I'm wondering how other people do this. I work full time and DH stays at home with DS who is 28 months. We really don't have any structured activities that we regularly attend, and DS only has a couple of friends that he sees once in a while. He does not have any playgroups and I have had trouble getting him into any, I just can't find any. I've tried starting one but failed because I am too busy and DH is not super motivated about it. I feel guilty about this, and try to encourage DH to get out and do more things with him, but he has a hard time getting out of the house. He thinks it's really hard. I try to do as much as I can with DS on my days off. He is enrolled in ECFE one day a week, but DH rarely makes it there with him. Any suggestions? And what is normal? How many playdates does a typical 2 year old have in a week? DH is a very happy, attached boy and when he gets around other kids seems kind of like he can take it or leave it, but I'd like him to get more involved in some other things.
How many activities/playgroups do you have your toddler involved in?
None. We tried gymnastics but she wasn't into it. We attend storytime at the library maybe once a month, and some of my DS's friends have younger siblings that she plays with occasionally, but for the most part she's happy just hanging with me.
We do get to the park most days, and sometimes there are other kids there to play with but not always.
We aren't enrolled in any classes right now (we do swim lessons periodically). We are both WOH parents and DD goes to preschool full time. We do get out w/DD a lot though on evenings and weekends. Some regular activities we are doing right now (inside since it's very cold/snowy): Weekly story hour at the library, drop in playgroup at a nearby family center, playing at the indoor play area in the mall, various children's museums. In warmer months we try to get out to playgrounds and free outdoor concerts a lot.
Two, but neither of them are too structured.
An hour of tumbling class, which is pretty much a free for all where the kids just kind of run around and play with various things like mats, slides, bouncy balls, bubbles, etc.
And we just started a toddler soccer class because DD is obsessed with soccer and basketball. That class is really fun - each kid gets their own ball and they just run around and kick them. The coach plays various games with them (kick it between your parents' legs and so forth) but it's kind of just kick a soccer ball around.
This works for us because DD is very shy (and I am too) and it is fun for both her and I to get out and meet other parents and kids and to do stuff that we wouldn't do otherwise. Plus it's especially nice this time of year for me because I know she has a chance to work off some physical energy.
I've always tried to have at least one outing a week that involves other parents and toddlers. It's really been more for me than for DS (32 mo) though! When he was younger and we lived in another town we always went to a Tuesday Toddler Time group. There was a topic each week that the parents discussed and the kids played in the center of our big circle of chairs. Now I usually organize one day each month to invite other parents and their kids to come to our house and hang out and play. Otherwise we go to our local library once a week where they have an awesome play area where I am always meeting other caregivers that I can chat with and DS interacts with other kids. We also are just starting a drop-in Open Toddler Gym at the Y one day a week. My DS refuses to go outside right now and we need to burn off some energy somewhere other than our little living room. Throw in a couple times a month at the local children's museum where we have a membership and we get in plenty of interaction without being pressured to be too structured. Oh, and DS can mostly take or leave playing with other children too. I don't think it is anything to be concerned about. Developmentally they aren't to the interactive play stage yet.
We go to music class, swimming and a parent child class.
I am a SAHM and I love having some activities to get to. My daughter LOVES them and gets so excited on days that we have a class.
I also have met so many moms and toddlers my daughter's age from being in the classes, so occasionally we will meet up for a playdate too.
The classes are all pretty short. Music is definitely my favorite. We are in Music Together which is a national program with classes all over the country.
My daughter is 18 months old and I aim to have scheduled activities or playgroup 3 days a week. *But* I do this because 1- I need structure to insure we will actually do *anything*, as I am a homebody, and especially in the winter, prone to depression and 2- my daughter *loves* going anywhere and *loves* other kids. She is extremely extroverted, and if we stay home she needs my undivided attention all the time. I am an introvert and this drives me a little batty. So right now we have a parent participation preschool experience thing one morning a week, a toddler art class at an indoor play area (we stay and play afterwards) and a weekly playgroup with my mama friends. I don't think that every kid needs these sorts of things, but I know my kid needs to get out of the house and spend time with other people to be happy. I suspect how much of this each toddler needs is extremely variable.
We do quite a few activities. In the winter in Alaska it is vital to our sanity to get out of the house! Here is a rough breakdown of our week.
M- Music class
W- Story time at the Wildlife Refuge (we usually only go to this when I'm babysitting an older girl, DD is still a bit young for it)
R- Library story time
F- Play group in an open gym type setting. Kids bring ride on toys, balls, etc... free for all
During the summer we will do less of the organized activities and more trips to the beach and trails with friends.
theoretically we go to one playgroup but i haven't been since i quit working a few weeks ago and i could make it again.
so really probably once a week we meet up with a friend and their toddler, sometimes for coffee, sometimes kids museum...
and we signed up for a once/week swim class. seh loves the water but i'll totally go because i love being in pools too and being preggos it feels so good. so maybe that one is more for me....
we do go out every afternoon and run at least one errand even if it's not an essential or productive one.
We go to every story hour I can find at all the libraries & bookstores near us, sometimes twice a day, because they are my DS's favorite thing EVER. I've never seen a 2yo sit in rapt attention for 30mins+ like this kid does. He just LOVES it.
Everything we do is free because we have no extra money lol. Craft time at the library... free Friday evenings at the children's museum... free toddler yoga... etc. I have 2 sites that list tons of events and activities within about 1/2 an hour from our house, and I keep tabs on them daily to find free stuff for us to do. We do have a zoo membership this year, so we go there once or twice a month (more in the warm weather).
We also belong to 3 toddler-oriented meetup groups, so we have activities with them anywhere from 1-4 times a week (playdates, hikes, potlucks, etc). Plus we get together with friends more informally too. Oh and we go to LLL meetings etc.
When the weather is nice, we also go to the playground most days.
That's Monday thru Saturday -- on Sundays we have church & sometimes get together with family, and the rest of the day we just hang around the house.
We keep pretty busy, but honestly it's just as much for my sake as DS's. I am a much better parent when I have a lot of adult interaction, and DS gets bored easily at home. Going out keeps us both sane. DH is much more of a homebody, and I'm sure if he were the SAHP, they'd rarely go out. (Actually, DH is currently laid off, and he usually stays home while DS & I go out all day.)
I have a 3yo DD and 16mo DS.
Mondays - Library storytime OR playdate with DD's friend
Tuesday - a really cool park near the river with a nature path and playground
Wednesday - playdate with another friend OR library storytime
Thursday - Library storytime OR playdate with DD's friend
Friday - DD hangs out with MIL and DS and I run errands
Some days we do stay home, but most days we're out of the house between 10AM and 12PM. Having a place to go gets us all dressed and ready early, which means that in the afternoon after DS's nap, we're more likely to go outside and play. I'm really trying to make sure we go outside (even just the backyard) every day.
DS has a nanny share with a little girl 3-4 days per week & that's the extent of his planned social activities. I took DS to a free sing-along yesterday & honestly, he hated it & I hated it. So... won't be doing that again.
But I love getting out of the house with DS, though, on the days that I'm home -- playground when it's nice, grocery store, long walks, train rides to nowhere -- & we do a lot of just walking about in the evenings with DH. We also get together with friends (some with, some without, kids) when we can.
Overall, though, I'd much rather take DS along on an adult outing rather than kids stuff. That's just me.
Wow-so I guess commparatively we have alot going on!
M- free day with play group sometimes
T am gymoboree class if we feel like it, pm gymboree open play, if not busy
W- storytime with songs, books, crafts for 45 minutes (we LOVE THIS and its free!), Music class, nap
gymboree open play
Th- gymboree class- trying to add a nearvy storytime fater but we haventmade it yet
pm- gymboree open play
Fri-soccer class ffollowed by hanging out with moms and kids- this is one playgroup and we have another playgroup that meets some th am, some mon ams etc.
Sat- gymboree class when we feel like it
DD enjoys playing with other kids and is really active so I need to get her out of the house. Gymboree has been fantastic for her. She loves all the active play there. There are lots of Dads at our one so if yours is similar this might be good for your DH- sometimes at open play there are more Dads than Moms. (the Dads really get into physical play and roughhousing there in a safe environment) Without getting out and using up lots of energy, we hav m ore sleep issues so I dont mind such a heavy pace- though tonite I'm tired.
During Spring Summer, we go to thebotanicalgardens and visit the farm and japanese gardens twice a week and the zoo oncea week. Getting outside to play in the fresh air is really important for DD too.
I measure everything in 1) her joy and 2) her sleep at night and ease of getting her down.
I figure everyone has their own ways though and I'm sure your DC will be fine however you and DH work this out. I think getting out into fresh air and changing scenery once in awhile is good for everyone though. Good luck figuring it out!
This is me too. I try to have a plan to get out of the house once/week with my 31 month old toddlers. Right now it's library storytime. Other times of the year it's swimming or music class. If we want another outing during the week we can go to a playgroup in town or visit with other friends.
My Mom takes DD to a Babies/Wobblers in the library activity that involves singing songs & some storytime stuff and it's geared to the younger kids. This is once a week & it's free & just drop in, but DD does love it most of the time.
We have friends with toddlers too, so we get together for them to play & the adults to hang out every once in a while. Since DD is still in the parallel play stage, it's usually just two toddlers circling around each other occassionally breaking out into fights over toys. They enjoy each other, but they aren't really playing together iykwim.
Whenever I start to feel pressure about getting her "socialized" I just remember that this idea of a bunch of 2 yr olds in a class/play group setting is not the only way for a child to get socialized, nor is it the most natural way. DD interacts with people across the lifespan every day - strangers, friends, family - and that is socializing her within the real world. There will be plenty of time for her to form close bonds with kids her age when she's developmentally ready for that kind of play. She loves being around people & meeting new people & she gets that opportunity every day because we are active and out in our community.
Dh takes dd (16 mo old) to a playgroup on Wednesdays and babytime at the library on Thursdays.
At this age, I wouldn't worry about socialisation, but I believe it's really important to get out of the house at least once a day. The temperature is around -20 here, so the activities give us a reason to leave the house when it's too cold for walks or sledding.