Here I am working from home while Sandy rages outside my window. It's warm and cozy, and my 8-year-old is quietly amusing himself with an iPod. But I can't help wondering how different things would be if he were still a high-energy toddler. Would he be bouncing off the walls at this point? What are parents doing with their little ones right now?
Well, hopefully you planned ahead and filled your toddler's room with helium balloons so you could just throw him in and shut the door. What's that -- you didn't get the helium balloons? Wow, you are so screwed. No, you know what? It's going to be fine. I think we can come up with a few other ideas for your cabin-fever toddler.
Baking: Do you still have power? This is a good time to cook up some fall treats. Toddlers are terrible chefs, but you can have them "help" out with small tasks like dumping flour into a bowl, mixing, and sorting. Yeah they'll make a big mess, but what else you got going on right now? Tie some mop heads to their feet when they're done and they'll help you clean up.
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Water play: Fill up the tub with water and toys and let them play -- either inside the tub or out, depending on how much water mess you can tolerate. Obviously you'll want to supervise closely! But this will keep a toddler busy for at least an hour.
Tape time: I love this idea -- hand your toddler a roll of tape. Seriously -- I was long in the habit of hiding my tape because my son loved playing with it so much. But if you have any lying around, today is the day to make an exception. You can do so many things with the stuff! Turn it into stickers, make doll clothes, tape cars together ...
Forts and box houses: For the ultimate cozy, indoor activity, hang blankets over chairs and tables to make little forts or nooks. Kids love making their own mini-spaces. Fill with pillows and favorite toys. And if you happen to have cardboard boxes, you can use those to make houses or rocket ships kids can decorate with stickers, crayon, or that tape.
Blocks and trains bonanza. Go ahead, build a new civilization with every single block, train, car, and doll in the house. You were expecting company this afternoon? It's time to make a mess!
YOU: Breathe and relax. It's going to get messy. It's going to be chaotic. You may lose control. It's okay. Give in! Have a glass of wine, do some breathing exercises, take some Rescue Remedy, whatever you need.
What do you like to do indoors with your toddler during a storm?
Image via Adriana Velez