Anyone else completely stir crazy? The cold seems never ending and makes it hard to get out of the house and burn off energy but holing up in the apartment all day gets old fast. Here are some fun activities we’ve found to beat the boredom, that aren’t too hard to do with a baby/toddler and are actually fun for Mom and dad too.
I don’t know why it took me so long to start planning these but omg I love play dates. It was hard when James was just a blog and his nap schedule was more limiting – trying to plan play date around it was always a crapshoot. Plus, he couldn’t really do much. Now that he’s constantly running around and playing, I love playfayes. We can catch up with other parents, commiserate and compare notes while the kids play together. We have a lot of similarily aged kids in our building so it works out well and we don’t even have to put on coats. But I’ll also drive to the burbs to visit friends and let him nap on the way there and home while we play or meet up a playspace or playground (weather permitting). It’s so much better to be with other parents than just running around after your kid alone.
Brooklyn has one of the best Children’s museums in the country and it took us until mid winter to go which is sad. A 20 minute Uber and we had hours of educational entertainment in a safe baby proofed environment. Children’s museums are really great because you feel like they’re learning stuff, it’s actually cool as an adult and unlike the met, they can actually run around and do interactive stuff.
While James is a little young to fully comprehend it appreciate the aquarium, we went with his older cousins and he had a blast running around, looking at stuff and climbing around. As he gets bigger, he’ll be able to do the interactive activities and really enjoy it. Plus as an adult, you forget how cool it is to see all the fish and sharks and dolphin show.
Indoor Play Spaces
James takes gym classes during the week and as part of the tuition, you can hang out there during designated open play hours. These are great because he’s familiar with the space, can run, climb, jump, explore without getting hurt and it’s a chance for us to see him in action since I don’t get to take him during the week. There are other indoor play spaces in the city that you can pay for a day pass to use and we’ll meet friends there sometimes. I used to balk at paying $20 for what ends up being like 30 minutes before he gets tired but if we meet friends there, I can usually stretch it to an hour and honestly, it’s worth it to me to have him get out all the running climbing and tumbling without giving me a heart attack that he’ll hurt himself on our furniture or hardwood floors.
James is obsessed with music, and he’s been going to music class since he was four months old. Our nanny usually takes him, but occasionally on weekends when we have nothing to do, I’ll take him. It’s a great way to meet other moms and babies and it’s a fun way to burn some morning energy.
Fair warning: This gets MESSY. But you can buy washable paints, smock up the baby, put paper or plastic all over the place and let them go to town. James loves this although he enjoys painting himself and Dakota far more.
James loves helping me cook. I learned that letting him actually help me bake is hard — he’s quick to put everything in his mouth and dump everything all over the place. But if I let him play with pots and pans, spoons and other rando kitchen tools while I do the heavy lifting and then I supervise the stirring and mixing, it works out really well and he really enjoys it. Plus, we have something yummy to eat when it’s all over.
Playing in the Snow
Sometimes you just gotta get outside. Even if it’s just playing on our deck for a few minutes, sometimes getting outside can help with the crankiness and stir craziness. Bundling up for the festivities can be a huge pain in the you know what, but when I see the joy on James’ face while he runs around after Dakota, it’s all worth it. That and when he goes down for a nap without a huge production because he burned off all that energy.