As Lily is getting older I find I’m having to get a bit more inventive with keeping her entertained at home. She started nursery/forest school in the new year, just a couple of mornings a week, so although we have less time to occupy she’s so worn out I’m realising quite quickly that she can’t necessarily manage with our usual soft play or walks on those days. And so, I’m having to make sure we’re entertained at home instead!
I’m not going to pretend for a second that I’m the sort of parent who is really strict about screen time because despite my pre-parent assurance that I would be, I’m definitely not. Most mornings CBeebies or a Sago Mini game on the Kindle is the only way I get certain things done. In the afternoon though we love getting snuggled under a blanket and watching a film on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Our favourite at the minute is Coco; the story is beautiful (and despite watching 400 times I always cry at the end!) and the graphics are incredible. Without fail Lily always says ‘woooooow’ at the part where the camera pans out to the Land of the Dead! Our tv definitely doesn’t do them justice and I can only imagine what they’d look like on something like the Oled Tv Panasonic.
Occasionally I’ll try my hand at being a Pinterest mum and make an activity for us to do together that’s targeted at a specific skill but to be honest the amount of effort that goes into it does not balance out the amount of time she’s interested in it! The one thing I do always search for more of are busy bag ideas. I’ve put quite a few together and they’ve seen us through flights, train journeys, appointments and many, many lunches where Lily would rather be running around pinching everyone’s cutlery. I always have at least one in my bag to whip out if we need it. Other than busy bags the only activities we’ve really loved doing at home are sorting ones. We have a stash of multicoloured pom poms to crack out for sorting activities and a big hit when Lily was younger was putting coloured ball pit balls into a cupcake tin! Here is my very optimistic and unrealistic board of kids activities if you want to have a go.
Baking is always something Lily is up for doing and fortunately having been a prolific baker in a past life, I am too! If I want to make it a longer activity we have a browse of my recipe books, find something she’d like to bake, write a list (I give Lily her own list she scribbles on) and we’ll go to the local shop to buy the bits before coming home to do the baking. I won’t lie, I do most of the actual baking, Lily is more in charge of spoon licking and sitting and watching the oven whilst asking me every three seconds if it’s ready yet.
The final activity we do on a regular basis is a jigsaw puzzle afternoon. We get all the jigsaw puzzles out and do them on the floor. This is a lovely one because she doesn’t always want me to be involved so I can be on hand to help if she needs it from the sofa with a cup of tea. Our favourite puzzles are the Melissa and Doug 4-in-1 wooden puzzles, Orchard Toys dinosaur puzzle and the Look & Find puzzles from M&S. The wooden ones are great but they last forever but she definitely prefers the larger pieces of the floor style ones.
Oh and whenever I need to put washing away or do something upstairs I make a den, shove some teddies and books in it and Lily can sit in there for hours!