But, I have a baby too! How am I supposed to do activities with my toddler or preschooler?
Having more than one little one AND trying to do an activity can be a bit challenging. But, it doesn’t have to be! Find out how to simplify this by following my 8 steps for success.
Put Baby in a swing, bouncer, or high chair. This confines Baby while allowing him/her to see what’s going on. Bonus: use snack time. Baby can eat AND have free entertainment, courtesy of Big Bro/Sis!
Use Baby’s nap time. Then, you can devote 100% of your attention to your older child. This helps strengthen your bond with your older child too because he/she is getting your undivided attention.
Find something similar for Baby to do. For example, if you’re stringing beads with your toddler, use big beads or cut up pool noodles as “beads” for Baby OR use a stacker.
Double Team! Do the activities when another adult is present to help. Then, you can do the same activity, but have one adult helping each child (or one adult with the older children and one for the Baby). This gives you SO much flexibility and allows for one adult to do a different activity with Baby when needed.
Babies have SHORT attention spans. Have other activities ready for Baby that can be done nearby, but with little help from you (blocks, shape sorter or stacker, etc.).
Depending on the activity, do the activity in a confined space (bathtub and bathroom? Porch/patio? Baby fence to make the area smaller?). This allows Baby the freedom to move about, but in a small area so you don’t need to worry about what Baby is doing AND keep an eye on your toddler/preschooler.
Start simple and with something both Baby and your toddler or preschooler can do. Water play and scooping and pouring with something edible or taste safe are great options.
Set clear expectations for your children BEFORE you begin the activity. This is more important for your older child(ren), but it’s great for Baby to hear too. What is the activity? Is there anything that your child shouldn’t do while doing the activity? How do you want clean-up to happen?
Have you already “been there, done that”? What tips would you include to make it easier to do activities with a toddler or preschooler AND a baby?
Connie is the mom of two toddlers and 3 dogs. When they're not doing activities, Connie and her kids are gardening, taking pictures, going for walks, or enjoying time outside. Connie left the classroom when she became a mom, but she's a teacher at heart and loves helping others.