It’s not easy to be alone with a toddler all day long, but you can spice it up and still stick to the routines that are so important to children. Here are Dr. Jen’s tips on toddler play, fun ways to engage with your toddler more, and some ideas on toddler activities!
- Going to the park and for walks is terrific! You could find a local mommy group or a friend or neighbor to partner with for these outings? If you are socializing and engaging, you’ll enjoy the experience, and—believe it or not—your little one will interact in toddler-communication style with your buddy’s little one and develop valuable social skills.
- Include your little one in your daily tasks. It’ll make your life a little easier and give him learning opportunities. If you’re making dinner, have some safe plastic cups (which should have a hole for safety), toys your toddler can bang together and even a pretend cooking pot so you can cook together. Creating opportunities for modeling and play takes the work out of what are we going to do today. And it’s a great way to work on language & social development!
- Don’t worry if your child has few toys. He doesn’t need many! But you may want to take a few and put them away for a few weeks to change it up. A toy that’s been in the closet and comes out again some time later is like a new toy again! Rotate his toys; this may add a little zip to the routine!
- Finally, and most important, make sure you are taking care of yourself. Your child is developing and learning from you all day. It can get overwhelming at times to be alone with a little one. See if you can get short snippets of help from a trusted friend or relative so that you can give yourself some mommy time here and there. The breaks can make what might seem like a hum-drum routine feel more fun for you. Mommies need mommy time! And refreshed mommies have more fun with their babies.