What to do during the day with an almost 18 month old?

Momof1 - posted on 04/27/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )




Hi moms (and dads). I know I've asked this question plenty of times in the past, so please bear with me. I stay at home with my son during the week and I just don't know what to do to fill those hours up until Daddy comes home and bedtime. Now that it is nice outside we basically spend all day outside (in our neighborhood). We just walk around or play ball in the yard. I'm trying to teach him how to "chalk" but all he does is either eat it or put them in there case, take them out and so on. While we go on walks, I will point out some things to him, but should I keep up a conversation? Because I feel I don't talk to him a lot while we are walking. Or if we are indoors, what should we do? Besides trying to get him to color and not eat the crayons, I'm not sure. He plays very well by himself (and I know that is a good thing) but I want to play with him/help him learn. He doesn't really pay attention when I'm trying to tell or show him things. Like when I hand him his colored toys, I'll tell him the color but he doesn't really care, he just grabs it. I don't know if I should sit with him and just randomly start saying numbers. When we walk, sometimes I'll say the ABC's to him. He likes to play with his shapes toys, but he'll try to put them in the wrong shape and even when I tell him and point to the right shape he won't do it, he'll just get mad. Unfortunately going to a Gymboree or another type class is not in our budget. There are two parks around here and yes parks are a great place to take him, but again, I feel like if he is running around playing, he's not really learning. Or when he eats breakfast and lunch, I'll usually either read or do the dishes. Could I be doing something more interactive during those times. I don't want you all to think I'm a lazy mother. I'm constantly running around with him, except those times he plays by himself. I know kids learn from playing, but I just feel like I should be doing more with him and not really sure what/how long. I do read to him, but he only has 3 books he'll actually sit and listen to. From the time he wakes up until the time my husband comes home, we have about 10 hours together. How much time should be spent playing/teaching him things? And how should I go about that? Is it bad if we are outside almost all day, just walking around?

Thanks so much in advance.


Catherine - posted on 04/27/2011




My son is almost the same age as yours, and our days are similar. I think you're doing a great job, and honestly you're probably putting too much pressure on yourself (I know I do). My son is the same as yours, I say the color of his toys and he seems to ignore me, but then all of a sudden, he'll know it. I think he's listening more than you might realize, so keep talking. But, quiet is good too, you don't have to talk every moment.

As for other things to do, have you checked out your library? Ours offers free mommy and me programs once a week that are a nice change from the routine. Also, you can check online for mom's groups in your area. There will often be a free playdate or two at someone's house each month that will also be something different.


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Momof1 - posted on 04/30/2011




Thanks for the comments and advice. I'll definitely check out the library. We just moved and at the old library there wasn't anything to do during the week, just on the weekends, which I work. I know I probably put too much pressure on myself, I just feel like I don't do enough with him. If we are outside almost all day, then I feel like he isn't really learning. I have started to point out more things, but he doesn't even look in the direction half the time. Then when we are in the house and he is playing it's hard to know what to do. I'm usually on the floor with him, but he moves from one thing to the next so fast and is content playing by himself that I get bored. (I hope that doesn't sound bad.)

[deleted account]

You are doing fine. Everything in his life is a learning experience right now. You don't HAVE to try and do actual learning (though nothing wrong w/ it if he enjoys it) at this age. Finding (or creating your own) a playgroup type thing would be a good way for him to learn to interact w/ other kids.... and for you to get out as well. Otherwise.... just enjoy each other. :)

JuLeah - posted on 04/27/2011




He is learning every second of the day. When he drops a bit of food, and it falls, he is learning that things always fall. When he eats chalk, he is learning about chalk. He won't sit and lsiten to books yet, but does hear you. There are toddler programs at the local library, you can orginize a toddler at the park meet up, you can place an ad at the market for other parents in your situation and start a play group ... babies love music and dance, the love to build towers and knock them down, they love bubbles, they love finger paint, swimming (6 inch water), slides (with help) ... outside walking around it the best place in the world for him to be

September - posted on 04/27/2011




Do arts and crafts together, listen to music, sing together, cook and or bake together, make something special for Daddy, color, make homemade finger paints and paint together, blow bubbles, play hide -n- seek, go for walks, which you mentioned you do, while out on your walk point things out, like the trees, birds you see, bugs you come across, our son loves to go for walks just to look for bugs! :) Do you have Community Centers where you live? Often times they offer free classes and it’s a fun place to go when it’s raining. These are some of the things that we enjoy doing with our son. Enjoy!

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