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Fun things to do with a toddler?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Pringle, May 13, 2011.

  1. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    Now that summer is coming, the wife and I are trying to think of things to do as a family. There is going out to eat. There is the zoo. And there is ... ?

    I feel a little bit of pressure, because she keeps telling me how my son's little day care pal has "so many experiences," and how our little one needs "experiences," too. She uses the word "experiences" a lot. When pressed, she told me that his little friend gets to go on a boat sometimes because there's a little bit of money in his family. There is no money in ours.

    Thoughts and suggestions from other parents?
  2. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    Tell your wife she can elope with the Old Spice centaur if she wants "experiences."

    Minor league baseball is fun without being too overwhelming. Most decent-sized cities have kids museums. Lots of movie theaters have cheap kids movies on weekday mornings, which actually fit well with a sportswriter schedule.
  3. typefitter

    typefitter Well-Known Member

    I like to pretend they're just tiny adults and I'm an unstoppable giant with limitless powers, the way I feel when I eat those tiny cobs of corn.
  4. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    Speaking as the father of a 2-1/2 year old...
    My son has "experiences":
    * Walking to the park at the end of the street and reading (and spelling) the STOP sign along the way.
    * Walking through the park to get to the playground, listening to the sounds of nature, and saying "hi" to all the dogs we pass that people are walking.
    * Learning to take turns on the slide
    * Learning to share when he wants to play with every ball he sees except for the one we brought for him to play with.
    * Watching people fly a kite at the park
    * Going to the farm/orchard two miles down the road and walking around there
    * Seeing/petting the animals there
    * Watching the ducks on the pond there
    * Taking him to a class at The Little Gym (www.littlegym.com)
    * The Beach
    * A Children's/Please Touch Museum

    It's the simple things in life that can make for the best experiences.
  5. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Plenty of museums, state and national parks, trails, and free community events, depending on where you live.

    We didn't have a lot of money when I was little, but I remember going to the library a lot, going camping and swimming at the public pool.
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    My kids love the library so much that we can actually use not letting them go as a punishment. If you have kids, a library is the greatest thing ever. Rather than pay $10 for a movie or book that they'll watch or read once, you can actually get it for free... Crazy concept I know...
  7. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    The beach is fantastic. A pail and a shovel and forget all the other garbage the mommies are buying, they are spending 25 bucks for nothing. (In a different time of year, I saw all the moms show up at the hill with "snowball makers," what a joke and a waste of $5.) Also: a tricycle, and just ride it around the block or pick the nearest store and ride him over to get chocolate milk or whatnot.

    Those "experiences" the other kid is having, I'm sure the parents are enjoying it and the kid will like looking at the pictures when he's older. But it doesn't mean anything to him now. If he is going on an amusement park ride with dad, the "with dad" part is what he is remembering and celebrating. The slide at the park will meet the same need.
  8. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Find other toddlers, and make playdates.
  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Baby Fight Club!!!
  10. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    I have no little critters of my own, but I was a youth development volunteer in Peace Corps, have worked with youth league baseball and YMCA kids plus have two nephews and a niece.

    Red Light, Green Light. I Spy. - that sort of thing. (Trick from YMCA camp: Google "camp games")

    Sing songs. I am famous throughout Morocco for "Peel Banana." Search for "camp songs."

    Draw. Do themes, like "draw a picture of you when you're 27" and see what they draw.

    Crafts. Google helps here, too.

    Read to your kids. And then read some more. Then let them read to you. Libraries are awesome.

    "Nature walks." Another YMCA trick of mine. We'd go through the alphabet and try to find something starting with whatever letter. Or make a little scavenger hunt.

    Hang out with them and let them guide you. For my nephews, all I had to do was keep an eye on them as they played in "the jungle" that was this big oak tree at my parents' house. Literally hours of entertainment. (The more violent nephew enjoyed "killing ants," which was when he followed my Dale Gribble-channeling father around the yard as he sprayed for the bugs. He also "mowed the lawn" with a pair of scissors.)

    Got a pool nearby? Teach them how to to swim and go a couple times a week.

    Same with any random playground. My nephews, seriously, could spend two hours going up and down the same slide every single day. Bonus points if you have a park within walking distance. Chick-Fil-A stands in when the weather's bad.

    Let them be kids. And just watch them. I don't think you need to necessarily set some kind of regime, but basically, just be there to see what happens.

    Enjoy it.
  11. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    Thanks, guys. Pretty much everything mentioned is what we do. But the wife keeps saying he needs "experiences," and has a freak-out every month or two about how he isn't getting enough "experiences." So I was feeling like there were all these brilliant, creative ideas I'm supposed to be coming up with. I've even joked with her things like, "Did little Danny (his friend - actually, my wife's friend's son) go on a manned mission to Mars this weekend?"
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