Staying At Home with a ToddlerPublished:
Coventry Rocks Family Favourites is a brand new series where we showcase the personal recommendations of a local family. We are proud to kick off with some top tips from local Mum Elise, whose little girl Livvy is almost 2. Faced with a 'lockdown' situation, we asked Elise for her favourite things to do when staying at home (and top tips for staying sane!)...
My name’s Elise, I’m a freelance proofreader and I live in Coventry with my husband, Adam; our daughter, Livvy, who is almost 2; and our cat, Willow. We usually love getting out and about as a family, so being faced with a 'lockdown' situation has come as a bit of a shock!
As many of you will know, it can be tough summoning the inspiration to keep the little one(s) occupied, especially in the current climate, so I thought it might be nice to share some ideas.
Here are some of our top picks for lockdown activities!
Fun with toys
In our house, a firm favourite is an indoor tea party. We have a lovely handmade quilt which Livvy loves to get out, plonk her toys on and ‘pour’ the ‘tea’!
As a big fan of cars, another indoor activity that keeps Livvy happily occupied is making roads out of books. Unlike a pre-bought mat, you can make different layouts every time; you can also stand them spine-up to make tunnels!
As Livvy is still quite little, she’s only just starting to show an interest in drawing and colouring, and when she does it tends to get very messy! For Christmas, she had a Water Drawing Mat, which is a brilliant way to get colourful and creative without the mess.
A new one we tried for the first time recently is cardboard box fun - we turned an old box into a bed for Buzz and Woody! This is great as you can use whatever you've got lying around (old loo roll tubes, tissue box etc), and the possibilities are endless! Check out "Not a Box" by Antoinette Portis to give the little ones more ideas in a fun format.
There are heaps of things to do online, and ideas are flying around social media all the time at the moment! I've found it all rather overwhelming, so thank goodness Coventry Rocks have collated their favourites into one place. It's a godsend!
There's some great activities available to everyone online - you can even attend a "virtual class"! From Baby Massage to Spanish, there's loads of options. We're enjoying Music with Jo Jingles at the moment!
We're also enjoying some of the printable colouring sheets available, as well as the workouts of course!
If it's nice enough to get out in the garden, we like to collect different colours and textures to make a picture - a good chance for a little nature lesson too!
Mix it up!
If your little one gets bored quite quickly, then it's imporant to mix it up and have at least one new activity to explore each day. I found this guide really helpful in trying to think of new ideas! From a Sound Safari to Making a Den, there's some great ideas for all ages, so well worth a browse.
Make a Plan!
Whatever you decide to do, we've found that making a plan is a life - and sanity - saver. Doesn't matter if you deviate from it, but you might find it helpful to have a loose structure. Here's ours:
It is a very strange and difficult time for everyone at the moment, and there's potential for stress levels at home to get out of control! When it gets too much, I try to remember to breathe, relax, and have fun. As hard as it might be, let's all try to enjoy this precious time together as a family.