10 things we try to do everyday
I suddenly realised it had been ages since I had written a kiddy related post and given this website is called 'Along came BELLA' I thought I'd better do something about that. Below I've listed 10 simple things we try and do everyday, I'm not an expert but being a full time mum means we are always trying to fill our time. There isn't a day where we don't leave the house (unless ill or snowed in) or see friends / family of some sort. So these are the things we do most days around our other activities:
1. Play outside
No matter the weather we love to be outside
Even in the depths of winter my friends and I would be wrapped up in the playground or looking for ducks in the lake near where we live. We'd then huddle into the cafe in the park for coffee and walk home in the dark at 4pm. Now summer is here it's obviously a lot easier to be outside, even if it's just kicking a ball around in the garden for 15 minutes, the fresh air outside is just as important to me as it is to Bella.
We try to look out for things like a bird or a plane in the sky, Bella is a bit obsessed with 'FLOWERS!!' at the moment and we often end up coming back with several daisies in the buggy. I find time goes so much quicker in these situations than when we're sitting indoors.
2. Eat a meal together
It's really important to us that meal times are a social time to talk and interact. If Phil and I are both at home we always eat our dinner at the kitchen table without any phones or TV and have a good chat about our days. I imagine when we have older children we will try and encourage this as a family. At the moment it's not easy to eat together at dinner time as Phil gets home just before if not after Bella's bedtime. So on the weekends (usually Sunday) we aim to have an early dinner with her at home or at a restaurant. In the week I try to sit and eat my lunch with Bella if I can. Breakfast is a bit tricky as I'm usually busy trying to sort out what we might need for the day ahead.
This is probably the one I forget to do the most but we love a boogie. Often after dinner when I'm starting to count down the minutes until bedtime I whack a tune on and we have a boogie. It also helps to tire her out just before bed. She absolutely LOVES some 80s Kylie Minogue!
Bella loves books and we spend a good amount of time reading books each day. I really think it has helped with her speaking as we often pause in a book and go through what we can see on the pages. This was how she really started to progress with her talking, looking out for 'trees', 'cars', 'doggies'....kids books are FULL of them.
5. Work on those motor skills
I'm quite relaxed about this but I think it's good to work on Bella's fine motor skills. Sticker books are a great way of doing this...
Or even just getting Bella to turn the page in the book we're reading or try and do her zip up herself. Oh and of course a bit of drawing with crayons ticks this box too. This will hopefully help with writing and other tasks in the future.
6. Playtime with other children
We are lucky to have lots of friends Bella's age that we spend a fair amount of time with. I read that children need to be a bit older before they will actually properly play games together. Often our playdates involve more wrestling over toys than the kiddos actually playing together but I think even the social interaction alone is vital - for me too. She also gets a lot of interaction with other children at creche, playgroups, soft play, swimming lessons and the farm.
7. Playtime Alone
For me it's important that Bella can play alone, she will at times sit and play with Duplo or her kitchen. She probably plays for 10 minutes max on her own and this will usually be when I quickly try and get something done like unloading the dishwasher or doing my make up.
8. Help tidy up
I try and get Bella to help tidy up her toys before she goes to bed, mainly so that she is in the habit of doing so as she gets bigger. At the moment she's obsessed with going in the utility room and 'helping' me put everything in the washing machine...we'll see how she feels about that in 10 years time....!
9. Have a sing
Whether in the car or at home we try and sing a few songs to her each day, she loves music and I think it helps with speech. In fact 'all day long' from 'the wheels on the bus' was the first 'sentence' (three words together) she said a while back. Here she is 'playing' our friends piano and having a sing.
10. Watch some TV
Controversial as it seems and this is not something I specifically try to do ever day, but most days Bella will have some screen time. Whether it's watching something while I'm in the shower, on a long car journey when she is bored or you know what? When I am exhausted after a day of entertaining her and I'm waiting for her Dada to get home. I make no apologies I whack on Ben and Holly so I can sit on the sofa for 15 minutes and take a few deep breaths.
Let me know what you do to entetain your toddlers!