It’s the rainy season here in Manila. A couple of weeks ago, there were at least three tropical depressions that entered the Philippines, giving us more than our fair share of rain. Just this weekend, all our plans got cancelled or postponed because of the incessant rains. 😯 This means staying indoors for most of the days — enough to give our little toddler some serious cabin fever.
J’s daily routine always would always include some outdoor play time. It’s as simple as a stroll along our neighborhood or a walk to the store and pick wildflowers or twigs along the way. He also loves playing ball! Football is a natural choice especially with his elder brother. They would take turns in being the kicker and the goalie and would only stop when one of them is tired already.
Sharing with you now some of the screen-free activities that J enjoys indoors. I know it can be challenging to keep the little ones preoccupied without turning to the Ipad or the television so I hope this helps mommies out there:
1. Hide and seek — My little one loves playing this game and everyone in the household would happily indulge him. He would go looking for a suitable hiding spot as the designated “it” patiently (oftentimes very slowly) counts 1- 10 until he finds one. It’s fun to watch him wait in anticipation until one of his siblings find him. It’s a test of patience and how long he can quietly sit still in one place. On most cases though, he gives away his location because of uncontrollable giggles. This game proves how little it takes to have fun together!
2. Building blocks and magnet tiles — I love how both toys are very versatile. Sometimes, J would play with his blocks by sorting them by color. He does the same with the tiles and sorts them by shape and then practice counting. On other times, he would try to build something like a rocket, a tower, a house or a sword. His play switches from the blocks to the tiles, depending on his mood. I love that these toys encourage him to be creative and imaginative.
3. Coloring and doodling — I first introduced J to colors by making him paint. Unfortunately though, it was not quite the hit that I hoped it would be. I soon found out that he disliked getting messy so painting and getting his hands “dirty” did not interest him. He, however, has a totally different reaction when I gave him a set of basic crayons. He immediately started doodling and drawing and has since then, been part of our go-to quiet time activities with him.
4. Reading — We started reading to J when he was still a baby and it has been an all-time favorite ever since. He likes to identify things in his picture books and loves to listen to story books as well. Now that he’s a toddler, our story telling time has evolved. Sometimes, I would ask him what he thinks would happen next in the story or ask questions to see what he thought of the characters. There are even times when he chooses a book which we’ve read for many times and then starts “reading” it to me. I love how this activity has become more interactive over time.
5. Singing and dancing — J is such a music lover! Put on any upbeat song and you would soon have him dancing to it in no time. His current favorites are the soundtrack of Disney’s Cars movie and Lion King. Just like most kids his age, he loves singing nursery rhymes. We can go on and on with various versions of ABC and never get tired. His sister is the biggest influence in music. Their bonding moments include S playing the ukelele while the little one sings and dances along.
Since J is left mostly alone at home ans plays with his namny, he has a lot of individual pretend play time. I get to see this in action when I am working from home. He would be in the same room as I am but he will go on with his business and not bother me. Instead, I’d get treated to a “show” as I listen to him concoct his stories and play. Usually, it’s a big race among his cars. Sometimes, it’s a re-enactment of a scene from a movie or a show, complete with dialogues usong different voices! I love it! 😍
During the course of the day, he will most likely watch an episode of Disney Junior’s Mickey and the Roadster Racers or maybe PJ Masks. But these activities definitely limit his screen time without him feeling wanting.
How about you? What are your screen-free indoor activities with your little ones? Share with us in the comments section.