I picked the title for the post because this is exactly what I googled about a month ago. I was in a stage when I would look at the clock, then calculate how many hours I had to entertain Ewan for before Steve finished work and I would then proceed with panicking. I felt like I had to be a one man show all the time.
It turns out the answer is simple, let them make a mess!
The messier the better.
During the week we go to a toddler group, swimming,library story time and a singing group and the thing he gets most excited about is ten yards away. When I suggest going into the garden he literally flaps with excitement and squeals ” sticks, stones, mmmeeeessssssss!” . Those three little words are all he wants. When I bring him to a wildlife park he will spend the time finding sticks and puddles!
When I googled “how to entertain a toddler” I think I was expecting to find a world of hidden gems, a key activity that would entrance him for hours on end and involved no effort on my part. Although I did find this which looks amazing generally the ideas aren’t revolutionary. When I scrolled through the blogs and forums I found suggestions like a sink of water, things with lid, putting things into other things I realised I was taking this entertaining idea far too literally. All toddlers want is to do is make a mess, explore but things into other things and be fed. For a brief time I thought that there was, or should be, more too it. But no, it turns out that a paper bag with receipts still in it ranks higher than a new truck every time!
Toddler groups are great for me because I have finally met some lovely people who I can chat easily with but for him he is happiest without all that laid on entertainment and is happy just filling his nails with mud, biting rocks and finding an “amazing stick”. The muddiest trips to the garden bring out his best smiles.
I’m sure this time will pass and sticks will be so last week but for the moment I’m loving how simple it is to just go outside and watch him make an utter mess.
Long may it last:)