Ideas for fun things to do with babies/toddlers....when you feel like crap. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 03-28-2011, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh I need some help with this one. Some days I can barely stand up and I feel like my DS is being deprived of stimulation. It makes me so sad to see him sitting by himself and crying because he's bored to tears. I need some ideas for things to do with an almost 1.5 year old.


My criteria:

-cannot be too messy, we live in an apartment with brand new white carpets

-some days I'm practically bedridden so take that into account

-on days where I'm feeling better I can go outside but it's still cold outside and I live in an area where there's not many places we can go...kind of a semi industrial/commercial area. We do have a wonderful huge courtyard that is available for everyone's use, wide grassy area and we have a concrete patio.

-DS is not into TV....too bad for me when I'm dying.


I feel just awful that I'm not the perfect mother that has all these great ideas on fun and stimulating projects for kids and goes on wonderful field trips and is generally just awesome. Blah. :(


Any suggestions would be highly appreciated! <3

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#2 of 11 Old 03-28-2011, 04:53 PM
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too bad about the tv!

I ordered cable for ds when i was sick pg with dd...we had it for about 3 or 4 mos during the winter...First time in over 14 years!

but it worked.  Dh was away during 90% of my back almost a month before she was born.


we also went to a local playgroup where I could be ill on the couch while ds played.


I am very lucky this time- I have 2 kiddos and they keep each other occupied :)


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#3 of 11 Old 03-28-2011, 05:14 PM
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a 1.5 year old... how mobile is he? I know little scoots were my kids faves at that age... like a wheely bug

which could be used in the courtyard or maybe even on your rugs.


Baskets of picture books

a mini basket ball hoop- he can throw stuff in, and you can also sit in a chair while he brings the ball to you to throw it in.

sit at the kitchen table with him and play with play doh, or designate that he only plays with it at the table.

books on CDs

chunky puzzles?

maybe just a couple new-to-him toys to hold his interest.


Do you have friends with toddlers that can bring them over to play while you rest and chat from the couch?

Or a friend or two that could take him for a few hours to exhaust him at the park or something?

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#4 of 11 Old 03-28-2011, 05:30 PM
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Anything in a bathtub! Give him messy stuff in the tub- water, bubbles, bath crayons, jell-o, pudding...let him have a jolly time making a big mess, then just hose him down. Meanwhile, sit next to the tub and relax and read a magazine while he bathes. My daughter could spend hours in there.

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#5 of 11 Old 03-29-2011, 12:17 AM
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Hugs, mama. It sounds like you are having a miserable time. I hope it gets better for you very, very soon.


Outdoor ideas for when it warms up a little:


- you lounge in a lawn chair and blow soap bubbles, he chases them (you can also play this in the bathroom)

- you lounge in a lawn chair and watch, he plays with sidewalk chalk

- you lounge in a lawn chair (notice the pattern here), he plays with a (non-helium) balloon (this also works indoors)


Indoor ideas:


- safety scissors and construction paper (Hours of fun, I tell you, but does require some manual dexterity. He may or may not be there at 18 months. If you have carpeted stairs, I once entertained a very mildly ill under-2 DS on a cold rainy day for about 2 hours tossing yogourt containers of snipped pieces of paper down the stairs and then collecting it all. Over and over and over.)

- Duplo (Again, 18 months is a little on the young side, but he may be ready. This is, by far, the best 2 year old activity we had.)

- a balloon (So entertaining.)

- a small bucket full of dried beans and some measuring cups (Child must be old enough not to try to eat the beans. This was an activity I stumbled upon in a flash of genius when DS was younger. It does require some minor cleanup, but dried beans are easy to pick up, and I always rinse them before cooking them, so I don't worry when they fall on the floor. To this day, DS will sit at the kitchen table and play this for ages. Actually, when I've played with him, I would probably do it for ages, too. It's really a cool sensory experience.)

- books

- crayons and large sheets of paper

- finger puppets

- food containers, e.g., yogourt tubs and the like (I highly recommend a kitchen drawer that he can empty. And fill. And empty. And fill. You get the idea.)

- can an 18 month old have popcorn? (I can't remember.) If yes, a big bowl of popcorn is fun to play with and eat. Puffed cereals are also good for this.

- fun fridge magnets (we have these mix and match animal magnets -- not sure if they are available where you are but wow are they fun)

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#6 of 11 Old 03-29-2011, 07:21 AM
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What exactly are you going through that so severely affecting your ability to function on a daily basis?

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#7 of 11 Old 03-29-2011, 08:47 AM
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Awwww mama, I feel so awful that you are going through all this. I wish I lived closer because I know our little guys would have a blast playing together! I really hope your situation improves soon, it must be awful to feel so sick all the time. I had very, very bad morning sickness with my last pregnancy but it still wasn't nearly as bad as having HG.


Some things I know Ciaran loves to do (a few have been mentioned already)


-The bath! This is his favorite and will entertain him for hours. I'm using it now when I'm too sick to function well... in fact, he spent the morning in there. I gave him a pasta strainer, some of DD's Polly Pocket dolls and a bunch of little plastic dinosaurs from the dollar store and it bought me 45 minutes of quiet. He also loves bath crayons but I have to get some more.


-A sandbox. You could do this in a big, low cardboard box in the bathtub. Add in shovels and buckets and you have a goldmine of play. Ciaran will play in our sandbox for literally hours! Sand is easily vacuumed.


-Crayola makes a bunch of different "Color Wonder" products that only color on special paper... he likes those ok and it keeps the mess down.


-Magna-Doodle... he LOVES the magna-doodle... and NO mess! :)


-Wooden puzzles with the little "handles" on each piece. My mom got some for him and he will play with those quietly on my lap for a long time.


-Books that play music, books with flaps that fold up, books with textures, etc


-Crayons and paper in his high-chair, if you have one. Ciaran is just getting to the point where he likes to use crayons and if he is at the kitchen table it is easier for everyone.


-Play-Doh if he is at the point where he won't eat it. Ciaran watches the big kids play with it so he is figuring out how to play with it without eating it...


-A kitchen drawer or low cabinet filled with misc. safe things he can have... lids, bowls, spoons, spatulas, kitchen gadgets, empty containers, soup cans, empty cracker boxes, etc


-And my FAVORITE... A BIG cardboard box!! Ciaran will play in cardboard boxes for hours!! :)


Hope this helps, mama! I wish I could do more!



Beth )O( Homeschooling Mama to blahblah.gif DS (7) luxlove.gif DD (5) and sleepytime.gif DS (1) & #4 on the way in October!!! love.gif
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#8 of 11 Old 03-30-2011, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KABB View Post

What exactly are you going through that so severely affecting your ability to function on a daily basis?

I know right.


It's called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. The disgustingly severe form of morning sickness. Some days are worse than others (thank god I have some ok days!) but it's kicking my ass pretty bad.



Thanks ladies for all the suggestions! These are great ideas. It's funny how I couldn't think of this stuff myself. new meaning to 'puking your brains out'

knit.gifsewmachine.gifintactivist.giftreehugger.gif mama to one DS and one DD, equally amazing.

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#9 of 11 Old 03-30-2011, 05:24 PM
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I don't know if you can afford it, but another way to give yourself a break would be to get someone to come over for an hour a day to help you out however you need it? When I was just out of college a woman's mom paid me to help her daughter with 4 kids (one of them a baby) to just keep her house together. I'd do the dishes, make beds, straighten rooms and bathroom and fold laundry. It was amazing what I got done in that hour and I was only paid $10 each time, but it seemed like a worthwhile thing to do. If you could hire a fairy, or get someone to hire a fairy for you, I'd do it! Personally right now, it's not on my list of things I'm affording, but I thought I'd throw out the idea...So sorry you are green.

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#10 of 11 Old 04-14-2011, 05:33 PM
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My DD is 2, and I have had migranes and a horrible stomach flu on top of the usual 1st trimester ickiness.


We have had great success with a sensory tub


I just filled a lidded box with beads I had on hand and any little, interesting things I could find (dice, marbles, gems, fake flowers, etc)  Obviously not for kids who still put everything in their mouth,....but she will happily sift through it with a spoon and some bowls, for 45 min at a time!  



I have also really been rotating her toys lately too, taking about half of them away at a time, she really plays better with less things, and then when you pull out the other half it's new and exciting again


Big right now: crayons, singing the alphabet song, a collection of small similar things (i.e. ribbons, jar lids, stones)


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#11 of 11 Old 04-14-2011, 08:32 PM
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Ohhh I remember those days when I was preggo with #2. My lifesavers were cheerios and PBS at the same time for the little guy ( which may or may not work, since he doesnt like tv but maybe there is one educational show he will tolerate with a snack?) books read to little one in bed for maximum resting, coloring in bed too, and then when the weather warmed up, baby pool filled with water and tuperwares and mama right beside with a magazine and a big glass of ginger ale. All of those in one day isn't a horrible day! LOL Also, I admittedly signed him up for a 2 day a week mothers morning out. Sometimes dh would take him so I could rest even more, and I felt like he was getting possibly a little more fun out of his week by getting out of the house when I just couldnt provide that, in the first trimester.


Hope you are starting to feel better. 

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