How many activities/playgroups do you have your toddler involved in? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#2 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 11:51 AM
 
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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. 


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#3 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 12:00 PM
 
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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.

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#4 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 12:02 PM
 
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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. 


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#5 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 12:44 PM
 
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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. 

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#6 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 12:59 PM
 
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0.

 

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#7 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 01:20 PM
 
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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.

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#8 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 01:30 PM
 
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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.

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#9 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 01:32 PM
 
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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

T-

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.


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#10 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 02:37 PM
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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. 


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#11 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 03:30 PM
 
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None, really. She tags along for her 9 yo sisters activities and there are usually other sibs there for her to play with, but that's about it. For some reason every toddler activity here is at 9 or 10 in the morning and with me working night that is not happening!

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#12 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 04:29 PM
 
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We do 1-3 outings a day most days. Every once in a while (once every couple weeks, or slightly more if we're snowbound!) we will stay home all day but for the most part both DS & I prefer to be out & about.

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.)

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#13 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 04:50 PM
 
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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.


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#14 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 05:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post

0.

 

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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.


Mama to my little busy bee. 

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#15 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 07:17 PM
 
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I did a music class sometimes, when DD1 was about that age, but she didn't like it too much so we didn't go too often. That was really our only structured activity. The twins didn't do any at all until they were about three, except for going to the nursery at church on Sundays. I am a hardcore homebody, and having a schedule of outings drives me crazy-- we do best with long, freeform days at home or in the neighborhood, and if we go out for something non-necessary, it's usually on a whim. When they got to about three, they seemed to want more social experiences, so I made an effort, but not while they were still toddlers.

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#16 of 28 Old 02-04-2011, 08:31 PM
 
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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!

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#17 of 28 Old 02-05-2011, 04:09 AM
 
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None.  She tags along to the older dd's activites sometimes, but that's it.

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#18 of 28 Old 02-05-2011, 06:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by healthy momma View Post

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! 



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.


Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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#19 of 28 Old 02-05-2011, 09:20 AM
 
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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. 


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#20 of 28 Old 02-05-2011, 10:56 AM
 
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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.


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#21 of 28 Old 02-05-2011, 01:17 PM
 
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DD has a music class and gym class that we go to.  We also have a library story time.  There are two playgroups that we tried to fit in.  Plus we go to open gym at her gym facility, the children's museum, the park, and the botanical gardens.  All this is relatively on hold since I am now officially on bedrest as of yesterday, but I am hoping that DH and the baby sitter will be able to do a lot of this with her.  I am planning on making a schedule of possible activities for them. 


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#22 of 28 Old 02-06-2011, 06:10 AM
 
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We usually stay home on Mondays, but barring sickness, we do at least one outing the rest of the week.  It's more for my benefit because I baby-sit a friend's 1.5 year old & the two toddlers can wreck the house in record time.wink1.gif  We do a couple of story times, a LLL meeting if there is one that week, and maybe a playdate or trip to the museum.  In the summer, we do a lot fewer structured activities and just go to the park, sometimes with friends.  There are a lot of SAHDs in our area and quite a few come to storytimes--do you think your DH would feel more comfortable getting out if he saw other dads going to these things?  Also, maybe there's a meetup group for SAHDs in your area?  I know I'm a lot less motivated to get out of the house if we don't have a friend to meet up with.


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#23 of 28 Old 02-06-2011, 05:47 PM
 
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Ds is 30 months, and I am a SAHM. We have a good balance of organized activities, home time, and playdates, I think?!

 

Our typical week (mornings):

M: until this week, we were doing a parent and tot morning at a Waldorf school (We stopped this recently b/c Monday, for us, is a good day to hang out at home and do whatever we want to!)

T: hang out at home, or go to the gym (there's a daycare for kids there)

W: we have a running playdate with two other families whose kids are around the same ages

Th: hang out at home or go to the gym

F: Family yoga/playdate, which we do 2x a month. The other days, we might go to the library or do something else (play outside, go to a museum, playdate, have a home day).

 

I am not super social but my 5 YO DD is, and I feel like I should be doing "more" with my DS. Weekends are mostly spent doing things as a family, including going to friends' houses or having people over. I agree that getting out of the house once a day is important!


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#24 of 28 Old 02-06-2011, 06:01 PM
 
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A few months ago when we lived in San Diego, we spent more time at home and in the backyard.  Now, DH works from home and I try to get the kids out of the house every morning to give him some peace and quiet for a few hours.  

We pay for Gymnastics and Music Together... we go to free park time, story time at the library and play groups.  I want to add swimming (life saving techniques) before this summer. 


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#25 of 28 Old 02-06-2011, 08:55 PM
 
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On Tuesday DS and I volunteer with another mom and toddler.

 

On Thursday morning we used to attend a structured professional playgroup, but he aged out.  I would love to sign up for another professionally-run toddler group, and there are 5 or 6 in our area, but with DD's preschool schedule it's nearly impossible to do anything before we have to be home by 11:10 when she's dropped off.  And it'll be worse next near because we'll have to be home by 11 for half-day kindergarten pickup. :(

 


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#26 of 28 Old 02-07-2011, 05:06 AM
 
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Quote:
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On Tuesday DS and I volunteer with another mom and toddler.

 


Aufilia -- OT a bit -- I was wondering what kind of volunteer work you do with your toddler? I've been trying to find something I can do with DS but everything I come up with just isn't good for a toddler.

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#27 of 28 Old 02-08-2011, 10:19 AM
 
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I think you have to know what works for your child.  I never planned to have DS in many structured activities; I used to babysit a couple of kids who were overscheduled and stressed and I didn't want to do that.  So for a while I had DS in one very unstructured playgroup and that was it.  As it turned out, that didn't work for him at all.  He was cranky with unscheduled days, and the unstructured playgroup was overwhelming for him, with kids running everywhere doing different stuff.  Turns out, he thrives on small, structured groups.  So I now have him in several dance and art and fitness classes; we are busy all week.  It's small groups and the teacher leads them through activities.  And he loves it!  He gets really into the activities and is learning to interact with other kids.  But I also know kids who hate structured activities.  So I don't think there's a "right" number, and OP, I would say just try an activity and see how your DS likes it and go from there.

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#28 of 28 Old 02-08-2011, 07:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKislandgirl View Post

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

T-

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.


Its true about Canada too!  During the summer we probably won't do anything structured.  We can't go to the park, and now that it is the depths of winter we do go outside everyday but usually not for very long.

So far though we only have wed playgroup (only thing in this tiny town) and thursday we go swimming (no lessons though, we just splash in the pool) and then to the library story time on the way home (we have to drive an hour to the pool and the library is 1/2 way)

They just started toddler yoga and an open gym one town over so I might look into that.


Tricia
Canadian Mama to E 2yrs
Someone new coming October!
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