I have quickly learned life with a toddler is…busy. Now that Ralph is on the go non stop, so are we. With Ralph wanting to be busy all the time and me wanting to keep his activities fresh for him, I wouldn’t say that it does not take a creative to come up with what I am about to tell you but I will say it is trial and error depending on the kid.
Thankfully we have a child who is obsessed, I mean OBSESSED with being outside and a yard that perfectly accommodates (and controls) his obsession but on days when it is raining (which has been a lot in Dallas lately), we really have to put our thinking caps on to keep him entertained and wear him out!
On the pretty Dallas days we spend literally every minute outside. We are able to open our backdoors and Ralph runs in and out all day long (except during meals and nap time of course). He goes down his slide, hits golf balls, kicks the soccer ball, chases the puppies, explores, digs in my flower pots, kicks the bushes, dances (we turn music on) and RUNS. To mix up his outdoor experience, we go on strolls to look for water, birds or airplanes and take him to the neighborhood park to play with his neighborhood friends. Another fun activity we took him to do this weekend was get a snow cone. Of course he had the tiniest portion (we don’t give him too many sweets because it hurts his tummy) but he was SO happy to be eating out of the cup like the ‘big kids’. Once the weather heats up we will be spending lots of time at the pool and lake (he started his second round of swim lessons last week) and I cannot wait!!!
On the rainy non outdoor days, we do everything from color (he sits in his high chair to color), put together puzzles, read (we do this daily regardless) play with cars, roll just about everything down his slide (he has this slide that we bring in and outside), play pretend in the kitchen, swing golf clubs (he swings his mini set non stop) and of course turn a movie on (he loves The Incredibles, Ralph Breaks the Internet, The Secret Life of Pets, Angry Birds and Boss Baby. To get him out of the house we usually go and get a juice, stroll around NorthPark and have even been to the Perot Museum (he LOVED the play area there). I have yet to bring him to a McDonalds on a rainy day but word on the street is that our little neighborhood location is quite happening when the weather does not cooperate! haha.
We take Ralph out to dinner at least 2-3 times a week but as my grandmother witnessed a couple weeks ago, these dinners are SHORT. We usually go about 5:15 or 5:30 and Ralph is a 45 min alarm clock. Once we hit that 45 min mark he is OVER it. The restaurants that we have been taking Ralph to are Lovers Seafood & Market, Mi Cocina, Mr. Mesero, Jose, TJ’s, True Food, City Cafe and Perfect Union. These restaurants are accommodating to the 5:30 crowd which is always refreshing.
Unintentionally, Ralph now has at least one activity a day. I didn’t have this master plan for him to be busy everyday but it’ just naturally happened and he could not be happier at these activities (especially when they are with his friends). These activities (rain or shine) include school a couple days a week (it’s only 3 hours each time), swimming lessons, music class and sessions with Mr. Donovan (highly recommend if you are in the Park Cities area).
I know this post is a bit verbose and nothing *new* in terms of things to do with your kids but as a first time mom, I am just learning and sharing my knowledge along the way. I mean a year ago Ralph had ZERO activities (he was only 8 months) and now we are always on the go. It is so amazing to me how much these littles change in such a short time frame.
Keeping your toddler busy is a lot of work and while I do always question if Ralph is having enough fun or am I keeping him busy enough, a friend reminded me last weekend that they don’t care, they love just being with you (mom) and playing. Happy Spring. xx