Icemaggedon was upon us this past weekend. It all started with a little dusting of snow on Saturday morning, which then quickly turned into freezing rain and resulted in ever accumulating layers of ice all over Portland. Flights in/out were cancelled, roads were closed, businesses shut down, etc., which forced us to stay home aaaaaalllllll weekend long. This was REALLY hard for my stir-crazy, type-A self who approached the weekend with a lengthy to-do list (which did not include being stuck at home for two days). Avery has some of my personality in that she gets stir crazy pretty quickly too, so this weekend I had to shift my focus away from my to-do list and onto finding ways to keep my toddler busy indoors. Here are a few ideas that work well in our household.
1. CAR WASH. 1 tupperware container containing water + 1 empty hand soap bottle filled with water and a little dish soap + 1 old toothbrush + 1 old kitchen towel = 1 squeaky clean set of toy cars.
2. PLAY DOUGH SURPRISES. What toddler doesn't love play dough? For a fun tabletop activity, I like to hide small toys (or a chocolate coin if I’m feeling generous) inside balls of play dough and have Avery open them to reveal the surprise inside. This activity is a gem because it keeps her busy for at least half an hour, sometimes more.
3. ART PROJECTS. Messy, for sure, but it helps my sanity to keep the mess art contained to a small area. I block off the entrance to our kitchen so that I only have a small portion of wood floor to clean up when it’s all done. Pretty easy. And to be honest, we could have made this even easier by skipping the markers, stamps, and stickers because all Avery really wanted to do was bedazzle everything in glitter (a girl after my own heart).
4. PEELING. Whenever I have a manual peeling project to do, I put Avery in her high chair and let her go to town. She LOVES peeling hard boiled eggs, small oranges, bananas, etc. This weekend, I gave her a dozen hard boiled eggs to peel for a casserole I was making. 40 minutes later I had 12 peeled eggs, ample time to assemble dinner, and one very proud toddler. Bonus - peeling is a great fine motor activity.
5. GROWING ANIMAL CAPSULES. I buy a pack of these every time I go to the dollar store. They are cheap an amzing. There are 12 capsules in a pack and when you put them in warm water, the capsules dissolve to reveal a foam animal inside. There is so much you can do with these things - try to guess which animal is going to come out, name the animals, name the sounds they make, match the animals to the pictures on the box, etc. Avery and I could do this for hours (toddler hours = lots of minutes).
6. DRY-ERASE ACTIVITY BOOKS. Whoever thought of this idea is a parenting genius. I can work on all kinds of educational stuff with Avery like tracing letters, learning numbers, identifying shapes and so forth while she stays engaged because she gets to draw all over the book we are learning from. AND THEN we get to erase it and do it all over again. It’s a bonus that she loves the erasing part too.
All in all, it turned out to be a great weekend. I had so much fun spending relaxed, quality time with Avery where we just got to focus on playing and nothing else. It was a good reminder for me to slow down and step away from my to-do list once in a while.
I’m Betty and I live in the beautiful pacific northwest. I'm a mommy. Vegetarian. Wife to a meatatarian. Pediatric physical therapist. Outdoor enthusiast. Enjoyer of fitness/healthy living. Even bigger enjoyer wine and chocolate lava cake. And hoping to find some balance between it all.