I didnt have a chance to read through all the responses and don't know if its common or available in your area but once a week i take my son, who is almost 18 months old to 'play group' at the local community centre and he loves it because he get interaction with other kids and he gets to play with all the new toys ( which are sanitized very well). He is still a little young for it but on fridays they have cooking with kids which i think is a really fun way for them to learn about what they eat... some places are free and some cost like a dollar or two so its also affordable, and a great way to meet other mothers... hope this helps!
Tahlee - posted on 03/08/2010
my little one loves drawing and playing with playdo. i mean she eats it every now and then but most of the time she is pretty good.
otherwise she loves playing outside with her toys.
when all else fails i find we go out in the pram and she just loves looking at all the trees as we walk past them
Jill - posted on 03/08/2010
Local library, bookstore, walks in the stroller, mall, playscape, swings, bubbles, just playing outside on a nice day and let your little one explore use outdoor toys, go on a nature hunt with a bag and collect interesting things! paint, draw, read, local farm with farm animals, play with a ball and come up with a game, use containers and water for pouring, put on a fun CD dance, sing, play instruments, or just get some neat sheets in the house and toss them around to music like scarves. I know it can be a long day somedays. Sometimes I just put on a scholastic books on DVD for my little one to watch on colder bad weather days.
Brittany - posted on 03/05/2010
Whenever I run out of ideas with my little ones, we usually go for a walk. (Weather allowing of course.) It's a great activity for any age, my little ones are 18 months and 3 months, and they love it. I try to point out flowers of different colors, trees, etc so not only is it a chance to get some fresh air, it's a learning experience. =)
Sunrise - posted on 03/05/2010
Wanted to add a few more ideas.... MOPS (check out their national website to find local groups) is a great way to get in some social time. Barnes N Noble & the library usually offer reading programs for kids. The local children's museum offers a free toddler time. The movie theatre does mom hours where you can go watch adult movies for cheap or free and bring your kids they also do kids matinee's during the week where you can pay to watch kids movie on the big screen ... it's uber cheap and a fun "play date" especially to get out of the house in the cooler months (here in MI that is a must...lol). Our church has a play group for SAHM's as another way to network. The public school pool has an open swim time for homeschoolers and SAHM mom's for $2 per person. Just some thoughts.
Sunrise - posted on 03/04/2010
I was a SAHM once upon a time with my older two kids and I didn't do a whole lot outside the house. We played outside everyday unless it was just silly cold or hot. We would read and practice "writing" even when they were this age....I would hold their hands and trace over letters that I had written. We watched movies, played dress up and I also had a few PC games for them. We'd do "art" with foot prints and hand prints to send to far away grandparents.
Blowing bubbles and having your child chase/catch/pop them.
Trip to the local library, and some libraries even offer programming for children.
Art --finger painting (tempra paint with a few drops of dish soap help keep clothes from staining though since you are doing this at home you can just strip your child down to their diaper).
Goop --cornstarch and water roughly equal parts. Is a great sensory activity. The goop is runny until you squeeze it and then it stiffens up. Is a messy but easy to clean activity. You want it to be more towards less runny consistency wise.
Playdough --lots of easy home made recipes online. My favourite is 2-3 cups of flour, 1/2 cup salt, tablespoon of vegetable oil, two tablespoons of cream of tarter, 2 cups of hot (preferably boiled) water. When mixing hold back the 3rd cup of flour to add in. Colour with either a dry package of koolaid or food colouring.
Simple matching games
Playing outside unless too cold/too wet. Even if its just to go for a walk (especially now that the snow if beginning to melt and make mud)
Also if you aren't opposed to a some brief sessions on the computer (10 minutes at most is what we do) http://www.kneebouncers.com/ is an awesome hit any key and things happen site.
Hope that helps!
Susan - posted on 03/03/2010
We read, play ball, play with babies and do a lot of singing and dancing. My LO loves music and anything having to do with it can keep her occupied for a good amount of time. We pretend shop, she has her little purse and stroller and she puts her baby in the stroller and we go around the house "shopping" for toys. About one day a week we go to the mall, about 40 minutes from us, and she plays in the play area there which gets her around some kids.
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