It’s every mother’s conundrum: on the one hand, you really want to engage with your toddler (plus, you understand that connecting physically, and through fun, makes for a stronger emotional bond). But on the other hand, you simply do not have the bodily resources to stand and swing your little guy (or girl) for one more second. Not to worry, the following games for toddlers are a happy compromise that will make sure both your needs are fulfilled!
What little person doesn’t consider a bath with mom to be the ultimate privilege? Throw in some bubbles, and it becomes even more exciting. This is actually multitasking at its finest: on the one hand, you’re getting through one of the most challenging chores of the day, but you also get to do your own ablutions (bonus! One less thing to do before bed tonight) and enjoy a long soak – all while making your toddler feel loved and supported.
Hook up an audio book
You already know the benefits of reading to your child, but you also know that you can’tj dredge up the energy to make the special dragon’s voice in Room on the Broom. The solution? Audio books. Download a favourite, and you can both lie down together and relax.
Spas and salons
Your little girl is going to love this one! She’ll get to be a pretend ‘therapist’, bringing you a bowl of water to soak your tired toes and rubbing your shoulders, while you get to enjoy an at-home spa treatment.
You could also set up a restaurant: set out a plate of biscuits (to be brought to you by your little waiter) and indulge in your tea-time treat while he checks on you from time to time, to see if you need anything else.
The marble run
Ok, this requires an upfront investment of your time, but we promise it’s worth it! Store up enough toilet rolls to create a fairly long run. When you have enough, cut them in half, and tape the halves to a wall in an arrangement of your choice. Remember to tape each roll close enough so that the marbles are able to run through them, but also to create a few twists and drops. Now sit back and watch while your little one is spellbound by his marble race.
In her 16 years as journalist, Lisa Witepski’s work has appeared in most of South Africa’s leading publications, including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Entrepreneur and Financial Mail. She has written for a number of women’s magazines, including Living & Loving, Essentials and many others, across topics from lifestyle to travel, wellness, business and finance. She is a former acting Johannesburg Bureau Chief for Cosmopolitan, and former Features Editor at Travel News Weekly, but, above all, a besotted mom to Leya and Jessica. Lisa blogs at whydoialwayscravecake.blogspot.com and lisa.witepski.blogspot.com, and tweets at @LisaWitepski.