As I just waddled my way into the kitchen after the momentous effort which was getting up from the couch, my husband turns to me and says “Wow, you are really pregnant”. Ahh yes, yes I am.
I am also a stay at home Mum. A previously active stay at home Mum who's child was used a certain level of activity and movability from me. But after a recent trip to the play centre, where I become almost alarmingly jammed in a tunnel slide, I have realised that I may have to slightly take a step back and think of more creative ways to entertain my rambunctious two year old that do not involve me running, jumping, climbing or really moving much at all.
But how do I do this? I am used to taking him on huge adventures and rolling with him down grassy hills. I am afraid he will not take kindly to being cooped up inside while I loll on the couch. So I have to get creative. This is what I have come up with.
Here are four ways to entertain your children during pregnancy
A busy box is a box that is filled with sensory, hands on or just fun toys, crafts and activities that will hopefully keep your child occupied while you have a much needed rest.
Instead of filling the box with their regular toys that are at their fingertips all the time so may become boring, the idea is to have one box for each day of the week that you bring out for one day only, and then pack it away the rest of the time. So it is almost like a brand spanking new box each week.
Some Mums get really creative with their busy boxes and fill them with awesome sensory activities like slime play, colour sorting and other crafts. This is an example of what is in my busy boxes:
Monday - A variety of different types of puzzles and flash cards
Tuesday - Diggers, bulldozers and construction toys with small objects to ‘dig’ like a barrel of monkeys and dried peas.
Wednesday - Duplo lego
Thursday - Trains and tracks to build. The wooden train set from Aldi is well worth the $30 investment
Friday - Playdough. We like to make playdough ‘food’ and serve it up for ‘lunch’.
Kindy Play, Playgroup and Library Rhyme Time
Unfortunately, just because I am pregnant doesn’t mean that my child wants to be cooped up in the house all day. We aim to go out in the morning for a few hours and then be home in time for lunch and nap, then stay inside for the afternoon.
So what to do when we are out? Kindy Play, Library Rhyme Time and Playgroup are generally good as the children are contained in a space where they can’t get out and the activities and toys are provided for you. They can socialise with other kids, and you may even get to have a conversation with an actual adult.
Small Fenced Playgrounds
Fenced playgrounds are all well and good, but when they are massive and you have to follow your child around anyway, they may as well be unfenced. A small fenced playground is great, as you can hopefully sit back and see them from all angles.
Imagination Play Stations at Home
If you are like me and have a child that can find it hard to play by themselves but has an amazing imagination, then try setting up some imagination play stations at home and getting them started with a game which you can then hopefully sit back and let them keep going while you relax.
Some imagination play stations that I have set up include:
Kids kitchen with pots and pans, wooden food and a shopping cart. I set up a ‘grocery store’ and send my toddler shopping with a list to pick out food and then create dishes for dinner. I also have a taco stand which he loves because he pretends it is a cafe and sells me food and coffee.
Cubby house which I have equipped with a workers bench full of tools and gardening equipment.
A craft area with a box filled with colouring in, a box filled with playdough and a box filled with sticker books.
Sandpit 'beach' with buckets, spades, wooden trucks and shells we have collected.
I am lucky enough that my child loves to read and be read to. Some of his regular books can get boring so every few weeks I head to the local library and stock up on lots of new books that we can spend ages reading together on the couch.
These are just some of the ways I have found to entertain my child during pregnancy. What are some ideas you have had?