Friday, March 7, 2008

One of the best ideas my mom ever had

You guys know how I've been working on being a more intentional mom, right? Well, now I need help with what to do. Yesterday, I was praying about what we should do that day and the Lord impressed on my heart, "just play with them". So, we rode bikes down to the park, played a version of tag there, came home and played hide and go seek and read, I think, 100 books. Here's my problem, I run out of ideas!

You see, my kids are really too young to play most of those games. Hide and Go Seek is especially interesting! When it's my turn to hide, I get great spots (of course), but then Dumptruck (our dog) kept giving me away! Then, Brayden would say, "it's my turn to hide! Mama, I'm going to hide in the closet just like you" aagh! I tried to tell him that's not really how the game is played. So, it kind of becomes a game of tag. . .it doesn't really matter b/c it was fun anyways. However, they only have a 10 min attention span so to spend 3 hours playing, I need approx 24 ideas!

Here's where my mom comes in. . .My favorite memory of my mom's mothering would have to be our "rainy day box". This was a simple, old crayon box (oh, what I wouldn't give to own that box today) that she filled with FUN ideas to do on a rainy day. Then, when us kids couldn't figure out what we wanted to do, we could just pick one. That especially settled any arguing between the 3 of us girls! And, let me tell you, these were FUN activities: drawing in shaving cream, dressing up in her clothes, stuff like that.

Here's my problem: my kids are too young for the fun activities I come up with! All the ones I remember are from when I was in gradeschool. So, if you have fun, interesting ideas that can be done with two 2 year olds and a 3 year old, please leave them in the comments section!


Jess said...

Play doh,making cookies,coloring with markers on the back glass door as it rains,Movies with pop corn,house...reading multiple books.........
I am out,those are the things we have been doing this week. Yesterday she rode her bike too and I think I may just be able to go running with her she is getting really good. Also, I found that when making the cake yesterday it helped to have everything measured out ahead of time, that way she really could dump stuff in. Have fun!

Amber Shimel said...

I also run out of ideas, but if I ask Noah, he always has suggestions. He loves to help me cook (although I know you don't do that too often), line up his cars in a row, play with blocks, chase each other (crazy running in circles around the couch, trying to catch each other), dancing to loud music... I'll be checking back here to get some more suggestions!

Missy said...

You know my solution, put em in the tub with lots of bubbles and kitchen utensils (not knives silly, wooden spoons and spatualas) and cups.

I spy is fun anywhere, at home, in the dr's office...

I'll think about it and get back to you.

S and K said...

My big kids are loving hide-n-seek but my little kids LOVE to build towers w/ these cardboard blocks we have and then knock them over. SO, I think we paid like 15 bucks for 55 huge blocks.
We also have beach parties in the bathtub w/ swim suits on. Of course that's usually after the beach parties we have at the beach!
I agree on the dancing idea... my kids love to listen to loud music and dance.
We also play hide the bear.

blessedmommy said...

Some ideas that I have are:
1. Fingerpaint with pudding.
2. Make fingerpaint with cornstarch, water and food coloring.
2. Mix epson salt with water and paint on a dark piece of paper. Let it dry and your picture will have a crystal effect to it.
3. String fruit loops or cheerios onto a string or a piece of string licorice.
4. Go on a nature walk. Come home and read books about what you find.
5. Put a glob of shaving cream on the table and let your kids play in it.
6. Fill a big plastic container with rice and add plastic cups, toys, spoons etc. for a great indoor sandbox. Put a lid on the container when they are done playing. Makes a nice rainy day activity. The rice can even be colored by putting the rice in a plastic ziploc bag and adding a few drops of food coloring and shaking well to mix the color.

Here is a link for more ideas for children ages 1 1/2 to 3.

Have a blessed time playing with your little angels. This is such a fun age. Enjoy it!

God Bless,
Melissa Arnold

blessedmommy said...

Just thought of some more ideas:

Have a teddy bear picnic. Put a blanket on the floor and have your children invite their favorite teddy bear to the picnic and serve bite size food. Maybe sandwiches cut into cute shapes, chunks of cheese, small pieces of fruit, etc.

Go on a treasure hunt. You can make up cards with pictures and have the children find the items.

Have your children color on a coffee filter with different colored makers. Fill a spray bottle with water and spray the coffee filter. This will give it a tye-dye look.

Make a batch of cookies and deliver to a sick friend or an elderly person in need of some cheer. Little ones love to help dump the ingredients into the bowl.

Have fun playing.

God Bless,
Melissa Arnold

Emily said...

My 3 and 4 year olds love playing hair dresser, they fix my hair with brushes and barettes and get me ready for the big party :)

Anonymous said...

WOW! Great are a few more:
1)I know your backyard is t-niiiny but can you play in the front yard?
in the sprinkler... in a wading pool... in the bushes;pretend you are in the jungle. When you're all tired out get a blanket and watch the clouds.

2)Sophie and I also love to make forts in the living room with blankets over the furniture--then we might bring our books in to read or pretend we are camping out.

3)Grab your silver change and throw it out in the yard and let them have a treasure hunt, then they can tithe some of their loot to whatever our service project is in Sunday school for the month :)

lisa e

Anonymous said...


You can still paint with shaving cream in the bathtub! My kids still love to do this and the best part is the shaving cream will get soap scum off! So they are really helping you out too!

Dianna Mason

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

Sorry, I am not very good at thinking up all these good (and yet, messy) ideas.
I can hardly remember what I did with my kids when they were that age (maybe I blocked those couple years out of my memory :) j/k...
I do remember a lot of reading, puzzles, coloring (no-mess markers of course) and playing outside.
Don't worry, once it gets hot enough, you'll be at the pool everyday.

Scott said...

On rainy days or days that we don't want to go outside, we just waller. We get in our king size bed and wrestle(I am speaking of us and the kids) and then we'll get up and put on Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice (I know, I know....) but the kids love it and dance for a while. Then we'll waller some more.

amber said...

Fantastic ideas from everyone!! I am taking note -- thanks for sparking this list of great ideas, Brandi!
My fav games are along the same lines as many others have mentioned... baths, tents inside out of blankets, loud music and dancing...
BUT, I do have one good game that Peter actually "made" up when Jo was a little younger. He would hide the remote phone somewhere and then hit the "call" button so it would start beeping. Jo had the most fun following the sound until she discovered where he hid it. It's basically like hide-n-seek, except that it works with younger kids since you can "seek" with them...

We currently like playing in mud puddles (stay tuned for pics! ;0)

love ya,

Anonymous said...

1. Make jigglers and let them play/eat them.
2. Get a bowl fill it with warm water and dishwasher solution, give them straws and show them how to blow into the water to make "mountains", you can also add food coloring.
3. Make a fort with pillows, couch cushions and sheets.
4. Using a bag of bendy straws, build a cool architectural creation.
5. Go for a "signs of spring" walk. Give each child a ziplock to collect different signs of the upcoming season. Teach about seasons as you walk.
6. Read the "I ain't Gonna Paint No More" book to them while they are in the bathtub/shower using bath paints on their body.
7. Bring a bucket of snow inside and lay a tarp or inflatable swimming pool down on the floor. Give the kids soup ladles, cups and molds and let them go to town.
8. Play freeze tag.
9. Act out favorite books.
10. Make puppets out of old socks.

jaz said...

Wow. I'm coming back to read all these again! GREAT ideas!! Thanks for asking the question, Brandi. Just a couple to add:

Storytelling. I make up stories, using Kendra's name and elements from "her world"... like, "There was this girl with beautiful, black curly hair, and her name was Kendrada. She bumped into a rainbow one day and saw Winnie the Pooh swinging from it..." I have never had her tire from storytelling time and want to move on; she just sits there mezmerized until I wear out. It's also great for the car!

My other thought is foamie stickers. Simple, easy, no mess. If it's December, I cut a Christmas Tree out of construction paper and let her decorate it with foamies. If it's February, I cut out a huge heart. And so on and so forth!

Thanks again for the fun post!

-Jamie :0)