Sunday, October 21, 2012

Five 3-year-old Activities (for when you can't move)

I have been glued to a rocking chair this last month.

I know that moms of more than one child know what I mean: I am limited with my play with Za. Baby C.J. requires lots of feeding, rocking, diaper changing, and repeating. That leaves me with a 3-year-old who needs attention. I would prefer she not spend all day in front of the television.

What works? Here is a quick list of what has helped me occupy my 3-year-old when I am frequently immobile with a newborn.

1. Memory cards. Not the entire game box of cards. I've matched about 10 pairs (20 cards) and we play. She doesn't get frustrated and it is not too many to pick up.

2. Paper and crayons. This is a bit scattered, but not messy. She has several pads of paper and a blue box of crayons. She loves this and draws everyone who visits a portrait.

3. Books. This seems simple, right? Not so much. Za cries if I start reading a book and cannot finish. (Changing diapers and reading - bad combo.). We have a pile of simple books, alphabet and counting mostly, with lots of pictures.

4. Containers. Plastic, mismatched, baskets and cups. She loves them all and builds towers, puts her drawings in them, tells me their shapes, and rearranges them.

5. A doll. Za has a baby as well, which often does what baby C.J. does. We discuss how to handle our babies, which I really think has led Za to empathize with the new baby.

Have a newborn and a toddler? Tips to keep the toddler busy.

These are a few ideas that have really helped me handle my toddler while I take care of a newborn. Any other advice for moms out there?