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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How much do you ladies play with your toddler(s)? And what do you play?
 

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I would love to see some of the responses to this question. I work 50 hours a week (single mama). So, I do not get a lot of time with DD during the weekday. As soon as supper is complete, we bathe and read books for one hour (favorite part of the day!)<br><br>
Weekends - We do a lot of errands and clean up, meal planning, etc. I plan 2-3 activites each weekend outside of the home (pool, park, beach, music class, picnics). We are always on the go.<br><br>
This weekend, we stayed at home and painted pictures, did puzzles, etc. It was fun, relaxing...well, just a joy!<br><br>
I thought I spent a lot of time with DD, but after this weekend, I thought to myself, that I need to do more of what we just did...one on one time...nothing cooking on the stove...nothing in the washer...not singing to her while I am sweeping the floor. Even though we always engage in talking while I am doing chores, it just is not the same as full focused attention. It was a slight wake up call for me.
 

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Well, my DD is two and a half, and right now she is VERY into imaginative play. So we spend alot of time in that mode, but when she was your DD's age we spent more time exploring and imitating. Over all, I play with DD alot, but I try to encourage her to play on her own as much as possible. Also, I ask her to put on puppet shows for me, read to me, or (she loves ballet) "take me to the ballet."
 

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not as much as I should, I think, at least when we are in the house. When we are outside or at the park I am interacting with her alot more most of the time. But there are times when she is playing in her sandbox that I just let her play. I don't want to play in the sandbox, ykwim? In the house, it is harder. I do spend some time during the day playing with her, but between mealtimes, getting ready to go places, naptime, etc. I don't feel that there is tons of time to play and I have other things to do around the house. She also tends not to play with me when she is playing with toys, she gets in her own world and I feel like I am just sort of sitting there for my own good. When we play together it is usually tickling, wrestling, singing on the bed type play.
 

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I work 4 days a week, and those days are tough. She wakes up, we take a shower, she helps me put my makeup on/do my hair, we get dressed, then off to the sitter. At night, dh picks her up (he goes to work an hour earlier than me and gets off an hour earlier) and they unload her backpack, and play a bit. I get home, and we start dinner. One of us cooks and the other entertains dd...usually by reading or playing with her. She usually "helps" with dishes, which is a very fun game for her. She likes to rinse <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> , but of course she isn't very helpful. She is high needs and doesn't really play by herself, so we play with her. She is really into reading right now, and stacking blocks.<br><br>
On the weekends, I take a couple hours in the morning to do catchup chores, and use one of her naps to nap myself (36 weeks pregnant) and the other to do "me-stuff" which is usually internet or reading. The rest of the day is spent playing...doing whatever she wants to do. If she is having a day where she wwants to play alone, I let her, and I watch with adoration or do me-stuff. Usually, if I try to do me-stuff, she wants attention, though, so I do a lot of watching her. I am in awe of her, though, so that's okay by me. And she is much more patient with me doing chores in the morning than in the afternoon. She also has to "help" with all the chores, or I get nothing done. So, I consider some of that playing as well.
 

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I had this question a while back. MIL always tells me I spend too much time playing with DD, age 2, and the truth was, I was a little burned out and not enjoying playtime. I posted a similar question and esp those with older toddlers really didn't spend a lot of time down on the floor playing. I think I was secretly looking for validation to stop catering to DD so much and reclaim some time to do adult things (like cleaning, lol). Since then, she has learned that she has to sometimes share my attention or wait if I'm in the middle of something and this has helped me tremendously. So in answer to your question, I play with my daughter one on one about an hour a day. That doesn't include reading before bedtimes and preparing meals and talking to her while I work though. So I still feel like I'm interacting with her a ton.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
^^^Yeah that.<br><br>
I think that's a big reason I asked. I SAH with my 16 month old and spend just about every waking/sleeping hour in her presence and the majority of the time I'm playing with her and intertaining her. And I am feeling a bit burned out. Especially with the pregnancy and some of the things that have come up in it and buying a new house with a move.<br><br>
I feel bad when I don't spend the time playing with her, because I'm home to be with her. I supose I feel bad because by not giving her all of my attention I feel like I'm not doing my job. She is also at that stage where she's pushing limits and pushing my patince(sp?) so she's not leaving me alone. You know?
 

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DD2 is 13 months, and I don't spend a whole lot of time playing with her. She has a big sis that entertains her most of the day (and she prefers it that way). We spend time reading books together, building with blocks, etc., but mostly it's independent play or play with my 4 yo. I'm almost always in the same room as the girls, and always available for cuddles and play when needed, they just seem to enjoy one another's company, so I let them be. We do make 1 hr each day that is alone time with mommy, so that each DD has my undivided attention.<br><br>
I spent a lot more time playing with DD1 (I had more time then <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> , and she didn't have anyone else to entertain her).
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Cativari</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9012751"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">^^^Yeah that.<br><br>
I think that's a big reason I asked. I SAH with my 16 month old and spend just about every waking/sleeping hour in her presence and the majority of the time I'm playing with her and intertaining her. And I am feeling a bit burned out. Especially with the pregnancy and some of the things that have come up in it and buying a new house with a move.<br><br>
I feel bad when I don't spend the time playing with her, because I'm home to be with her. I supose I feel bad because by not giving her all of my attention I feel like I'm not doing my job. She is also at that stage where she's pushing limits and pushing my patince(sp?) so she's not leaving me alone. You know?</div>
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Right there with ya! I work part time, and on the days that I am home with DS (19 mos), I spend the majority of the day engaged with him. Which I think is great, but...<br><br>
I'm starting to actively work on letting him play by himself while I do something else for short stretches. He does better with it some days than others...
 

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My twins are 17 months and I probably spend about 4-6 hrs playing with them.....they take a good 2-3 hr nap everyday and that is when I get things done around the house and check my email......other than that we play outside, swing, play pat-a-cake, hide and seek, read books, chase each other around, build forts out of blankets....raid the toy box. But they also like to go off and play together on their own and that's fine too. I think it's them that keep me entertained not the other way around.....and to Cativari, don't feel bad for not playing with her all the time......just being home with her is enough.....she can entertain herself.....and trust me, the new baby will keep her entertained too. Next year we are planning on trying for our third and are also planning to move to a new house so I'm sure I will be finding out what you are going through.......Good luck
 

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Virtually never <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: Reading (which we do every day for maybe an hour total) is about the only thing I really do with him. Otherwise he plays with his brother. We go to the park and playdates and stuff. But I'm not really into playing with them. I try to engage them when they show me things and facilitate their play, but otehrwise I am mostly just around and avavilable (read:cleaning) while they do theri own thing.
 

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I probably play with my 17 mo DD a couple of hours a day. We have a child corral in the dining room that's open and always accessible, and I stocked it with small balls so we call it the "ball pit." Sometimes we sit in there and play with balls. We play "dress up" with scarves and mommy's clothes sometimes. Other times we play with blocks (I'll build a block tower for her and let her knock it down) or shapes (the shape sorting bucket by Fisher Price).<br><br>
Sometimes we sit in the wading pool in the backyard and she'll play by herself (with my supervision) or I'll join in the play and throw balls into a basket in the pool or fill and empty a bucket repeatedly.<br><br>
My DD is pretty good at playing independently. She'll sit and play at times for a half hour or 45 minutes with blocks, balls, old clothes, or her favorite stuffed animals. It's great because I can sit at the computer or clean or other stuff.<br><br>
I think we spend at least an hour a day reading books too.<br><br>
Kristin
 

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I'm a SAHM and DD is almost 3. I've never spent all that much time playing with her. We read together a lot. And talk constantly. I occasionally play to get her started on something. Her daddy really plays with her much more than I do but I think that that may be because he just gets fewer hours with her than I do.<br><br>
Frankly, I love talking with DD but kids games get pretty boring, pretty fast. I am more than willing to hang out near her and do my activities while she plays, but I have stuff that I need to get done too.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>anarchamama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9013659"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Virtually never <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: Reading (which we do every day for maybe an hour total) is about the only thing I really do with him. Otherwise he plays with his brother. We go to the park and playdates and stuff. But I'm not really into playing with them. I try to engage them when they show me things and facilitate their play, but otehrwise I am mostly just around and avavilable (read:cleaning) while they do theri own thing.</div>
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That's how we are. Camden does great with just doing his own thing. He regularly disappears into his bedroom to look at books or play with legos. Sometimes I get kind of overwhelmed with guilt because I feel like I don't spend much time with him, but if I go and seek out his company, he generally just keeps doing his own thing. We make sure to spend some cuddle time together at bedtime while we read stories, and I try to come up with a fun weekend activity for us.<br><br>
Really, I think I'm a kind of lousy toddler parent. I did great when he was a baby and he needed to be nursed, burped, rocked, cuddled, changed, repeat. Now I don't really know what to do with him, and since he's pretty independent, I don't really make it a top priority to engage him. That's sad. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Not as much as my DS would like. If he had it his way, I'd be on the floor with him every waking moment, driving cars and trains around and participating in his elaborate imaginary play.<br><br>
I cannot stand to do that for more than 20 minutes at a time, so I play with him like that in 3 or 4 blocks of time throughout the day, and the rest of our day is spent doing errands, meal preparation (he likes to help), reading, art (which I'm happy to sit and do for hours, but he only likes to do it for 10-15 minutes at a time), water play outside, walks to the park (where I do play with him as much as he wants me to), etc.<br><br>
So I guess I actually play with him a heck of a lot, but he'd rather have me doing the on-the-floor-with-cars thing all day, and I make sure our play is much more varied because otherwise I'd go nuts.
 

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I play with DD (2.5) way more than I want to, because the only way she will not fuss or cling to me or cry for me to play with her is when watching a video, which I try not to use very much. Frankly I am SO bored with toddler games (her favorite is to be chased around with me growling like a bear behind her) that I think I am going crazy. We spend alot of time going to the park or walks because that is much, much more pleasant than playing indoor toddler games. I wish she would play independently, but she just won't, yet. I noticed most of the toddlers whose mamas don't play with them as much have siblings who do. Maybe that is what she needs - a sibling!
 

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i don't have much time either, but we do make time to play cars, color, paint, sing songs, dance, run in the sprinklers, cook together, etc. I love to play with my toddler!
 

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I don't play with my ds unless he wants me to. There are many times during the day where he plays by himself or helps me out with chores. Usually about a total of an hour a day he'll want me to be near him while he plays. I don't see why it's so important to play with my ds especially since he is developmentally too young to actually play "with" others. When I do play with him, he is just playing near me, we don't interact much (unless he's destroying something I've created). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Wendi
 

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DS turned 2 in July and we don't really play much together, even though I'm with him 24/7. I played with him this morning for maybe 10 min but I didn't want to do what he wanted me to do so he figured out how to do it alone. If he starts getting restless I might initiate an activity and he continues alone. Or today he was practicing cutting paper so I held the paper for him. I help him do a lot of things or get him going but we don't really "play" together. We do read together every night and he likes that.
 

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Cativari<br><br>
I am a wierd person...you see..I played alot with my toddler...and still do...<br>
I think I have done it TOO MUCH.<br><br>
Seriously.<br><br>
I think my insistence of being involved with every game, every free moment...has gone overboard and curtailed his ability to seek entertainment on his own. I am now checking myself and gradually decreasing the percentage of time that we are playing together versus I am in eye's view.<br><br>
I never realized that my behavior was different from most moms until I started going to playdates two months back. Every single parent..and even the kids have remarked on my constnat interactions with my toddler.<br><br>
My advice for now, is try not to count time...make time count...and intuitively you will know when you can just let your child/children play in their own imaginative way.<br><br>
I think I pressured myself too much to always be "on" and entertaining..I look forward to letting him discover his own ways of entertaining himself...and my rediscovering how incredible a child's imagination is all on its own.<br><br>
IRONY: When I was little I loved to play on my own, and did so most of the time. I think it contributed to a high level of creativity. It's a gift I should try to pass on to my son, not stifle.
 
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