Toddler life: Activities at home

We’re continuing to find ways to stay entertained at home while we await our vaccinations and live through rainy days… errr weeks.

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It’s hard to believe we are a year into COVID and quarantine. This week, a year ago, we flew home from a trip to Grand Cayman… not knowing it would be our last big trip for a year. At the time, we said, that if our trip had been leaving a week or even a few days after we had planned, we would have canceled. But on March 6th when we hopped on the plane to go, there were just rumblings of what was to come. While we were on the island, my phone was blowing up with emails from work, moving to voluntary work from home and by Friday, the following week was mandatory work from home. It was wild. And I am mind blown that it was a year ago. We’re still keeping our circle small and trying hard to stay safe until we can get vaccinated (hopefully soon!).

Early on, we tried a schedule to keep our days somewhat organized without childcare and while we were both still working first time. That quickly went out the window and we just did our best to keep the little one safe and entertained and to maintain our sanity. We did lots of hikes and puzzles and TV if I’m being honest. We did try to do some learning with letters, numbers and sight words. For almost 5 months, he was home and that seems impossible now to say it but it’s true and it was exhausting doing all the things. I’m grateful for a flexible company and all the understanding that was given in that time (and continues to be extended).

Here are some things we’ve been doing at home to stay entertained:

Kinetic sand:

We love playing with kinetic sand and building cool things but recently we’ve started adding in dinosaurs and pretending to be paleontologists searching for fossils. We occasionally take a break to look up things like “what did dinosaur eggs look like?” And “have scientists found dinosaur footprints!” L loves seeming the answers and short videos about dinos while we play.

Scissors:

L got some scissors from Santa and is very proud of his skills. He recently cut out Pete the Cat Easter cards from one of his books and then assigned each of them to a friend. He has the biggest heart and is so excited to show his friends these cards.

Sensory kits:

My mom got L a kit for Christmas and a friend gave us one too. Both were space themed so we combined them after the play doh from the first one got left out. It’s super fun to see his imagination come out when he plays with these sets.

Gator rides:

Having a new puppy means lots of walks and we’ve started letting L ride his gator while we walk Mo. Everyone loves it. L loves having Mo chase after him and run up beside of him and I love getting out for a walk (my steps have increased tremendously since getting him).

Painting:

I’ve ordered several holiday themed items for L to paint but I also keep mini canvases on hand so he can paint gifts or things for us to hang around the house. For Valentines, I got this picture frame kit and for Easter, I got some bunnies.

Scooter:

L is learning to ride a new scooter (a birthday present from Nana & Granddad) after having a toddler one for a year or so. He is definitely getting the hang of it and it’s so cute to watch.

Dinosaur train:

We love the PBS show Dinosaur train and for Christmas L got a dinosaur train set. It has provided a lot of entertainment on rainy days.

Crayons:

L loves artwork of any kind, but especially drawing and coloring. I bought him a huge box of crayons and he just keeps asking “have you ever seen this color before?” with each new one he pulls out. When I was trying to pick the right box, I said “Do you want 64 crayons?” and he said “I’d prefer 65” LOL. Anyway, we’ve had a lot of fun coloring and drawing with our new giant box of crayons but we did something fun with our old ones. We peeled off the paper, broke them up and melted them into letters using our new silicone mold. I also ordered a numbers one that we can do next time. He thought it was the coolest activity and kept saying he now has “galaxy crayons” from the cool mix the colors made. Here’s how you can do it too:

  • Peel the crayons (this will give your kids an activity to keep them busy for 30 or so)
  • Break them into pieces
  • Fill up the letters (or numbers) in the mold with crayons
  • Put in the oven (set on a cookie sheet) on 200 for 15-20 minutes, until all wax is melted
  • Let cool and then pop out your new shapes

It’s not perfect over here. We’ve watched a lot of TV this last year but also done cool experiments, hiked and had fun with art time. However you’ve survived, you’ve done a good job. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s bright and exciting. We’re very much looking forward to park dates with friends, maybe using our neighborhood pool this year instead of the blow up in the backyard and being able to go places and feel safe. See you on the other side, friends!

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