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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, like some Mom's on this board, I occasionally use a BE video out of desparation. Like when I am trying to cook something, and he is clinging to my leg and whining. When I am home, dh is at work, and vice versa. So it's just me and ds, no other adults to distract him.

So, can we come up with good suggestions for Mama's like us who would like to never again have to resort to throwing in a video. And please don't tell me to get the Learning Tower, because I simply cannot afford it.

I have a toddler, but how about suggestions for all ages??
 

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For cooking, I just push a chair up against the counter so dd can see what I'm doing.

Giving my dd yogurt and a spoon will keep her entertained forever!
 

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It is great if they can be near you at the kitchen counter. (can she stand on her own on a stool yet? )

If you can rig something up, playdough on the counter is great. Also my son loves (cheap) flour sprinkled on the counter to play in with little animal figurines and Matchbox cars.

Otherwise, really noticing the time of day that's hardest for the child to entertain herself. So if that's late afternoon, try to chop an onion or whatever in the morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, good ideas. I worry about the stove, knives, etc, but perhaps it's time to let him get on a stool and be a part of it.

Right now Mr. Potatohead and playdoh work nicely. On normal days. I guess the only time I use the videos are on the oh-so special days toddlers sometimes have, when they are just plain cranky and nothing satisfies them.

Surely, my boy can't be the only one who has those days?

And in my world, those days seem to occur exactly when something absolutely NEEDS to get done. Like boatloads of laundry. Or getting something written and emailing it to work. Or finding out company is coming and trying to make the guest/computer room at least a little presentable.

When he is that cranky and I am unable to spend 100% of my time trying to cheer him up, is when I reach for the videos and try to get tons done in 20 minutes time.
 

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When my dd is cranky and nothing keeps her happy and I need to get something done, I often put her in the back pack and wear her. Sometimes she isn't happy in there either, but she wasn't happy out of it and at least she is with me and I can get my chores done. Pluse even if she dosn't think she wants to be carried, she usually calms down after a few min.
 

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I know there are studies and such but it is the world we live in. We all parent the best we can with what we have. There are days I am spent and I need to cook by myself. Other days dd helps and ds does sometimes fuss.

DD loves to 'help' but she still get to watch SS and Barney if she wants.

I have been thinking about this alot lately and I just don't think it will corrupt my daughter to watch some TV. That being said she has art time, reading time and play time that FAR outweights the time spent watching a show.

JennP
 

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-Wear one of my DC on my back. I use a wrap. This is how my 10mo DD does the majority of her napping. This is my favorite way of wearing my DC on my back (you have to log in to the babywearer web site to see this, but it's worth it).

DP uses an evenflo backpack we got at a consignment sale.

-my DS stands on a wooden stool that cost $10 at Ikea. I let the water run at a very low stream and give him a bunch of measuring cups. Sometimes I let DS make a big mess with cornstarch and water. Another favorite activity is putting some sudsy water in the bottom so he can wash his babies. Other times I throw little plastic animals in the water for him to find. he also really likes playing with the funnels at the sink. When the wooden stool is not in use I keep it on top of the fridge.

-I have one cabinet where I keep unbreakable bowls, the salad spinner, etc, and I let them play in that cupboard.

When you're sick it's hard. When I was pregnant and exhausted during the first trimester I would babygate my 1 1/2yo DS and I in the room where he plays, which I had babyproofed as much as possible, and would curl up in a blanket on the floor while he played.
 

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I give DD (almost 2) a bunch of cups and spoons and bowls and stand her on a chair in front of the sink and let the faucet run. She plays in the water, and while I usually need to mop up before we can eat, it's worth it because she is happy for a really long time. With a younger child, a big soup pot of water on a pile of towels works too.
 

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Here's what I do (it works sometimes, and sometimes not!)
1. Wear her, either in a wrap on my back or in an Ergo.
2. We have the tupperware stuff in the bottom cabinets so she can get it out to play.
3. Sit her in her high chair and let her have a snack in the kitchen near me.
4. Let her stand in a achir pushed up to the counter and 'help' me cook-stir, pour, mix, cut (with a butter knife), ect.
5. We rotate toys, so I always have some buckets of toys she hasn't seen in a couple of weeks. On especially hard days, I 'surprise' her with 'new' toys.
6. When doing laundry, she helps me put the clothes in the dryer, and then into the hamper. When doing dishes, she loads/unloads the non-breakable stuff. When sweeping/mopping, she 'helps' with her own broom/mop, and gets to spray the floor (vinegar and water solution, totally safe)
7. Put some fun music on and do a silly dance.
8. Put some pots on the floor and hand her a wooden spoon.
9. Open the sliding glass door from the kitchen to the backyard, turn on the hose, strip baby down, and hand her the hose.
These are a few, I'll post more as I think of them! DD is 16 months...so still putting everything in her mouth, otherwise I'd say play-dough or a simple flour/water dough to play with would be great. HTH!
 

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You know when you give up the videoes it does not even occur to you to put them on after a while. you will be creative and sometimes short temepred but that is life. so instead of zoning your kid out if they are being fussy or cranky you and your DC have to deal with the emotion (I don't mean that in a harsh tone). No videoes to hide behind.
so some things we do insted of watch TV....
As for making dinner...
DS just plays under me. If he is especially cranky or fussy maybe dinner will be especially low key that night...sandwiches or somehitng left over. something where I don't have to cut a lot b/c I can't wear DS on my back and he wants to grab at knives if I have them.
I do hold him and use the the stove keeping that part of my body away from the heat. If I need pour something hot or maybe garlic is bouncing everywhere DS can fuss a bit in safe spot..highchair while I strain pasta for second. I do tell him I'm sorry and Mommy will be right there but this is hot and I don't want him to get hurt. He has no idea what I'm saying I don't think but at least my inetntions are there.

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DD loves baths so if the baby is sleeping I can put her in the tub and clean whatever I want and she will play happily in there for an hour sometimes more.

DD loves to help witht the laundry and puts the soap in and the clothes she can press the buttons and put the quarters in.

Now if only she could fold!!!!
 

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Sometimes I pay the 9yo neighbor girl $2 an hour to come and play with my DS while I work in the house. I started this after she came by with cute handmade pamphlets advertising a "parent helper service." I asked her how she arrived at $2 and she said she was going to charge $1, but her mother said she should ask for $2.

Having someone to play with my 2 1/2yo DS is especially good at the end of the day when he is not at his best and I want to try to cook.

I also am trying to do what a pp mentioned and get dinner prep done earlier in the day when DS is better about playing on his own.

Also, in Happiest Toddler on the Block Harvey Karp recommends periodically playing with your child for a few minutes to recharge them and ultimately help them play better on their own. I don't know if I just expressed his idea the best, but that's the general idea and I do think it helps.

HTH!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Hoopin' Mama
And please don't tell me to get the Learning Tower, because I simply cannot afford it.

That makes two of us.

My toddler is starting to love books on tape from the library. They come in a little packet with the picture book and a cd or cassette recording of the story. He is learning to turn the page on the cue, but sometimes he skips ahead or stays on a page for a little while. It really holds his attention and he now knows how to work his cd/tape player. It has been a great activity for times when I might be tempted to put in a video.

Lots of good ideas here
:
 

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Quote:
My toddler is starting to love books on tape from the library.
I've just read the same book to DD so many times that I can recite it while she sits and turns the pages
. I'm definalty going to looks for tapes when we head to the library next. (we do have lots of books she just likes the same ones repeating)

Dancing, DD can usually be occupied by putting in a CD and dancing or playing instuments. She prefers me in the same room while she does it though. She'll also dance away whle I sing.

Playdough, crayons and anything else she can do at the kitchen table while I work gets me a few more minutes. As does staning on a chair at the sink.

Emptying the kitchen cupboards keeps her entertained but I'm not so keen on having everything underfoot while I work.

Rotating toys regularly helps so I have something "new" to pull out when I really need her occupied. ITA with the previous poster that she does do better if she has 10 minutes of my undivided attention before I start.

I have to say that although I'm happy to have DD in the kitchen while I'm chopping and stuff I prefer her to be elsewhere when I'm dealing with a hot oven, draining veg etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by hipumpkins
You know when you give up the videoes it does not even occur to you to put them on after a while. you will be creative and sometimes short temepred but that is life. so instead of zoning your kid out if they are being fussy or cranky you and your DC have to deal with the emotion (I don't mean that in a harsh tone). No videoes to hide behind.
so some things we do insted of watch TV....
Thank you for that encouragement. It is what I am striving for. I just feel so tapped out sometimes.

I LOVE the faucet/kitchen sink idea. I don't know if I have a stool big enough, but I'll find one.

Yesterday he had great fun at the kitchen table with his Little People animals and a bowl of water for them. I made a lovely dinner. He is just starting with imaginary play, it's so cool.

I guess it's time for Mom to step up the imagination, too.
 

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I have been known to sit the baby in the sink whilst I cook. With water. She's happy, and my kitchen is so small that she's within arms reach like this.
 

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Dried beans are great too! You wouldn't think they would be, but they are...Put out dried beans with little bowls and a spoon. My kids would sit and transfer beans back and forth for over an hour. You can give them containers with lids to make it more fun. You can put out different colors and sizes, like little orange lentils and white navy beans. If you don't mind vacuuming, they can put the beans in a dumptruck...endless possibilities. (Edit: I wasn't thinking about kids who put things in their mouths or noses when I wrote this, so maybe not a good idea for all).

IKWYM about the leg clinging. Thankfully, we're past that stage but I remember it well from both kiddos. Many times, music helped wean them off TV.

If you make playdough (salt, flour, oil and water), it doesn't matter if they eat some. Like the beans, not only is it texture play but it's like pretend cooking. The only problem with the homemade dough is that if it's a salt-based recipe, it can be really crumbly (more clean-up required). But there are lots of variations on homemade playdough, all safe and edible and very satisfying to work with. It usually stores in the fridge for at least a week.

When my kids were little toddlers, they always liked getting into my laundry and strewing it. You could put out a basket of face-cloths or little towels and let them "fold" and strew, etc.
 

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What's BE?

Get a Learning Tower! My kids participate in EVERY thing w/me. THey used to be on my back until they graduated to the LT. Now, it's sunny/warm and they play outside on the deck so I have a short reprieve before the chefs come back in for the winter.
 
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