if you don't let your toddler watch much T.V, then what do you do to occupy them all day long?

[deleted account] ( 8 moms have responded )

Would like specific answers not just "i play with him/her" or "we go outside".

And do you find you do the same thing everyday? Eg do you go out side and play catch with the ball everyday?


Bethany - posted on 09/25/2010




I have never let Charlotte watch much TV, none atall until a few months ago. She's 20 mths.

We get up and I put either a load of nappies or a load of clothes in the washer, and we have breakfast. I open the doors and windows so there are sounds in the house like dogs and birds and traffic and trains and frogs. Once breakfast is over, if we're not dressed, we'll go get dressed for the day, then she'll go to her toy corner and usually drag out her dolls pram, or some toy cars or whatever and I'll clear up the dishes.

Usually the washing is finished by then so we go outside and hang it out and she plays with the dog and on her outside toys or hands me the pegs. Then we either stay outside and play for a bit longer, or depending on the day, we go to playgroup or to the shops or the library for the morning.

Then it's a bit of a snack, inside or out, depending on the weather and then we look at books for a while, she really loves books, especially when she's getting a bit tired. She might play with her blocks or with her crayons and paper, and I sometimes try to make dinner then too, as I can see her fine from the kitchen and she likes to play by herself. She has a nap around midday for about an hour or an hour and a half, which she loves, so goes to sleep pretty easily. That's when I have a quiet lunch and lie down for a while, or watch some TV or a movie or read.

About 2 or 3, depending when she wakes up, she has lunch and then we will usually go outside and fold the washing off the line and she'll play with the dog, her outside toys and then we might walk around to the front yard and check the mailbox, and visit all the little bits of the front yard, like the birdbath (down low for the froggies) and the fake lizard who gets a different rock to sit on most days, and the swingseat, and we water the potplants, then head back around the house to take the washing basket inside.

She helps me put away the washing which I HATE to do, so it makes it more fun for me to go through colours and names of things with her.

Then we go out to the loungeroom and play with her cars or trains or blocks or she pushes her pram around or sometimes we get the pram out and we go for a quick walk around a few blocks. One day a week we have a playdate in the afternoon. Then around 5 she has her dinner and her daddy gets home at 6ish so she's all over him and we have dinner and she potters about or sits up and eats a bit of our food. Then it's bath, teeth, stories and bed by about 7.30 or 8.

So you see, that day didn't have any TV, but some days, if she's a bit restless from teething, or I need just 20 minutes to get dinner on if I've left it to the evening to make, I'll put on the cannel we have that is no ads, dedicated toddler material and she watches magic roundabout and iggle piggle for a little while. Sometimes, because I've finished my work before a programme finishes, I like to get her to turn the TV off herself, and get down and play with her, so she doesn't get too attached to it , and values time with me above TV time.

That's just me, I believe the studies that suggest a child is overstimulated by staring as a screen, regardless of the content, and once they get to school, (and most human interaction) where they have to sit still and stare at one, usually a bit boring, human their stimulation needs will be far too high and they won't be able to. They'll be labled attention deficit, where as actually, they are stimulation overloaded. So Charlotte is my little science experiment, and I hope that restricting the stimulation she is exposed to when she is young (particularly under 2, but really up to about 7) will allow her brain to accept the low stimulation levels the rest of her normal life will have to offer. She may even be excited by it!

Ronda - posted on 09/23/2010




With my daughter's we do a variety of things. On laundry day, they help sort socks.They like being my littl helper's. We bake together. They have workbooks for their age that we work in once a day for 20min. We color or paint. we play games and do puzzles. If it's nice, we go for walks, jump on the trampoline, ride our bicycles. play catch and tetherball. Play in the sandbox or in the play house. I do allow my girl's t watch some TV though.

Amalea - posted on 09/23/2010




Find something your child enjoys, and join in the fun! Now as toddlers, you can teach them so much! I have a neice I watch regularly, and shes now 3, and she can sing most of her ABC's, can count to 10, knows her shapes, colors, and many different songs. Take them to a park, let them do the nature walks and eat a picnic lunch. Right now as toddlers, you can 'play school' with them, theres many workbooks and learning programs available for toddler age kids. Thier minds are sponges, let them soak it up with good stuff! If its tv, Noggin has very good and educational programs, designed for toddler aged children. I let my neice watch noggin in the afternoon when I start cooking dinner, and she learns so much from that channel also. Get a childrens nursery rhymes cd, and play with them, do arts and crafts, your options are really endless!

Lois - posted on 03/07/2013




When the weather is nice, its much easier to find things to do IMO. I have a 2 year old son, and this is what we do:

--taking walks around the neighborhood
--playing at the neighborhood park
--driving to a different park to feed the ducks
--our backyard has a slide, swing, and sandbox, so we can easily kill 45 min playing back there
--kicking a ball around the yard
--WATER PLAY! We have a water table and its one of my son’s most-loved toys. He just loves to pour water in and out of cups and float toys in the water table. He also loves playing with the hose, and running through sprinklers.
--“helping” with gardening chores
--going to the swimming pool or splash pad

Now when the weather is cold and yuck or too hot, its much harder to find things to do, and the time passes slower, having to stay indoors all day. :( I hate that, but here is what we do:

--puzzles and books
--ipad games
--playdough and sticker art
--taking a long afternoon bath so he gets to play with his water toys
--helping with chores like laundry, dishes, toy pick-up
--dancing and more dancing! He loves it when I turn on music and we just dance. Sometimes I turn on fun you-tube dance videos.
--baking together (he loves this!)
--playing a “chase” game where I chase him through the house and tickle him or he chases me
--building with blocks and then knocking them down
--rolls cars and trains down tracks, etc
--pretending to cook with the play kitchen
--throwing a soft ball back and forth

We also have a gymnastics class once a week, a playdate once a week, and take a field trip (to the kid’s museum or bouncy house land or trampoline park or mall playland, etc) a few times a month.

He also watches about 3 short kid’s shows a day. Right now he likes Super Why and Wonder Pets. He could never sit still long enough for a movie (though I wish he would when I’m sick!,) but the 20-min shows are great and he gets one in the morning, one early afternoon, and one in the evening.

Melissa - posted on 09/24/2010




My 16 month old enjoys going outside to water our trees and flowers. She recently got a slide and enjoys going down in different ways. She also enjoys just simply running around our yard, chasing our cat. In doors, she is my shadow. When I make eggs for breakfast, I let her stand in a chair and help me crack the eggs and whisk them. When I do laundry sorting, she likes to put the clothes on and carry them around. But I lift her up to throw them in the washer. We don't watch much TV, but she loves music and she dances around to it sometimes. She's into sorting, stacking and rearranging, so no matter where and what we're doing, she looks for things to do that with.

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Jodi - posted on 09/24/2010




I have an 18 month old and we don't do the same things every single day, although we do repeat on some days obviously! It's more of a rotation of activities! Besides "helping me with chores" (I give her a baby wipe and she "dusts" everything, or helps me unload the dishwasher, or has her own child size broom and helps me sweep), we sometimes make sugar cookies with shape cookie cutters, we play with playdoh, paint, build blocks, play with cars, play with our feltboard, read about 20 min a day (probably more than that), swing on her swing set, play in her sandbox (daily), go for walks (several times a week), play mommy to her babies, color with crayons or markers, sing songs and dance, play dress up, play with cornstarch goop, there are so many things we do I couldn't possibly list them all but these are probably our most popular. The great thing is, my daughter self entertains several times a day for probably 20 minutes at a crack, which gives me time to make lunch, do dishes, pick up or whatever I need to do! Our T.V is on all day, but she really only watches MAYBE an hour per day and not all in one chunk. You should check out my community SAHM's are Teachers! A community for moms like us who look for and/or have good activities to share for things to do with our kids! I'll get the link for you! I have found that after meals and naptime(s), there actually isn't THAT much time to fill, especially if your child will self-entertain to some point! Have fun and follow your childs direction sometimes! They'll let you know what they want to do in their own way if they something in mind!

*edit: here's the link!


Renae - posted on 09/24/2010




My baby is 18 months. We - Play catch with the ball, play soccer (kicking) the ball around, draw with crayons, read books, look at flash cards of words, letters and numbers, dance to nursery rhymes that have actions, play with puzzles, learn animal noises, learn names of things, go on the swing, play on the slide, go to playgroup, go to the pools and go swimming, go to gymbaroo, go on playdates, we do housework together (like he loves helping unload the dishwasher and washing machines and pretending to sweep with his little broom while I sweep with my big one), we play with toys like pushing trucks around, play in the sand, build with big lego or blocks, um thats all I can think of to be specific but I'm sure there's more :)

Joan - posted on 09/23/2010




i used to bake with my kids maybe 2-3 times a week. it was something they loved.i also got a book of homemade activities, like how to make bubbles, chalk, fingerpaint etc...

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