March 16, 2020
Staying Inside with your Little One – Our Survival Guide
So Mama, you have to isolate for a lockdown, or it's raining outside, or you have just decided to give the wide world a little space. Here are some ideas for what you can do with your little ones to get through. First though, before we get to the fun and games, make sure you get critical supplies and no we are not talking toilet paper, we are talking coffee, wine and chocolate.
If you are a Mama of a newborn baby use this time to rest as much as you can. Tell all visitors to stay well away for the time being. If family and friends want to help ask them to leave food at your doorstep.
Get a subscription to Netflix, put on your trackies and recovery pants and rest, rest and rest some more. Use this time to get to know your baby. Be sure to remember to have extra good hygiene and wash your hands regularly. Try and remain extra highdrated.
Spend some time looking after yourself. Paint your toes, make cups of tea and if you’ve got one in the cupboard you’ve been waiting to use, put on that face mask.
Spend time gazing into your baby's eyes and marvelling at your little miracle. Enjoy giving your baby long baths and baby massages. Walk your baby around your home and tell them about photos, flowers and things of meaning. Have FaceTime chats with family and close friends to stay connected to the outside world. Read your baby your favourite books - maybe a couple of chapters of your novel out loud, and a bit of Where’s the Green Sheep too. Now is a great time to do some handprint or footprint paintings, if you have gentle water-based paints to hand.
The days are long if you are stuck inside. But if you can, go out into the backyard and lay on the ground and look up at the sky. Talk to your little one about what you can both see.
Spend lots of time on the floor with your little one. See things from their perspective. Practice lots of tummy time, with baby on the floor or lying up your bent legs, looking at you or the world around. Practise sitting. Play games with your expressions to get a reaction and see if they will copy you.
- Make believe play
- Long baths
- Fill an empty box of tissues with scarves and show your baby how to pull them out
- Hop on you hands and knees and crawl about with them (or show them how to crawl!)
- Let them play with common household objects – pots and pans for drums, playing with pegs, picking up pompoms with tongs. Normal household items often end up favourite toys
- Stackable blocks and block sorters
- Finger foods
- Put all of their stuff toys into a washing basket and make a boat
- Make a birthday party for their soft toys
- Roll a ball to them
- Let them lie under a play gym
It is hard to be stuck in a house with an active toddler who needs to burn lots of energy. Here are some fun ideas to keep little hands busy:
- Set up an indoor obstacle course
- Star jumps, hopping, leapfrog
- Yoga (for Mama and little one!)
- Dress ups
- Make-believe play
- Make a cubby
- Let them play with a doll house
- Long long baths - with plastic toys eg. Duplo
- Let them help you cook (stir, add ingredients, chop with a toddler knife)
- Let them help you with daily chores – hang clothes on the washing line, fold face washers, put the washing detergent in.
- Tickle fight
- Play ball - practise throwing and rolling a ball back and forward to them
- Pretend to be their puppy dog
- Let them pretend they are a hairdresser
- Play Doh
- Hide and seek
- Sleep when they do
- FaceTime family and friends
- Simon Says
- Heads, shoulders, knees and toes
- Toilet training. If you think your little one is ready, you are short on nappies and need to be home, it could be a great time to start!
We won't lie, being trapped inside for a lockdown is going to be hard, but try and see it as a time to hibernate and let the rest of the world fall away.
Pop on your trackies and don’t worry about washing your hair. Spend time just snuggling and connecting with your little one(s). Don’t feel bad if you need to put Play School on for a little bit to give yourself some mental downtime – you will feel inspired for more fun and games after!
Remember, the best toy is you, and babies and children have never seen the world so they find wonder in the smallest things. Their favourite memories will be the moments between the moments. Take photos! Capture those little moments.
It too shall pass and until then don’t feel bad if you need to hide in the pantry and eat chocolate to get through.
Mama You've Got This
Christy Hopwood and