Activities to Keep You and Your Toddler Happy

Being a stay-at-home mom with limited help can be hard sometimes.  There are days that I feel like parking my butt on the couch watching TV while I let Aiden play around me, but then I get a grip and realize that’s not teaching Aiden anything and it’s not very good for me either.

Each day, I try to plan one activity in the mornings for us to do to get out of the house, do something that will teach Aiden something and get both of us socializing.  I have patients scheduled in the afternoons on somedays and Aiden’s nap schedule is still a little unpredictable, so mornings are best for us.

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Here are some ideas for activities for you and your little ones!

Splash Pads.  These are so popular, so I get there at about 9:30 am to get myself a spot on the grass and then Aiden doesn’t get mowed over by the bigger kids too.  Aiden likes going into and out of the water which is more convenient that swimming pools.

 

Swimming Pools.  We occasionally go swimming, but honestly, not that often.  I can see us doing it more as Aiden gets older.  At H20’Brien (a local swimming pool), they have an hour in the morning that is restricted to just the little kids.  It’s really nice to go before it gets super crowded.

 

Story times.  I love story times at public libraries.  I’m not sure how everyone else’s cities are, but in Denver and the surrounding areas, there is a story time basically everyday at each one.  They are definitely not lacking here.  They are educational, short (30 minutes) and fun for the kids.  They also do some sensory activities, sing songs and play with toys.  We’ll probably be at one every day in the winter.

 

Indoor Play Centers.  We went to a place called Monkey Bizness much more in the winter, but we still go every once in a while now too.  They have tons of playground equipment, so it’s a nice place to contain the kids and get some “mom talk” in with other moms.  Bonus that they have a coffee counter.

 

Parks.  Parks are a kid favorite.  You really can’t go wrong here unless you have a wondering child (like mine) and you don’t feel like chasing them the entire time you’re there or the equipment is too hot due to the warm temperatures.

 

Play dates.  I typically plan a couple play dates each week and we’ll either hang out at one of our houses or do one of these activities together.  It’s always fun to have another mom to hang out with.

 

Zoo.  The zoo is fun, but unfortunately for us, it’s about 30 minutes away.  We’ve gone a couple times this summer with some friends that live closer to there and it’s always fun, but then Aiden falls asleep in the car and that’s his nap for the day.

 

Children’s Museums.

 

Aquariums.

 

Botanical Gardens.

 

Walks with Friends.

 

Libraries.  I found a gem of a library about 6 minutes from our house.  It has a completely separate (huge) area for the children’s library complete with toys, activities, mac computers and tons and tons of books.  It looks like a great area to just hang out in.

 

Backyard Fun – Chalk, Sprinkles, Blowup Pools.  We do these things frequently in the afternoons after nap time!

 

Stroller Fitness Classes.  My good friend teaches this class about 20 minutes from our house and it’s fun too.  Sometimes working out outside with other mom friends is just what the doctor ordered.  If you’re local to Parker, check her out!

 

MOPS Groups.  MOPS groups are Christian based moms groups that meet twice a month for 2 hours.  They provide childcare so you can talk to other women, do crafts, listen to the speaker, eat breakfast and relax.

 

Mom’s Day Out Programs or Toddler Preschools.  Lots of churches and preschools offer programs where you can drop your kids off for a couple hours once a week or once a month – whatever meets your needs for a small fee.  I plan on enrolling Aiden in one of these in the fall for the structured learning and to give myself a little break as well.

 

Toddler Classes.  There are a whole myriad of classes available for babies, toddlers, and kids such as sensory play, gymnastics, music, sign language, dance, sports, yoga, cooking, etc.  In Denver, we have lots of independent places that offer these classes, but you can also check out your local recreation guide for less expensive ideas.

 

La Leche League.  I’ve been to a few LLL meetings and they are a fun way to meet other moms in your neighborhood if you’re breastfeeding or did breastfeed.  They have lots of good information too.  At our meeting, we mostly just talk about whatever anyone brings up.  They are informal and fun to attend.  They also have meetings all over the world, so you can definitely find one near you.

Here’s another post about Ways to Fight Boredom As A Stay-at-Home Mom.

That’s what we’re up to this summer!  I’m a little worried about the winter this year, but there are quite a few things that are indoors, so hopefully we’ll survive life without outside activities as much.

Questions:

What are your favorite activities to do this summer?

Anything I should add?

4 Responses to Activities to Keep You and Your Toddler Happy

  1. This is a great list! Saving this!

  2. Courtney says:

    This is a fantastic list! I wish we had two cars! Being stuck at home can be boring. I’m glad we have a big yard and a walkable park, and two dogs for entertainment. I don’t think I’ve explored our local options nearly enough.

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