Tiring out a toddler
I’m no expert on this, and I am learning all the time, but here is a list of things I do to try and tire the toddler out. My list may be the same as your list, but there might be a few ideas you don’t do at the moment, and I know I am always up for extra ideas on this one, especially free ones.
The aim of tiring her out is that she goes to bed easier, she eats better and her behaviour is better. This dosen’t always work, there is a fine line between tired and over-tired but most are worth a go if you’re out of ideas. The toddler I am dealing with is VERY active, but then, isn’t that most toddlers?
Walking the dog. A bit hit and miss this one, because it can result in one long moan, especially if it is too cold/hot/windy but can work if you time it right. Toddler class-we do ‘Musical Bumps’ and it’s great but there are lots of alternatives. Prices can creep up a bit so we don’t do meny in a week. Swimming. Usually results in a very tired toddler. Even half an hour can do the trick.Trampoline Park. A bit controversial this one, and on the expensive side so we keep it to occasional trips.Horseriding. Well, she’s 2, so sitting on a horse for a bit, but still, drains her energy because she is so focused. Trip to the market/shop. We nip out to the local one and make her walk (rains needed for this one). She also likes to carry something home usually. T.V. There are any number of T.V. Shows that include movement. Tree Fu Tom is one, Justin's House is another. We learnt today that any film with dancing in, especially dancing children, and she will get up and dance about. For her birthday we got her a small MP3 player. Plays out loud, literally has stop, play & volume on it & stores about 70 songs. We got it cheap and unbranded from eBay. It’s not like she is left alone with it and it’s too big to swallow. She jumps about and dances to that quite happily. Housework. Cooking, she can’t do much but she loves to help. Last week I had to distract her for some reason and she spent ages putting cubes of raw chopped veg into the slow cooker and stirring it about. She loves to help baking, loves to sweep (you just have to dodge the other end of the brush) and she’ll do the washing up for you if you don’t mind re-doing it again later. Meeting new people. Always drains her meeting new people because it takes her a little while to warm up to them. Little people are especially good for tiring her out.The dreaded soft play. Take reinforcements in the form of another parent to roll your eyes at and another child to chase your child about. At least one of each.The Park. Take reinforcements as above. Go in winter too-just put a puddle suit on them. Slides are more fun when extra slippy anyway! Errands. My mum and I once spent a whole morning sending her between us up and down the garden with one twig at a time in her wheelbarrow. She never got bored and slept a treat after. I don’t think it’s wrong to make up jobs to keep her entertained.Libary/children’s centre. These places often have groups or activities you can take small people too and they are free! Find out what is on, but choose carefully. I used to take The Girl religiously to rhyme time at the library and one day, it just stopped being appropriate and she just ran around like a crazy thing. It might work for her again in a few more months, but probably not yet. I’m desperate for her to start gymnastics club but most won’t take her until she’s 3! Watch this space!
The Boy pretty much just gets towed around after her, whatever she is doing. Thankfully he is still at an age (for now) when just watching stuff is interesting for him and uses up his energy. Plus, for both of them, anything outside is normally a good thing. Something about outside air, especially fresh air in a park or countryside helps with both of them. Shifts their mood or helps them drop off later. Of course there are often other circumstances at play that can effect sleep or eating etc, but on a ‘normal’ day (is there such a thing) any one of these can help.
What do you do to entertain your toddler?