I’d like to introduce you to Jamie, our new social media and advertising manager. Today, she’s going to give you some tips on keeping your older child busy (and quiet!) while his or her baby sibling is napping. Happy weekend!
Hi everyone! As the mom of a three- year-old little boy (Owen), I am constantly trying to come up with activities that will keep him entertained and relatively calm while his younger brother Henry (10 months) is napping. In the beginning, this was a little challenging since Henry took so many naps during the day. And I’ll be honest – I used the TV (thank you, PBS!) a lot in the early months. But as Henry has gotten older, I’ve been able to come up with a few things to keep my rambunctious little man happy and quiet while Henry is snoozing.
1.Water Play: Owen loves to play in water, even indoors! I put a stepladder at the sink, fill it up and let his imagination run wild. The more bubbles the better! This was particularly helpful in the winter months when it was too cold to go outside. He would pretend to wash his toy cars with an old toothbrush or let his “guys” (Spiderman, Batman, and Woody, to name a few) go swimming. I usually put a towel beneath the ladder so that he won’t soak the floor.
2.Masking Tape Roadway: I got this idea off of Pinterest, and Owen really loves it. I make a giant a roadway using masking tape and use blocks and train set accessories to create a little city for his cars to zoom around.
3.Play-Doh: This is such a no-brainer, but Play-Doh is a huge hit in our house. Owen will make roads for his cars, food for his dinosaurs and houses for action figures. I try to stay away from the accessories that make a big mess, which makes cleaning up super easy.
4. Busy Bags: I’ve found some really cute busy bags on Pinterest that don’t require hours of assembly. I love these paint chip color matching bags from The Clutter and the Chaos.
4. Reading: I absolutely love reading to Owen while his brother naps. Since Henry is (very) mobile now, reading when he is awake is really challenging, and it’s hard to spend a lot of time with books. When Henry naps, I don’t feel rushed to finish a book and we can read as many as we want!
5. Screen time: I usually let Owen play on the family iPad during the 5-10 minutes it takes to get Henry down for his nap. He loves Endless Alphabet, Endless Numbers, and the ABC Mouse apps, and has actually learned quite a bit from them! And, Owen is still allotted 30 minutes of TV time during the day, but we limit his options to public broadcasting.