So I was hanging out with friends last night in some much needed girl time with no kids and my two good friends turn to me and say,
"So how are you? How are you, really?" I sat for a moment and searched my soul. And this is what I came up with,
"Honestly I'm just struggling with looking at Emma and going, 'now what do I do with you?'" Read the same books for hours, I can only let her watch so much Sprout TV without feeling like a total cad, and it's 18 outside. They both nodded and another friend assured me that winter is just hard. And to take Emma to the library.
Then I got home and got this email from my sister-in-law Erica,
I wanted to tell you, you inspired me to do something with Ethan because of your blog about letting Emma play with rice to feel a different texture. I had it all planned to do something like this today. I wanted to collect different textures from around the house, maybe some opposites--and then life happened. Elise got her first cold and had a low grade fever in the middle of the night. She wanted to held all day today. And, I felt like I was coming down with something myself. I only had moments before I'd lose Ethan to the TV and it would be a showdown if I didn't intercept him. I grabbed whatever was near . . . a small piece of saran wrap and tin foil, a plastic fork, an ice pack from the freezer . . . then I sat him down and stuck the saran wrap on him and said, "Clingy!" I reflected the kitchen light on the foil and said, "Shiny!" I poked him with the plastic fork and said, "Sharp!" Then put the icepack against his cheek and said, "Oooooh, COLD!"
Lara, he sat there for 20 minutes uninterrupted playing with these objects, repeating the words, "Ooooooh, COLD!" Then he made up his own game with the objects like wrapping the fork in the tin foil, etc. I just left them on the table and he kept playing intermitently with them all day long. It was a LIFESAVER to a tired, preoccupied mom! Keep these ideas coming! I think you should write a blog on ideas like this. (I was not able to salvage the small scraps of tin foil or saran wrap that I let Ethan play with, but I do NOT feel guilty! The 'world's worst volunteers' would probably have a cow over that . . . Ha, ha!)
Hope you guys are doing well. We're thinking of you! Love, Erica
This made me feel awesome. All I did was write a blog about letting my kid play with rice (see Waste Not Want Not) and my sister-in-love comes up with this.
Today I gave Emma popcorn and let her rip. Kept her busy for about 20 minutes as well.
Do you have any creative ideas for keeping toddlers busy in long winter months?