Right.  It’s November.  It’s double nap transition time.  I’m going insane.  Help me.

What the hell can you do with a baby and a toddler that they both enjoy and neither sabotages for the other?  This is not a rhetorical question.  I don’t, in general, intend this to be a didactic blog but in a minute I’m going to list the things that I do with my baby and toddler, when they are both awake and it’s raining.  Please add more.  Please.  I’m begging you.

So here we go.

Things That Work.

Watching telly (guilt inducing).

Singing and dancing with tambourines etc (this is a good one, except that Ziggler always has a secret, clear-to-her and complicated plan about exactly what and how I should be singing which I’m afraid I can just never live up to).

Seeing how high Ziggler and I can build a tower of bricks before Pickle knocks it down (again, slightly guilt inducing as it requires ganging up on one child, really).

Playing with the foil blanket out of our first aid kit (they will do this for hours, but I hope the fact it now has teeth-marks in it doesn’t affect its efficacy in an emergency).

Bouncing on the spare bed (the other day I tried dimming the lights, singing a lullaby and playing ‘let’s pretend we’re asleep’ but Ziggler got wise to my enforced nap attempt)

Building a tent.

That’s it.

Things that don’t work

Baking (Ziggler and I can do it but Pickle either stands wailing at the baby gate or wanders around the kitchen eating cat food, touching the oven and trapping her fingers in cupboard doors.  And yes I do have safety catches but, as I’ve said before, she’s a genius).

Playing board games (covered earlier in this blog).

Colouring in/painting until Pickle stops eating everything.

Playdoh (see above).

Trying to do any kind of housework whatsoever.  Or attempting any essential personal admin including planning a fricking wedding argh.

Various other things that I’m actually getting irritated thinking about.

So.  Please.  This is a cry for help.  Activities for an extremely bossy 2 and a half year old and a nearly-one-year-old who is what they call feisty.  In a relatively small house.  In the rain.  I’m not bothered about mess.  Thank you very much.




About vickola

Bad housewife.
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18 Responses to SOS

  1. mummybigbum says:

    They’re expensive, but get some Gymboree Oodles Bubbles (online). Totally worth it, you can limit the amount of bubble solution in the bottom tray so Ziggler can be in charge of blowing the bubbles for Pickle without tipping the whole lot on the carpet. The weird want thing makes loads of tiny bubbles that are ace for popping and when they land on the floor they’ll stay overnight if left (great if you have wood/lino/tile floors – swish a toddler about on it: instant clean).

    Sam is exactly the same when we put on little ‘concerts’ (for ourselves) – I ALWAYS seem to be doing the wrong thing.

    Ooh try switching the lights off and playing with torches.

    Errmmm…the fact I can’t think of more reveals that despite only having one, I too lack inspiration sometimes on rainy days!

  2. mummybigbum says:

    *weird WAND thing – not ‘want’

  3. Jennifer says:

    My baby is a bit younger than yours, but I agree it’s so frustrating trying to entertain a toddler and a baby at the same time. I get annoyed because I want to do fun things with the more interesting older one like baking, crafting etc. and it just doesn’t work with a whinging baby in the background. She is fairly contented and will sometimes sit and watch the older one, but I still need to be giving her most of the attention.

    How about a big bowl of dried pasta and some pots, diggers/dumper trucks to play in it with (I can’t remember when my son started to enjoy that but I think that he was about the same age as your baby).

    If you can stand the inevitable mess, a big bowl of water and some cups or other bath toys (or even just put both in the bath).

    We sometimes have a picnic party in the living room with a special rug on the floor and then I cut up the food into little pieces laid out in seperate bowls. I even trust my toddler with a cocktail stick to pick up little pieces of cheese etc., he seems to like that. The baby might like the finger food.

    Other than that I’m stumped too, so will be checking back for more suggestions!

  4. Anna says:

    Feeling guilty because I’m planning to steal the foil blanket idea, and don’t have anything to contribute in return. Erm. Looking at photos of themselves on the computer? My worryingly solipsistic toddler will do this for hours.

    • vickola says:

      Ooh I forgot to mention the photos-of-self phenomenon. Also watching babies laughing on ‘youtube’. As for nicking the foil blanket idea… I nicked it myself. So you’re welcome to it.

  5. Jess says:

    Gluing and sticking at the table. Mini one sits in high chair with the phone book/ magazines and tears them to pieces/ eats the paper whilst you and older one do gluing and sticking.
    Playing hide and seek
    Sorry no more to add – I normally look to you for inspiration as mine are same age difference just a few months behind…

    • vickola says:

      I will try the glueing. Never know if I ought to be more concerned about what Pickle eats. Good to hear other babies are allowed things that are not strictly foodstuffs.

  6. Shoshanna says:

    My son loves stickers and has yet to ingest one despite being quite mouthy. We’ve recently discovered reusable vinyl stickers (Peppa Pig and a firehouse set are big hits). They come with a scene page or two to stick them on, but the stickers actually work much better on windows and mirrors, so he will spend a good bit of time sticking them on and pulling them off.

    We also got a super cheap outdoor pool (very small — like 1 meter across) and filled with a bag of those little balls you see in play centres. He jumps in them and throws them gleefully, but they’re soft enough not to break anything. has lots of learning games — I feel less guilty having him watch/do those on the computer than I do when he watches telly.

  7. Shoshanna says:

    PS Check out, a blog from a childminder with heaps of experience entertaining 4 to 6 little people at once (yikes!). She puts crafty activity stuff up regularly.

  8. Amanda says:

    We had a toy kitchen and I endured many a boring afternoon of having them ‘make’ me food and then stand over me as I pretended to eat all their offerings. Woebetide me if I didn’t pretend to eat every piece of food, with appropriate ‘yummy’ noises! It was deathy boring, but I got a few moments peace while they took away one plateful and brought back the next. I have boys though, so maybe your girls would spend longer over the actual ‘cooking’ of the food? You can only hope….

  9. How about, filling ice cubes trays with small toys and flowers so they can watch them melt in the bath.
    For the high chair bound one, if you’ve got something on the go with the older one, why not tie small toys to the high chair with coloured ribbons for them to throw off and haul back in. You’ll need to supervise of course!
    Don’t forget the Pre packed pastry and cookie cutters! Both of them can use it, play with it and then you can bake it.
    Its too early for my brain to think of anymore but I hope they help.

  10. vickola says:

    Great ideas. Thanks. I shall report back with some results sometime.

  11. Thanks for this post, I’m busily writing down ideas myself. None to contribute though, sorry! I need help too as my littlest one (7mths) is just starting to be awake longer in the day and need entertaining at the same time as the toddler. Eeeeeek!

  12. Fin says:

    Jelly on a large tray with cheap sea creatures or dinosaurs in it can be fun and is edible.

    Also cornflour with water is magic (&makes your nails really strong as a bonus). The older one can add food colouring to the cornflour and make pretty patterns

    I am loving your blog by the way.

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