After our lovely walk a couple of weeks ago I said I would let you know what we had got up to with our massive conker haul, and well here it is! We have been conker crazy in our house lately! Some activities have been more successful than others but we’ve had fun trying lots of things.
Being a SAHM isn’t always easy, but I do love it, for many reasons. One of the things I don’t love about being a SAHM though is the judgement that sometimes surrounds it. There has been a few things recently (including someone insinuating that I am a sponger because I don’t work) that has made me want to write this post about why being a SAHM works for me and my family.
Before I go any further, a little disclaimer, this is purely personal and all about me and my family. I do not believe all mums should be SAHMs and I am not judging anyone for the choices they have made or the way they think best to raise and support their families. Different strokes for different folks is what I believe but it can be difficult to talk about the positives of being a SAHM without being seen as judgemental or critical of working mums. That is not how this post is intended, it is purely about me and my family.
There were various things that affected my decision to be a SAHM. I wrote about it at the time here, when I first started this blog, but put simply, this is why I am a SAHM.
The financial side
I know I am very fortunate that we can afford to live on my husband’s salary alone. He has worked really hard to get where he is and works darn hard every day for a business he has built and believes in. Sometimes his head is so full of work it is hard to get him to step back and enjoy family time with us, but I know his work is a huge part of who he is and allows us to live the life that we do. We are by no means ‘well-off,’ we are fairly comfortable but we life on fairly strict budgets and are very careful with our money.
After Monkey was born we were undecided about whether or not I would go back to work part time as of course more money would make things more comfortable. Unfortunately when looking at childcare costs, they would pretty much have negated any earnings I brought in. I never earned a huge salary and particularly if I was part time I would not have earned enough to make it really worthwhile.
I know for many families there are grandparents willing to help but that isn’t the case with us. Monkey’s grandparents are all wonderful and supportive and he has a fantastic relationship with them. But none of them wished to be a permanent carer for him, week in, week out, and we didn’t really want that either. They have lives of their own and have done their years of child-raising, now they want to be the fun grandparents. I am not criticising anyone who does have grandparents who help out with childcare as again different things work for different people. It just wasn’t an option for us or our parents.
This comes back to how lucky we are that we can live on hubby’s salary and I don’t need to work. If we were not able to manage financially without my added income then of course we would have figured something out. I would have found a job working evenings, weekends or early mornings if necessary to fit around hubby’s work and cover costs. I have worked as a waitress and a cleaner before and would not be too proud to do so again if financially we needed it. If I had been the higher earner we would again have figured it out. But we don’t have to, thankfully, as I would hate to be passing my husband like ships in the night!
I know for some Mums, not working or earning money from an outside source leads them to feeling they aren’t contributing. I guess all I can say is that for me, while I know I am not contributing financially, I am contributing. By raising Monkey and looking after him myself full time, it means we don’t have to pay someone else to do it for us. So it comes full circle. I could be earning money but then it would be going out straight away to cover childcare costs, and what would be the point?
Well, I am sure some women would say that the point is that they love what they do, That they need the intellectual stimulation. That they would rather be at work than at home looking after children all day. I can understand that and again don’t judge any woman for making that decision. And I won’t lie, there are times that being a SAHM can feel monotonous, and it can be exhausting, and lonely. But, I do find the rewards of being a SAHM more than make up for it, for me. Plus there are ways to get that stimulation, to break the monotony, without having to go to work. Blogging for one! Or doing any hobby that interests and challenges you.
So what are the rewards of which I speak, well this is where I get really happy. This is where I get to the positives that make me smile and puff up my chest with pride.
Why I love being a SAHM
I know my child better than anyone else. I know how to get him to try something new (even when he is adamantly shouting no). I know his current favourites. Be it phrases, activities, colours. I am the one with him nearly all day everyday and I know how all of his little individual quirks and eccentricities. I was the one who was with him when he said his first word, when he walked for the first time, the first time he counted to ten. No-one else has told me about these developments, I have seen them for myself.
I get to teach him. And take pride when he learns things as a result of the activities we do. I taught him (gradually in a fun, playing is learning way) how to count to ten. We are now working on letters. I am also teaching him about the world, more and more every day. I am teaching him manners, how to treat other people, and how not to.
I’m not saying you don’t get to do these things when you are a working parent but it has to be a bit different when someone else is caring for your child for a significant amount of time. There has to be a level of trust there that they are teaching the same beliefs as you would. That your child doesn’t get away with things with their carer that they wouldn’t with you. For a control freak like me that would be a concern and I like knowing that Monkey is learning what we think is right (we may not get it right all of the time but we are finding our way and it is our way, noone elses).
We have fun and try new things together. One of the ways to break the monotony is by experimenting with new things. doing new things together. This blog is a great motivator for that too as I like to be able to experiment with crafts and activities and talk about them here. Plus there are so many other fab blogs with tonnes of ideas for things to do together! We bake, paint and draw. We build, read and talk. We go on walks and explore the world. I see the world through his eyes.
Even at the moment, at 8 months pregnant and pretty exhausted, I love being with him. I need more help with him at the moment but I miss him when he’s not here, and I love when he comes back. He tests my patience and exasperates me. Some days he drives me potty because he is 2 and can be really irrational and over complicate things. But he is wonderful and funny too. He is kind and loving, methodical and imaginative. He gives the best cuddles and has the most infectious laugh.
I love that I am lucky enough to be the one who sees him at his best, and at his worst. In a couple of years time he will be going off to school and as he gets older he will move slowly but surely further away from his Mummy. He will grow up. I love that I am lucky enough to be able to spend this time with him now. I cherish it.
Just as wanting to go to out to work doesn’t make you any less of a mother, wanting to stay home and raise my children doesn’t make me any less of a person. Any less intelligent or interesting. In a world where so much emphasis is placed on what you ‘do’ and how hard you work, it can be difficult to feel proud of being a SAHM. I sometimes feel that I have to justify to some people why I feel being a SAHM is the best thing for my family and I at the moment. I know I don’t have to, and I very rarely bother. If someone wants to pass judgement then go ahead… but deep down it does bother me. I can’t help it, it just does.
I don’t know whether I will be a SAHM forever, I imagine I will want to work maybe part time when the children are at school, but for now, I love being a SAHM.
My word of the week this week is acceptance.
Because, at the moment I am very much having to accept the fact that I am 32 weeks pregnant, I have SPD and I can’t do all of the things I want to do, or that I am used to doing. It’s frsutrating but there is not long left and I have to accept it.
Luckily we have a lovely supportive family to help and make sure Monkey is still entertained. Hubby has started taking Monkey to his Tumbletots class on a Tuesday in his lunch hour, because I just can’t physically manage it anymore! My parents have also started to take Monkey out on a Wednesday so he can get a run around and burn off some energy.
I am just a lot less mobile now as the pain is increasing so it is nice to know he still gets to have a run around, while I can stay home! He is a lot better at playing independently and staying at home more, but the longer we are stuck in the house the harder it is to keep him entertained, and his behaviour gets a bit more destructive and boisterous. Getting him out for even a short walk and a run around makes life so much easier. I am so grateful to my family for doing this as even a walk round the shops or round the block is getting very painful now and feels like a daunting prospect! I’m not sleeping well either and the tiredness is making it a bit harder to be imaginative with playtime ideas!!
I’ve also had to stop my morning walk with my neighbour. For well over a year we have gone for a 9am walk most mornings. It has been so good for us to get us out of the house and have a good old natter. It has been really lovely and I have been desperate to keep it going. The walks were getting more sporadic as I have had to miss days I have been in too much pain and even the days we have managed it, the walks have been getting shorter and shorter (and slower) as even on good days I can’t do much. What started off as a good 40 min walk of a couple of miles has become more like a 20 min slow stroll of maybe 1/2 mile?
For a while I think even that was doing me good but then I realised it wasn’t anymore and that actually I was ending up in quite a bit of pain afterwards, so we have officially put it on hold for a while! Another change I just have to accept.
I am still doing a lot better than I was in my first pregnancy, I am not on crutches yet and I am grateful for that. I am also massively grateful my supportive and helpful hubby, family and friends. It would all be much harder without them! There is not long to go now really and I just have to keep the goal in sight and accept that I can’t do as much as I want to do.
What is your word of the week?
I hate being late, I always have done. As a kid my Dad always took ages getting ready and so we were late to pretty much everything. Whenever we saw friends or went to events it was like a running joke “Oh it’s the Pardoes, late again!” As a kid, knowing that it was outside of my control I hated the mocking, whereas it never bothered my Dad. My Mum, brothers and I would often be sat in the car ready and waiting to go while he was pottering around getting himself organised!
Whether I would be so averse to lateness as an adult if it weren’t for this, who knows, but if anything now jokes are the other way round. It is extremely rare that I am late and often arrive at things early, and even if I try to be late (when it doesn’t matter) I rarely manage to be later than on time. It’s a bit ridiculous really but I actually find being late really stressful and I hate the thought of keeping people waiting. Thankfully hubby has similar feelings about lateness as I do though I can be a bit OTT if he is faffing slightly before we go somewhere – he is nothing like my Dad but I can over-react a little on occasion!
I have heard parents talk before about how they are never able to get anywhere ontime now that they have children, and I am not criticising, we are all different (and our kids are all different) but I haven’t found that to be true yet for me. Who knows, when I have two kids my anti-lateness feelings may crash and burn! If anything though I find it even harder to be late since we have had Monkey, because we are up so blimmin early in the morning!
One day, a week or so back, Daddy forgot his lunch. Monkey and I wandered over after we had eaten ours to take him something. Can’t have Daddy starving and luckily he only works a few minutes walk away. We stayed for a natter and a play and then headed home again. Monkey decided he wanted to walk rather than buggy it home, and I have no problem with that, although it took a little longer than normal, as he also decided it was time for a bit of a nature hunt!
It started off by looking at the flowers, then he decided he wanted to keep the pretty yellow flowers (aka weeds but who cares) so they got popped in his pocket. It was one of the wet cooler days so he had on his little raincoat and needed a bit of help opening the velcro pockets (especially when also clutching a stick in his other hand) but he very much liked patting them down again once they were safely inside.
Then he spotted some daisies, and well he has always loved daises, so a few of those got popped in his pocket too. As we wandered more and more got popped in his little pockets, including pine cones and twigs, and pretty soon we had quite a haul!
Just a cute little habit or the beginning of kleptomania? I’m only kidding.
We have done nature hints before but they very much led by me, so it was lovely to see him taking an interest himself. Plus it was a nice way to occupy him for a while!
Do your little ones like nature hunts?
I’m not sure if it is toddlers in general or just him, but Monkey loves helping. He can be getting in the way and under my feet but if I give him a job to do, he is so excited. He doesn’t always actually help that much but it certainly keeps him busy while I am getting something done, and he does look cute while he is helping! Plus I figure it helps him learn life skills. For example he likes cleaning up after himself when he has spilt something on the floor or on the table.
So anyway we were doing some tidying in the front garden last weekend, which involved a bit of chopping but mainly weeding. Rather than Daddy doing it all and me trying to entertain Monkey elsewhere, we figured we could get Monkey involved. His Granny & Granddad bought him some gardening bits for his birthday, which have mainly been used in the sand pit so far, and it felt like the perfect opportunity to do some gardening with them!
Yep, today my cutie pie little boy turns 2! Happy Birthday Monkey!
This is a little bit of a celebration of him at this point in his development – a bit of a special edition of his Mini Milestones, and mainly a way for us to look back in years to come I think!
Monkey is standing tall at 3’2″ which according to the percentile chart thingy (first time in ages I’ve even looked at it) he is above the 99.6th percentile line for height and means he could be a whopping 6’4″ as an adult! With a Daddy at 6’2″ we are not surprised he is tall, but he does feel crazily tall! We will see whether his growth slows down but he is nearly as tall as some of his 3 year old friends at the moment!
He may be advanced in height, but he still can’t jump. I think this is still quite normal (?) at this age and he just doesn’t seem to get it, bless him, it is funny seeing him try though!
He is getting more coordinated now and can walk up the stairs with one hand on the hand rail and one hand holding mummy or daddy on the other side. He will be going up a class at tumbletots after half term, which is very exciting, and a bit nerve wracking for mummy as it is a bit more structured I think!
His dance moves are coming on too, and now he does the dance moves to lots of songs (not just wind the bobbin) and actually joins in with other people doing the moves, rather than just staring at them then later doing the moves on his own to the music in his head!
He is learning to climb in and out of the bath himself (using his stepstool) and is gradually learning how to get clothes on and off. He is trying to master pulling his trousers up at the mo, though he struggles to get them over his bum! We need to encourage this more really rather than just doing it for him, which is less time consuming and easier for us, but doesn’t help him learn the life skill!
It’s also worth saying that Monkey loves running – particularly on the grass, and he looks like Phoebe in Friends – where her arms and legs are flying everywhere? It’s so cute and he loves it so much, so we do too :).
Oh and he finally likes ride-ons and is figuring out how to make them move. He hated them, anything cars, trucks, bikes, anything for such a long time, then when he did like them, he could only work out how to go backward! He can now go forward and is getting better all the time, so yay! Definitely a sign his coordination is improving!
Speech & Cognitive Development
We are getting there with his speech, slowly but surely. “I don’t know” is still his favourite phrase, along with the word ‘no’ of course! Oh Wow and Oh dear are other favourites. He tries to say lots of other words but doesn’t really manage yet. But he can now roar like a lion and make monkey noises, which are very fitting ;). He also chatters away to himself, and sings nonsensical songs and counts with lovely noises instead of words. So we are getting there and I know he’ll be a right little chatterbox eventually! He understands so much and can point out lots of things in his books (he very much enjoys doing this!)
His imaginative play is really coming along, which I have to admit, I love! For ages he has loved playing on the telephone..
and feeding his toys
and playing with his cars. But it has taken a bit of a leap in that he now ‘walks’ his toys around. Postman Pat and Teddy are now often to be seen walking up and down chairs and the sofa. His favourite thing at the moment is giving mummy teddy to cuddle, then rushing in to get in on the cuddle action too It’s dead cute!
There’s a lot more understanding too. Not just with language but with reasoning. he now loves wearing his sunglasses outside as he seems to finally understand that they help stop the sun getting in his eyes.
He also is suddenly ok with Daddy washing his hair! After, well, basically his whole life so far, of hating having his hair washed, he now finally understands that if he looks up and tips his head back, the water doesn’t go in his eyes! That is literally a recent development this week, but a very, very, welcome one!!
After being knocked over by a big kid at the park weeks ago, Monkey has been quite wary of other kids, especially at play parks. It’s amazing how such a little thing can have such a big effect. He is getting a bit better now but he’s still wary, particularly of kids he doesn’t know, but even if his friends climb up behind him on a climbing frame, he panics and pretty much throws himself off it into my arms, not good. In contrast though, aside from being scared of kids coming up behind him, he has been playing really nicely with his friends. He is a lot happier playing side by side, and he LOVES holding hands with his friends and even gives kisses and cuddles when it’s time to go home.
Always a good sleeper (as long as it is in a bed) Monkey still sleeps for a good 12 hours at night and 2-3 hours for his nap during the day, even know he’s in his bog boy bed! He doesn’t have a duvet and doesn’t like anything covering him while he sleeps. He has grown out of all his sleepy bags which he would tolerate and while he’s happy with the duvet being on the bed, so far he doesn’t like it covering him while he sleeps. We will see how we get on with that in colder weather! Still no pillows yet, but he likes sleeping on his blankie and to be well surrounded by his favourite things!
We have been doing a bit better again with food lately after a bit of a fussy stage and mummy and daddy needing to reestablish the rules. He is staying at the table more and actually ate meatballs and pasta in a tomato sauce for the first time that I can remember! So that was pretty amazing! He’s not perfect though, there are still some meals he won’t eat and we have to be careful how much, if any, snack he has in the afternoons or there’s no chance he’ll eat his dinner.
On the whole Monkey is pretty good. He’s a toddler so he has his moments but as long as we are firm with him he will usually do as we ask. The occasional temper tantrum is him running off to hit a door or something, then he starts giggling. I’m not sure if he’s laughing at himself or pulling an ‘aren’t I cute?’ act because he knows we love his giggles. Either way it defuses his temper, though not mine! Most of the temper tantrums are still food/tiredness/poorliness related and so end in tears. Anything else – over wanting something he is not allowed, is usually very short lived so far. We’ll see whether the terrible twos hit us soon!!
We are trying to teach Monkey about tidying up one set of toys before getting out another. I.e. putting away all the duplo before getting all of the brio out too. Sometimes he is very good with this, other times he does not want to help at all and stubbornly refuses. If I persist though we do usually get there in the end, after a few mini tantrums about it!!
Monkey currently LOVES:
Playing in the sand (and anything that is a bit messy, really!!)
Playing with Play-doh
Anything Red & Yellow
Watching Peppa Pig – she may even be replacing Postman Pat in his affections!!
His current fave books are “Each Peach pear Plum” and “The Rhyming Rabbit” but there are lots and lots of books that mummy and daddy now know off by heart!
I’m going to stop there, though I feel I could go on for ages in these posts with all the little things he does. It’s amazing when you stop and think about how much they can do, that they couldn’t quite do before!
I can’t believe that our little Monkey is 2 already! He is growing up so quickly all of a sudden! He got a birthday card at Tumbletots yesterday and I must admit I almost cried! Soppy Mumma! I blame the pregnancy hormones! We had a mini party with his friends on friday (pics will be up in a couple of days) and the family are all round at the weekend, which will be lovely
It’s Monkey’s birthday this week, which also means I have been a SAHM for 2 years. Technically not really as I was obviously on maternity leave to start with and I didn’t 100% decide not to return to work until my time was nearly up. But I have been at home with Monkey for 2 years so I am classing all of that time as SAHM time.
And you know what, I think I’ve come a long way from where I’ve started. I by no means have the whole domestic goddess SAHM thing down, but I think I’ve adjusted pretty well to life away from work. To life revolving around nappies, food, soft play, toys and tidying. With a bit of cooking and baking fun thrown in. (If you would like to read more about how I made my decision to be a SAHM, you can do so here. I have nothing against working mums at all, this is just about my decision.)
Here’s what I have learnt is necessary to survive over the last couple of years.
1 – GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. Sorry to shout but seriously for me the most important thing is to get out of the house. Even if just a walk around the local area. Even if just a walk around a supermarket if it is wet out! A change of scene can work wonders and unless I have some amazing activity planned (and even then to be honest) I try and get out of the house every day. Even if only for a little while. Honestly, it keeps me sane. Most of the time this involves play dates or seeing grandparents or going to a baby group.
2 – Routine. This may just be a me thing as I am a planner by nature, but without the structure of going to work every day and doing things at certain times, it’s easy to feel a little lost. Obviously there are different opinions about routines for kids, I’m not going to get into that too much but routines work for Monkey and they work for me. We are both happier when we are on routine. I’m not talking strict, down to the minute rules, but a vague plan of rough times, and certain things on certain days. Again I know some people would find this too constricting, but for me, it really, really helps.
3 – It’s not easy and that’s ok. I spent a lot of time early on worrying about trying to be supermum, which I’m not, and actually I don’t think anyone really is. I sometimes feel that being a SAHM isn’t just about looking after your little one, as you suddenly feel that because you’re at home all the time, that you should also take the responsibility for having a spotless house. Unfortunately, at least when little one is a baby or a toddler, it is fricking hard work, if not impossible to keep the house spotless while entertaining/feeding them, and staying sane. It’s ok if your house often looks like a bomb site, but it’s also ok to try and keep it tidy. Or do a bit of both depending on how knackered you are!
4 – Mummy friends are so important. I’m lucky that a few friends from work had children a little before me, and we have gotten really close over the last couple of years. It is fab to unburden yourself with people who know what you are talking about. They don’t have to be SAHMs too, mine are all working mums, but they are still mums! They remind me I am not alone and when I am struggling with something it is so great to hear their experiences and share ideas! They may not always be able to help, but at least they can lend an ear. If you don’t have many mummy friends, it is worth trying to befriend some at baby/ toddler group of some kind. I’ve written before about finding confidence as a Mum/SAHM but it is important sometimes to break out of your comfort zone and get that support from other mums.
Blogging and the world of social media is also fab for this and I have loved connecting with so many other lovely, wonderful and supportive mums out there – and I wish I had joined this awesome community earlier!!
5 – Get some me time. It’s easy to feel guilty about taking some time for yourself, but when you are a SAHM and your whole life basically revolves around the house and your child, it is so important to take some time for yourself. I’m not saying it is less important for working mummies, and I can only talk about my experience, as a SAHM. I go for ages with no me time as weekends are filled with family time, or catching up on housework while Monkey has some daddy time, but it’s inevitable that after a while I become a grumpy mummy! And it’s because I need some time to myself. It doesn’t need to be a lot of time – just a wander round the shops sans-child, with just my own thoughts, or some good music for company is really restorative. As is sitting quietly watching a film. I suppose it’s just having the ability, even for a little while, to do what YOU want. Not what needs doing, not what anyone else wants to do, or what you think someone else will enjoy. What you want that you know you will enjoy, without worrying whether anyone else is enjoying it too!
On the whole, once I figured out the above survival methods, I have loved being a SAHM. It can be hard sometimes, and it can be boring sometimes. Not particularly the time spent having fun with Monkey, but the endless cleaning and tidying, and the quiet times. It doesn’t have the same mental stimulation that working did, if I’m honest. But, then that’s why I blog! And spend time trying to come up with fun activities for Monkey.
I have loved that I’ve been the one with him all time time. I’ve been the one who helped him learn to walk, and who heard his first words. I know all of his quirky habits and how much he loves numbers. I know him inside out and love the connection we have. He has a lovely relationship with his daddy of course, and he’s a toddler so he can be frustrating at times but on the whole I do find spending my time with him very very rewarding and I love being his mummy.
Now that he’s getting older I have thought once or twice about returning to work. With a new baby on the way it’s a bit of a moot point really and I’m not sure what I would do if we weren’t planning on another child, but I may have thought about something part time by now. Though returning to work would be a bit of a change again after this much time at home! As it is though I am happy at home and looking forward to at least a few more years as a SAHM.
To finish off the post I thought I’d pop in a few shots of Monkey and I together over the past 2 years…
Ages ago I saw that Karen at Let Kids be Kids had a fab idea for making indoor snow using shaving foam and the wonder that is cornflour. We’ve not really used shaving foam yet in our messy play so immediately pinned it and decided to have a go too. I even bought the shaving foam and bits ready, but you know things get busy sometimes, and it just never happened. I also knew it had to be at a time when I was fully committed to Monkey getting really messy, and to dealing with the clean up afterwards! Possible one of the reasons for not attempting it.
One rainy day recently I mentally geared myself up to do it with him…. then we got an invite out with a friend and her little one, and as I like to have company and get out as much as possible, we jumped at the idea. But having geared myself up for the messy play I was slightly disappointed that it wasn’t going to happen.
I have been trying to give Monkey an activity to do every afternoon after his nap at the moment, as we were finding he was sat in front of the TV snacking and then not wanting to eat his dinner, whereas if I keep him occupied he forgets about snacking and can then hold on until teatime/ The problem is that at my current point in this pregnancy I am absolutely shattered in the late afternoon, around 5 pm ish, and sometimes have dizzy spells, so it can be a bit tricky keeping him occupied when I am at my lowest ebb.
But that afternoon I went it for it. We came down after a few stories in his bedroom after his nap, and decided to get stuck in. I decided the kitchen was probably the safest bet for this activity, with the foam element, as at least we were near a sink and various towels etc! I’d also asked daddy to get the baby bath out of the loft as I thought that is a good size as a tub for him to lean in and get stuck in with.
We started off with foam, which Monkey really liked the feel of (I just used a value brand for cheapness).
We then added a load of cornflour. I was a bit vague on quantities so just added more and more gradually, talking about how it felt each time. (Me doing the talking, Monkey isn’t at that stage yet – when I sked him how it felt I got his current favourite answer to everything of “I don’t know!”)
It is a great combination but I think I ended up going too far with the cornflour, as it ended up more like sand with the consistency of cloud dough rather than snow, not that there was a problem with that! He was loving it and at this point it all got tipped out of the bath and onto the tuff spot and covering himself in it! I used a can of shaving foam and nearly a whole box of cornflour, whereas maybe if you stopped at half 0r 3/4 of a box it would be better.
This was also the point daddy came home and joined in the fun. We wanted to show daddy the fun with the shower foam too so we got out another can and sprayed some more foam.
Then we decided to add some liquid food colouring – we tend to use the gel stuff for baking these days so it was really going to waste otherwise.
Then daddy was making Monkey giggle by dropping big lumps of foam from really high up and making it ‘splat!’ in the bowl. Lots of good fun.
So it didn’t exactly go quite to plan, but we really had a lot of fun – especially Monkey, though Daddy was happy he got to join in when he came home too
Hasn’t this year just been RIDICULOUSLY wet so far? Honestly! Our little part of the country is by no means the worst hit, if anything we’ve got off fairly lightly, but there has still been far too many rainy days for my liking! I make no secret of the fact that I have to get out of the house every day for the sake of my sanity. Even the prospect of an entire day at home with just Monkey and I is enough to put me in a grump. So rainy days are not good for me, far too much time spent indoors. We’ve still got out and about a lot in between all the rain but there has also been a lot of time spent playing indoors.
All this time spent indoors has led to a lot of clutching at straws for things to do, without spending a fortune on toys. He has got a lot of toys of course but there’s only so much variety and he is always looking for something new to do. So here is a little list of some of the things that have been keeping Monkey occupied without spending any money!
Since we started getting Monkey involved in cooking and baking (to help with the fussy eating) he loves it in there and wants to be stood on his little step stool at the worktop ALL the time. So we spend a lot of time in the kitchen these days, which is where many of these activities take place. This is also great as it may give you ways of keeping your little one occupied if like Monkey they tend to harass you while you’re cooking dinner!
Filling and pouring. We do this with lentils, rice, flour, pasta, anything really. We have a little funnel, an empty vanilla extract bottle, an empty spice jar as well as bigger bowls and cups etc. It goes everywhere but he loves it and it’s easily tidied up with a dustbuster! He puts things in bottles, he tips them out, he moves them from one thing to another, just a great way to learn how things work really. He plays with some chopped vegetables and potato peeling etc. too.
Spaghetti is great for them to explore – Monkey loves posting it through a Colander (great for fine motor controls) and snapping it and sorting it and putting it in the bottle or jar. We’ve also played with cooked spaghetti which is fun.
Stacking and sorting. We got some cheap ikea cups and bowls ages ago which stack really nicely and Monkey loves organising things! Tins are a great way of keeping him occupied at the moment, he loves making a tower of tins! It concerns me when the towers get tall that the heavy tins will fall on him, but so far so good.
Banging – cake tins, saucepans, bowls, spoons, so simple but so much fun. Monkey was loving this the other day and I got some of his musical instrument toys involved too and we had a fantastic impromptu music session in the kitchen. Lots of fun!
Oh and spoons make a great noise when they are dropped on the floor!
The kitchen isn’t the only place with fun to be had though, who doesn’t love a den?
Cardboard boxes are great too, we’ve had one for so long now that it’s lost all shape and doesn’t stand up unless you hold it, but Monkey still loves crawling through it as a tunnel and drawing on it.
I really hope this weather improves soon but in the meantime why not check out some of the other indoor play ideas we have had fun with in the past.