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Tips to Keep Toddlers Entertained in the Car

Posted in Blog, Parenting

Day 19-11:58 p.m.-Yup, it’s late again. But it’s only because I have had a lot to do. I was running a bunch of errands this afternoon and luckily my hubby watched the toddler at home while I got a couple things done. But just running around town there was a ton of traffic. It got me thinking.

How do you keep toddlers entertained in the car?

1. Toys!-this is kind of a given. I keep a basket of toys in the back seat and shuffle through them as necessary. You can also switch them out every couple weeks so they stay new and fresh.

2. Clipboard-My mother-in-law gave my toddler a clipboard with paper and a ziplock bag full of pens. That way the kiddo can have a hard surface to color on. Just, maybe get washable pens in case they go crazy and draw on the car!

3. Water Wonder- If you don’t have this, you have to get it! This is a little “book” that comes with a special pen that you put water in. When they color with the water it creates pictures in the book. They have also included games for the older kids. Then, when it dries, you can do it all over again! Amazing! Best thing ever.

4. Magic pens-This is similar to water wonder except it is a book that has pictures. It comes with a magic pen that only will write on the paper in the book, not on your car or their hands or their face. Priceless.

So go out and pick these things up if you are going on a road trip r just going to the store. It sure beats them watching your phone!

Stay at Home Mom Tip I Discovered

Day 17-10:54 pm: So, you know how I’ve been saying we have all been couped up in the house because of the weather? It’s been so hard finding things to do and toys to play with. Even with all of the new toys she got over the holidays, it seems she likes to play with it for 5 minutes then on to the next thing. Also, my toddler has had a cold, so she has gotten a lot (too much!) screen time these past few days. So when she woke up from her nap and immediately grabbed the tablet to start watching videos, I couldn’t take it anymore.

I had to get out of the house.

So, after a brief temper tantrum when I took the “puter” away, I experienced more fussing when I tried to get on her shoes, then more fussing when I tried to put on her jacket. Then when I was putting on my shoes she took her shoes off, then her jacket. So I put them back on her. Then as I was putting on my jacket and getting her bag, she took them off again. Cue more fussing as I tried to get the shoes and jacket back on (note to self, get EVERYTHING ready to go before attempting to put on toddler’s shoes and jacket). 20 minutes later, we were ready to head out the door.

I decided to go to the library, as I had a few books I wanted to donate that were extras from my Little Free Library.

**Side note: a Little Free Library is a box that you put in front of your house where people can take or leave books for free. It is such a great addition to any community and I get so many families who say they love it! Check it out HERE!)

Ok, back to my story. As we were driving to the library (which is literally 3 minutes away), she said she was hungry. So we stopped and grabbed a snack (and mommy got a latte). Finally, we arrived at the library.

 Getting out of the house was a game changer.

Let me tell you, she had so much fun at the library! They have a little play area for the kids and are super chill when it comes to letting kids run around and have fun. Nobody tells you to “shhh” or stops your kid from running up and down the book shelves. They are the best! So, I let her pick out some books to take home. She played in the kids area, made some friends, and had an amazing time! We stayed for over an hour and she was perfectly happy and content. Guess what? So was I! I felt like I could really play with her and have fun. I was present in the moment. 

Then we found out they were having PJ Story Time. So we went home, had some food, then went back to the library after dinner for the story time. Our story time is kinda famous around here. The Library manager, this young guy, does story time on Fridays and literally hundreds of moms and kids show up. It is standing room only to see this guy! He sings songs, plays guitar, dances with the kids, and reads stories. The kids love him. So, he was doing this PJ Story Time and my toddler was jumping up and down, singing, and listening to the stories. Once again, we stayed for about 30 minutes and when we came home, she was tired and happy.

I seriously want to go to the library every night!

So moms, when you are feeling tired, or overwhelmed, I say get out of the house. Go somewhere your kid can be a kid. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. I’m not telling you to go to Disneyland. But, find some fun local activity where you can allow your kid to run around and be silly. And allow yourself to run around and be silly with them.

Put the phone down, and be present in the moment.

Afterwards, you will feel revitalized, joyful, and relieved. And exhausted, but that just comes with the territory.

Here’s to you getting out of the house, mamas!


Quiet Time Before Bed

Day 16-9:35 pm: Bedtime is something that is kind of crazy in our house. We always have good intentions. You know, bath, brush your teeth, read stories, and go to bed. Seems simple, right? Not to a toddler! There’s excuses for everything. I need water. I need to go to the bathroom. I need my doll. I just want to run around the house a be silly. And before we know it, it is 10:00 p.m. We are all exhausted.

I thought there has to be a better way.

So this evening, we tried something different. After dinner, we had “quiet time”. I read a book, my toddler had some screen time, and my hubby watched basketball. We all sat on the couch together for 20 minutes. It was so nice. It was great to be together. We all snuggled up and it was peaceful. I gave us all a chance to relax before bedtime.

I know screen time isn’t good before bed, but after the quiet time we still had our bedtime routine.

So, instead of running around the house, we are chill and relaxed.

You don’t have to let your kid have screen time, but just do an activity that is calm. My little one likes puzzles, or coloring, or play-doh. Anything where they are just sitting and being mellow. That doesn’t mean playing chase, or jumping on the bed!

This was just the first day we tried it, but I think we might continue to do it. I have to say she was still a little hyped up a bedtime, but she’s asleep before 10:00 p.m. So that’s great! Win for everyone involved!

What is your bedtime routine? Do you have any tips to calm your little ones down? Let me know if you have any ideas in the comments below!


Do you Really Need “Sleep”?

Day 15-11:58 pm: Well, it’s late. That’s because my toddler would not go to sleep! Seriously, it was close to 11:30 before she actually was asleep! What?! Maybe it had to do with the fact that she slept in this morning until 9:45. Or she woke up from her nap at 6:00. Regardless, as I lay in bed with her trying to get her to fall asleep, I actually fell asleep while she climbed all over me, and it got me thinking, do you really need “sleep”?

YES! You do need sleep!

It may feel like you are superwoman, from another planet, who doesn’t need to sleep. Or maybe you feel like you just don’t have time to sleep (that’s my excuse). But, let’s be real. You need sleep. And your kids need sleep.

It is so important for you, as a mother, to get sleep. It’s not only beneficial to your health, but it’ll make you a better mama. When I don’t get enough sleep, I am so much more irritable, I can’t focus, and I lack so much energy that is required to chase after a toddler. It’s not fair to me, and it’s not fair to her.

I want to be the mommy that rolls around on the floor with her, or chases her around the house as a “tiger”, or sits and does a puzzle without falling asleep.

And not only that, your body needs sleep to be healthy. If your body doesn’t get enough rest it can contribute to high blood pressure, or a weak immune system. So you’ll be catching every flu out there. No!!

Ok, enough with the lecture.

Mama, I just want you to remember that you are important too. And, you need to take care of yourself so that you can be the best mom, wife, and person you can be. Without sleep, you will not be your best self.

So please, put down the laptop, the phone, and the tablet. And get some rest! Because, you are worth it.

Ok, I’m going to take my own advice and put down the laptop and get some sleep!