But what should high energy DD2 do? Any ideas from exhausted working parents? Or any exhausted parent?
My 2.5 and 5 y.o. girls LOVE to stir ANYTHING! Yesterday my 5 y.o. scooped the avocado out of its peel and my 2.5 y.o. mashed it with a potato masher. It made making guacamole quick and fun to have their help!
Good luck, I know that at the end of the day, it's hard to be patient, but when I let go of the quest for perfection, it's so much easier.
walk the dogs
We are not totally TV free but, close I think it is much easier in the summer.
and I can't forget to mention spending time on MDC
Here are our favorite things:
Paint on the sliding glass door (make paint by mixing equal parts flour and water and add food coloring but be sure to wipe it up before it's all dry. It's easier when it's still damp. Use a wet sponge.)
Play Starfall.com (okay, so it's still technically "screen time," but it's interactive learning and non-commercial, so we love it)
My 2-year-old and I will decide on a new toy to make for her and she will sit still and watch me make it for her - no joke! She gets so excited and I love that she's learning how to sew and make things by hand just by watching me.
Read library books (we check out as many as I'm able to carry home every week)
Crafts - I made an easy and very pretty mobile for DD by folding colorful origami paper cranes and stringing them up on string and hanging them from an old pie pan.
Bike ride - toddler goes in the bicycle trailer
Draw and color
Learning games - we practice counting and learning to read and write our letters
bake something tasty
Make your own pizza (let kids decorate a piece of pita bread with pizza sauce, cheese, veggies and other ingredients, then bake in the oven until it's toasted and enjoy!)
Go to the beach (park, forest, desert, insert favorite place in nature here)
Go for a walk
Make fairy houses outside from natural materials (bark, sticks, stones, grass, leaves, flowers)
Plant a mini garden (use small pots, old cups, whatever you have) and fill with potting soil and plant seeds, then water and watch them grow! Herbs are easy for kids to grow and you can use them all year long.
Kitchen science experiments
Let your kids start their own business. Children can sell their own handmade crafts on Etsy with parental supervision.
Volunteer at your local animal shelter, church, etc.
Wear gloves and take a couple of plastic shopping bags and clean up trash in your neighborhood.
Write and illustrate your own book. Then publish it! Coloring books are lots of fun to publish and give away as gifts. Copies are cheap.
Cut up old magazines and make a collage
Give kids a chance to earn some of their own money with some unusual chores.
Make jewelry from natural items you find outside.
declutter and organize our small home
visiting thrifts store with a list of necessities
reading books from a bookclub's list
zoo membership, we can go anytime
eating out in a restaurant
tea and live music at a local coffee shop
E married to J, 7/08, DD 10/09, DS 5/12
Funny! We just moved to a new house and the only TV has been banished to a remote TV room - that way it is not ever seen unless we intend to watch it. so it is funny to see people come over and comment on the TV-less house - I love it! Especially since my DH was known for being a TV addict before I got a hold of him.
I like the ideas here, and I can't wait for DS to be old enough to participate in them more. Any ideas for husbands who can't think of anything else to do at the end of the day when it's too cold/dark/rainy to play outside with the baby? Something the family can do together (family = two adults and an 18 mo). Right now we mostly chase DS away from dangerous stuff and try to get him to eat healthy food and then put him to bed in the evenings. After that we're too exhausted to do anything but sit and stare at the boob tube. We like to listen to audiobooks in the car, but I don't know what we could do while listening after the little one is asleep (DH won't want to just sit and listen--we'd both end up playing on our smartphones, which is a whole 'nother problem in and of itself...)
Any other ideas for tired parents after the kids are in bed to unwind and get some down time without a screen?
I must say I was just about to write the exact same words!!! we moved to a new house and the only TV is in the guest appartment...no direct access from the main house...hubby used to be an addict hence the 100" TV (j/k only 54")...it was giving me a headache w/out even being on!
we make popsicles every day with different flavors
we are building a chicken coop
we are getting a lamb
we cook everything from scratch and the kids help
we take loooooooooong baths every day together - all 4 of us
we take looooong walks
we invite friends over every day
we skype with family from Europe and the East Coast
We have been t.v. and video free for years. It has gotten kind of challenging as DS1 (almost 16) is certainly the only one in his peer group to not have t.v., video systems, etc. On his most recent sleepover, he and his buddy walked to the grocery store and pool and then nailed and screwed together a bunch of scrap wood. Then they spray-painted it.
With DS2 (16 months), it's not such an issue since he doesn't know any better. We have a glass storm door that we left in for the summer and we often sit behind it to watch the world. We talk about trucks, rain, neighborhood cats, the trash truck, etc.
Those are just a few ideas. I do not miss t.v. one bit. I was terrible about limiting it when DS1 was a toddler, which is why I eventually quit. XH and I just told him it was broken (we unplugged it). It took him a week or so to adjust, but he was a much better person for it. I like this thread and should print it out!
MIL doesn't understand or believe we are really going to stick to this. Oh well. We are.
I got tired of my signature, but I still love my children and husband and miss my little brother.
Bowl of dinner scraps to stir and "cut" while dinner is being made, after dinner it goes out to the chickens
Make playdoh and color with berry juice
Mop the floor (instant slip n slide)
"mega puzzle" take 3 wood inset puzzles and mix up all the pieces. My DD conquered the single puzzles around 2, so this has saved the day.
Worm hunting for the compost pile
Playdoh + glitter+ little plastic animals= hours of digging and finding and hiding and laughing
Animal sounds and getting the animal sounds wrong. Big hit with my 18mo, she thinks its hillarious how dumb I am! ;P
This is brilliant, I've been wondering what to do with this stack of puzzles that has never seemed to challenge DS!!
Have conversations! DH & I talk about all kinds of things - politics, gardening, raising children (we're pregnant with our first), our friends, our families, past experiences, social issues, home improvement and about 1000 other topics. We're both genuinely interested in what the other has to say, and we often find that our perspectives on things help open each others minds even more.
In addition, we also read books, get stuff done around the house, got to festivals and events around our city, we have our own hobbies, we mess around online, we play board games, we learn about new topics together, etc. I'm sure we'll have a whole new list once the baby gets here (although I'm sure in the first few months, the list will be reduced to take care of the baby, eat, and sleep ).
On a similar topic, my husband told me about a conversation he had recently while hanging out with some friend from work the other day, and they asked him, "What do you and your wife do without a television?". DH mentioned some of the things above, and ended with, "mostly, we have a lot of conversations". One of his friends replied, "Wow, so you two just TALK? You must really love each other." I found that comment to be both really funny and somewhat disturbing. Why yes, yes we do.
walk the dog
go to the park