more accurately as he gets older instead of constant meltdowns. We also printed out some activity sheets of emotions on animals. We play a game by matching the emotion and using a peg to find the match. We talk through the emotions as we play this and ask questions like why may he feel like this and so forth and what makes you happy?

Reuse recyclables. Clean down old plastics and you can reuse them for craft. Keep your paper tube toilet rolls, plastic bottles and bottle caps and make something new! Tubes can become animals or a slide for toys. Keep bottles to make future toys or sensory bottles! I will be making some next time I get a bottle to give to friends with babies! Bottle caps (plastic) make great counters to teach counting or playing noughts and crosses. Keep boxes to make castles or hiding places, the possibility’s are endless!

Jelly play. Using jelly make a sensory explosion by following the instructions on the packet place some toys or objects in jelly as your about to leave to cool in fridge and in a few hours your ready to play. It helps to have a theme like dinosaurs or animals. Ask about the textures and let them go nuts they’ll enjoy fishing for there toys and the weird textures and colours of the jelly!

Sand play. A bag of sand goes a long way! Let little one explore a box filled with sand and let them feel and burry toys. Pop some toy diggers or hide some animals/dinosaurs in the sand for them to find. If you prefer less mess you could get some kinetic sand and recreate the play indoors. Although a bit less messy it still is with its mess!

Balloons. Always handy to keep balloons left over from party’s. You can blow them up and put words and numbers on to teach them whilst allowing to play with the balloons. Also gets rid of energy for some calm after.

Magnetic numbers and letters. Or cubes. These can teach a whole host of things from spelling to just learning to read and count. They can also be fun making figing games using a beer bottle opener on a bit of string or a magnetic fishing line if you have a toy one. You can also play with magnets putting them on white boards, cold radiators/ side of stair gates and the fridge.

Water play. Elijah loves our water table and if you don’t have one there’s so much you can use to have water play. You can use your washing up bowl and put toys in with sand dish soap and a sponge so your kids can wash their toys. You can fill a tubberwear box with water and put some toys or saucepans in and let them play. You can colour water with water paint and also fill a watering can and teach them to care for their garden.

Playing with food. Maybe when the pandemic is over you can cook and using food colouring, colour spaghetti for messy play from 6 months up. Kids love it and they can eat it. You can also dye rice and normal pasta for sensory play. You can set up toys with food or just let them explore with their hands. You can also make a beautiful piece of art using the food too if not cooked.

Painting pebbles or bits from the garden. You can paint pebbles collected from beaches and this is fun for all ages. Collect things from walks and use them in your play and arts and crafts I’ve collected flowers, leaves, twigs and conkers and used them for learning and play. You can also chalk on the pavements outside the house to create art. My brothers who are teenagers seemed to like this to😂

Get your toddler involved in the housework. You’d be surprised how much they like wiping, dusting, sweeping and hoovering. Give them little tasks of their own like making their bed every day and tidying up their toys. Not only are they learning about keeping their house tidy they can have fun doing it if you make a game out of it and don’t make it feel like a chore!

Set up there toys in a theme. Separate animals according to where they live in the world and make it a play session. Pre arrange a theme or selection of toys that haven’t been played with in a while and they treat these as new toys.

Cook with them! Make cakes and sweet treats but also get them to help you in the kitchen as much as they can using blunt utensils. Even if it’s just a stir here and there or helping put things in a bowl. It can make them feel important while also learning food doesn’t magically appear in front of them. You can talk about what your cooking and what steps you take and talk about they’re role in the kitchen too. You can buy little steps to help them reach to kitchen surfaces too if you want to let them help butter toast or something in the kitchen!

I hope you’ve enjoyed some of my suggestions any questions just drop a dm or comment. Check my Instagram stories and highlights for more ideas as they come to me. Stay safe and be happy!

Our first class at little kickers.

Our first class at little kickers.

After five months on the waiting list we finally got offered a place for the little kickers weekly classes. We have been excited to get him onto the class after we decided to stop swimming lessons due to parking and repetitiveness of the classes each week. We wanted to join a group that would be fun and teach him how to work with other children to work on his team work and communication. We saw a while ago a few celebrities had taken their children to little kickers and rugby tots so we decided we would try little kickers as they had a class near by.

So today we got to start lessons and it was quite a lovely little lesson. The coaches are very kind and lots of fun, the children adore them. The classes use lots of props and equipment such as cones, goals, mats, whistles, balls, teddies and mats. Today the kids where taught to shoot goals,pass balls and do obstacle courses. They also used play to teach them skills and control with the ball and speed.The children where all of the same age so it was lovely that there was no expectation of the children and their where all there just to play together and have fun. The lessons are not overly expensive at 30 a month and the classes are intimate too for more hands on lessons.We really enjoyed the session and Elijah was smiling and giggling the whole time. He really looked adorable in his little outfit to and we are excited for next weeks session. The best part was when the children where all given a high five and a sticker for doing a good job! Elijah was very proud of himself and had to show everyone for the rest of the day!

Using a children’s centre

Using a children’s centre

I’ve the years Elijahs been with us (and growing in my tummy) we’ve been to quite a few children centres and classes. A children’s centre is basically like a mini nursery class where there’s play activity’s and it’s free or sometimes a very small charge depending on what it is. We’ve been to quite a few and used to go weekly to one group close to us at a near by hall but it was only open until Elijah was walking so we had to stop going. We recently tried a new one and it is only about a twenty minuite walk. This new group is in the same place we did our hypnobirthing and a few community centre baby sensory classes in the early days. There was in and outdoor play and Elijah loved it. It had climbing frames, crafts tables, sensory items and outdoor toys and plenty of sensory bits. He spent all his time outdoors playing with balls, slides and other children. I think it is so important that children are around other children as much as they can because it is so good for their social development. I think it helps them make friends and also adjust to nursery/school life earlier. I’m quite lucky to have a boy who loves socialising and I think it may be due to always taking him out with other children as much as we can.

Although we love a bit of soft play and going out with our friends it’s become clear over the years that we want to try new things and make more friends. I think it’s nice to make mummy friends because your child has a friend and you do too. I think it’s easier to make new friends with mothers too because they understand what you’re going through and are easier to make plans with as it doesn’t require childcare for the day. You also can relate and talk about your kid which all parents love to do even if they say they don’t.

I think i will be taking Elijah weekly because he loved it so much and it was full of children. I enjoyed going out of my comfort zone, I’ve put it off quite often due to being anxious about new people but I went anyway and loved it. Lots of mums chatted to me while our children played and it was nice to have conversations with someone new. It was a great exsercise for Elijah too as he spent two hours running around and chasing other children and showing them things. It gave us play ideas we could do at home too such as sensory play with leaves and a mud kitchen. I’m all for anything that gets us out the house especially if it’s free. So why not look at your local children’s centre classes and try something new. We also go on the play bus too sometimes which is run by our children’s centre and Elijah loves it! He gets to sit and play on a bus which has a slide, dress up, colouring, toys and even a sandpit. It’s also a double decker bus which is very colourful which is a definite plus. Why not try something new and use a children’s centre. Remember it’s funded by the government so if you don’t use it, it won’t get funded. Use it or lose it!

What we get up to at the weekend

What we get up to at the weekend

It’s no secret that my favourite time of the week is Friday evening when the weekend starts. It means James has finished for the weekend and we get two whole days together as a family. There’s nothing I enjoy more. We’re always trying to make memories while also remembering resting and spending time together is important too.

Our weekend starts with a coffee from the other person made as we roll out of bed. On a Saturday I or James will have a lay in and on a Sunday we swap and the other person does. I say lay in but we always wake for about 9 am now. The other gets up with Elijah to give him breakfast and play with him. We normally then decide what we’ll do for the day if we haven’t already. We’ll decide somewhere family friendly to go and almost always will eat lunch out. If we go for a walk we have lunch after or before or if we go for a trip to town we will wind up at food at some point too. We quite often go for walks though and decide where on the day. For a treat we will often take Elijah for a day at soft play, to a museum or to the zoo. We normally do this on a Saturday.

After we’ve done our day plans we will normally come home for the evening shove on some pjs and watch something then have a small meal together before putting Elijah to bed and watching a film or series. Or we go too see family for tea and relax round there’s before returning to put Elijah to bed. On a Sunday we like to normally keep this as our chill day. Sometimes we’ll go for a walk or to the shops for something but mainly we like to relax. We get the housework deep cleaning done while Elijahs asleep for a nap. Things like washing, mopping, dusting, polishing, de scaling and scrubbing of rooms if I haven’t done it already. We spend the rest of the day cuddling up watching films, Playing with Elijah and doing some sort of arts or craft. We’ll do painting or do play dough or sometimes baking. We try to do a family activity as much as we can so we have real family time. Sometimes we will invite family or friends over but we normally like to cuddle up just the three of us.

We do like to try and do different things as much as possible so we go to different places for lunch, walks and more. We like to look out for events near us and look for different things in the area. We like to go to museums and to themed days and fates too. We often take strolls on the beach and end up on the amusements. We do love spending time together but also appreciate sometimes it’s nice to have our own time too. So sometimes I’ll go out with a friend or James will. Sometimes I’ll take Elijah out with me so James can have some time to himself. This happens very rarely though as we both agree we like to spend our weekends together and often go out weekdays instead with friends.

Looking forward to our next weekend where we are hoping to take Elijah to his favourite place the zoo! James has had too work the last two Saturdays so we’ve had to put of plans and relax more on sundays. What do you get up to at the weekend and have you got a set relaxation day too? What’s your favourite thing to do?!

The importance of the outdoors and your child

The importance of the outdoors and your child

Children need exercise as much as they can but we often forget the greatest free activity there is which is exploring the outside world. Nothing beats a bit of fresh air and the wind in your hair so why do we often forget to take a walk on the wild side? Children absolutely adore the outdoors and it is so good for their development too. Not only learning to walk on different grounds but learning textures and the sensory play that comes from the outdoors. They love discovering new things and learning about the outdoors. They love to see different objects and different surroundings and using their imagination.

We love to explore the outside be it for walks in the park to feed the ducks and see the squirrels and hunt for leaves. Or whether it’s a run down a windy beach front to watch the waves crash against the rocks. We love walking through the forests and seeing dogs and talking about what we see and taking Elijahs bike. We look for the gruffalo and imagine the animals that could be hiding. We love building sandcastles in the sun on warm beaches or crabbing and feeding the crabs and letting them go. We enjoy trips to the park and pretending we’re in a house or on a helicopter ride or flying so high. We love finding muddy puddles to soak our wellies into and collecting pinecones and conkers for sensory games and arts and crafts at home. It is so important to enjoy this beautiful world we live in while it’s still so beautiful. The world is the greatest gift of them all and some of my happiest memories have always been outside. The wind and rain cannot stop us! Dress up warm find some wellies and return for a reward of a hot chocolate!

Why we love soft play

Why we love soft play

Although it can be my idea of hell, soft play is a great little place for youngsters to flourish. They learn to make friends with other children and to do things like take turns and share. They also get exercise and a space to let go and be as loud and messy as they want. It is a place you get to be a child too and run round chasing them remembering the fun of your youth. It’s somewhere you can go and take a back seat and just sit watching them play and having fun. Where you haven’t got to run round and can just breath for a little bit. As they get older you can watch from further away until they’re big kids and you could have the luxury of a hot drink while they play in peace. (I cannot wait for this day). I

t can be a place to go with other mummy friends while the kids play together you can talk. You get out of the house and you get grown up conversation while your child has a fun experience. I love watching my little guy play and have fun smiling as he realises where he is and runs off to play. I love playing with him and racing him down slides or playing in the ball pit with him and showing him how to use and play with new things. It’s a great activity no matter the weather too, because it means Elijah can keep dry and warm instead of wet at the park on bad weather days. The thing I love the most is that it keeps Elijah healthy and happy and I’m up for anything like that.

Elijahs favourite toys right now

Elijahs favourite toys right now

Being two nothing entertains him for long so finding toys he picks up over and over again can be a little hard. So here’s a list of something’s he and his friends like which may help others with finding toys there little ones may like.

Little figures. Be it a hey duggee set, teletubies or a set of Dinosaurs Elijah absolutely loves them. He loves lining them up, putting them in things, pretending they’re playing and just holding them. They’re great for imagination and playing alone or with others.

Animals, Elijah adores his sets of animals and he loves lining them up and naming each one. He loves animals and adores playing and singing to them. We use them for themed play and playing in play doh and sand it’s something that never gets boring.

Wooden kitchen. I brought this for Christmas last year and it’s his and his friends favourite toy. He plays with it constantly every day and every child who comes over does too. He likes pretending to cook, hide things, wash things and play with his toys on it.

Shopping trolley and food. Elijah loves playing with the fake food and putting it in his trolled and pushing it around pretending his shopping.

Lego, the type for toddlers. He loves building towers and knocking them down. He also loves building blocks and stickler bricks.

Stretchy toys. He loves pulling them and stretching them and the texture.

Trains and cars. He adores these and younger and older children love them too.

What does your little one love playing with?