Tag Archive | parenting

Indoor Activity Ideas for a Preschooler

Whether the weather is uninviting, someone feels out of sorts, or it’s an inside play day, mommies sometimes need a “go-to” for an activity. I’m creating a jar of activity sticks, and they’ll be simple: craft sticks with a different activity handwritten on each stick.

Here is my list, a work in progress, that is primarily geared towards preschoolers. What would you add to it?

Activity Sticks Ideas:

  • ABC Mouse (online subscription)
  • Bake together
  • Bath time / Water play
  • Bean bag toss
  • Beans box
  • Blocks
  • Build a fort
  • Candy Land
  • Color Wonder
  • Connect Four
  • Crayons
  • Dance
  • Dolls
  • Dominoes
  • Hopping
  • Hopscotch (on porch or painter’s tape on the kitchen floor)
  • I Spy – books, pictures, in the house
  • Jumping jacks
  • Letter craft
  • Memory game
  • Movie and popcorn
  • Musical instruments bag
  • Nursery rhymes
  • Ornaments
  • Painting, watercolors
  • Paper hats
  • Piano time
  • Picnic inside
  • Play store (cash register, make play money)
  • Play-doh
  • Puppets, paper bag
  • Puzzles
  • Read stories
  • Sing silly songs
  • Stickers
  • Sun catchers
  • Tape, double-stick (art collage, etc)
  • Tape, masking
  • “Tinker” box (random collection of stuff)
  • Treasure hunt
  • You Tube (songs, nursery rhymes, animals)

I have a  Pinterest board with many indoor activities. Please share what activities your little ones enjoy! 🙂

Two Great Toys

Toys. We love them, and we hate them.  (Stepping on a race car or lego is not a fun time!)

There are so many choices, and advertisers make lots of money trying to convince us (and our children) that their toys are the best.  Well, I have a couple of tried-and-true recommendations for you that are suitable for babies through preschoolers.  They are open-ended, easily cleaned, and you may want to buy more than one of each.

Drum roll, please . . .

1-  Soft blocks

B. One Two Squeeze Blocks

 

 

 

 

 

 

2- Nesting plastic cups (These aren’t the exact ones we own, since I found ours at Dollar General for about $5.00)

 

 

 

 

Yes, I’m serious.  It’s that easy.  The blocks can be stacked, rolled, put in bowls, dumped out, squished a bit, and they don’t hurt nearly as much as wooden blocks.  The plastic cups can be stacked or nested, used in the bath, outside, and for other imaginative play.

We have had both toys for a while now, and our 2.5 year old plays with them often.  They may be my go-to baby gift and recommendation from now on. 🙂

Stickers

I’ve seen the “busy bag” concept many times and have pinned quite a few ideas on Pinterest; however, I haven’t actually brought one with us to use out and about until today. There are always toys and books in our car and something in my mommy bag purse, but today I considered having a quiet, hands-on activity with us.

Enter stickers.  I loved stickers as a child, and Kiddo has shown a recent interest in them, so I quickly put a “busy bag” together to help occupy him today at a restaurant.  It worked!

This one was very simple, and everything came from Dollar General.

  • Pencil bag with 2 zippered pockets
  • A small spiral notebook
  • 3 sheets of different stickers (smiley faces, Cars, and wild animals)
  • A few crayons if he wanted to draw

As you can see, he was happily occupied, and he even put a couple of stickers on his daddy’s shirt.

busy bag stickers_web

 

 

 

 

What busy bags or activities do you use for quiet time or out and about?  Let’s share!

Only a Short Time

Our children are only little for a short time.  While the days can be long, the years are short.  I remind myself throughout the day with our ever-changing 2 1/2 year old that:  he’s young and will only be this age once, to take a breath and enjoy him, to delight in his excitement of the world, and even when he has a cheeky gleam in his eye that I get to be his Mom.

You will never have this day
with your child again.
Tomorrow they’ll be a little
older than they we’re today.
This day is a gift.
Breathe and notice.
Smell and touch them;
study their faces
and little feet and pay attention.
RELISH THE CHARMS
of THE PRESENT.

Enjoy today, mama.
It will be over before you know it.”

~Jen Hatmaker

Must-have Baby Items

Since we have “been there, done that” with an infant, people often ask me what would we recommend for a nursery. With so many choices out there, it can be overwhelming to choose the basics, much less wade through all of the recommendations and navigate the store (ahem, Babies R Us).  When I’m asked for one thing, it’s hard to answer. Honestly it depends on what age, so here are things that were useful for us during D’s first months.

The List:
–High-quality video monitor by Summer (costly but worth every penny since you can see and hear the baby without disruption)
–Medela breast pump (electric with double action)
–Diaper Genie 2 (Amazon has good prices on refills through subscribe & save) It really does keep out most of the stink.
–Bouncy seat with vibration option (used almost daily when he was tiny during my shower)
–Boppy pillow with 2 covers (I’ve heard my Breast Friend pillow offers more support for nursing.)
–Glider rocker with ottoman and/or comfy recliner. You may spend many nights sleeping in the recliner or on the sofa with little one on your chest.
–Muslin 36″ blankets (great for swaddling, putting over stroller, light layer in warmer months)
–Halo sleep blanket, when we weren’t swaddling anymore
–Baby Trend infant car seat (lightest weight and good carrying handle, triangle shape)
–Snap & Go stroller frame for car seat (Consignment store!)
–If nursing, Bella B nipple butter (from Amazon) and Lansinoh lanolin for shower time
–Digital camera
–Pack & Play with changing table (if you’re tall, make sure the changing table is higher)
–Changing table for nursery
–Mattress covers with waterproof backing (buy 2)
–Gas drops
–Bottles: Playtex drop-ins worked best for us, producing the least amount of air in little man. I tried about 5 different products before choosing.
–Hooded towels
–Baby bath where one side is reclined and the other sits up
–Aveeno or Aquaphor baby wash and lotions. (Johnson dries out his skin too much.)
–Many baby washcloths
–Breathable baby crib liner instead of bumper pads (bought at Target)
–Diapers: Target brand are good, but we can only use Pampers b/c D is so sensitive. Pampers work better for boys and Huggies for girls, in general. The Wal-Mart brand leaked every time I tried. (If you plan to cloth diaper, check out my friend’s business Earthy Baby)
–Protect the bottom with A&D ointment, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, Desitin, or Aquaphor.
–Bumkins brand bibs when little one starts eating food. They wash right up in the sink or washing machine. The velcro is sturdy, and the pocket really catches stuff. :)
–Detergent: buy something free & clear. Don’t think you have to use Dreft. We’ve used All and been happy. Also, get some good stain remover. Dreft stain remover spray and Oxy Clean spray have worked well here.

A few other things:

Don’t waste your money on a wipe warmer. We haven’t needed one, and many said it was a waste. I bought Swaddlers, but they didn’t work since D liked his arms more free. Using a blanket to swaddle worked better for us. Also, we highly recommend taking classes for childbirth, breast-feeding, and newborn care.

What is your must-have item for little ones?