can you play with me, mama?

If I got a dollar for every time I was asked, “Can you play with me, Mama?” by a certain 2 year old, I would be one very rich lady.

Trying to gather some activity inspiration, especially for those times when I am physically bound up with the baby or just exhausted, I asked some of my mama friends yesterday what types of activities they are doing at home with their toddlers. I wondered if I should be doing more beyond the endless books, puzzles, pasting and drawing to entertain her and provide her with structured things to do. We were TV-free until she was about 2, which was a lot easier when there was only one kid! Now we watch a bit of telly, often just so I can have a rest, but I hate relying on it too much.

Turns out, the other girls seem to be doing much the same as me, with the main structured activities including drawing, books and so on, but, like us, it’s the incidental things that happen in day to day life at home providing the most entertainment – folding the washing, helping to wipe down surfaces, feeding the dogs and the bunny, sweeping with the dustpan and brush while mummy has the broom, and so on.

I love the independence of the toddler age, it’s so great to slowly watch the big girl become more able to do things on her own, to have conversations (albeit repeated many times over: “Mama, can you play with me? Can you play with me, Mama? Mama, Mummy, Mum, can you play with me? Can you play with me at home Mum? Can we play Mummy?”), to understand instructions, to be able to help out a bit with little things and enjoy it – like going to get a face washer, or helping change the baby’s nappy. It’s easy to feel inadequate though when reading blogs and seeing amazing craft activities and so on that some amazing parents are doing with their kids. When it takes half an hour to set up an activity for five minutes worth of concentration, it is pretty hard to conjure up the motivation!

I try to have a few special things for her to do while I’m breastfeeding. Often she’ll just climb up next to me and pretend to breastfeed one of her teddies or dolls. This afternoon she crammed herself up as close as she could get to me while I was feeding, saying, “I’m just giving you some space Mummy.” Thanks for that! Other than trying to get as close to me as she possibly can, she has a sticker book, special crayons and textas, marbles and a few other things that come out of the hat at baby snack time.

What do you do at home with your little kids?


  1. graceofmae November 9, 2012

    You do some wonderful stuff with your beautiful girl! I am busy organising my craft supplies for quick grb activities because as you say, the set up vs concentration span often doesn’t justify it!! I find C always tends to ask for the same activities regardless of what is set up for her!!! I have a few sensory boxes I have set up which C enjoys when I’m feeding and I plan to put together some matching activities as she is getting older and her skills develop. Water play is an absolute favourite with C so i will set up towels etc when im feeding and we’ll bath animals, dolls, pour back and forth, paint the deck, flosnt sink objects. I add bubble, food coloring, ice blocks etc depending on mood!!!

    I am thinking of starting a local busy bag swap if you are interested?

    You may have noticed I have started blogging’ish…eeek!!!! Lack of time out with the 2 made me feel it was time!!! Lots I don’t know how to do yet but it’s fun learning and marketing expert Clare wants to ‘optimize’ my blog as a resume task!


    • motherwho November 9, 2012

      You have such great ideas Kate! Will have to talk to you about your sensory box and the bag swap and so on. Nells loves water too, you are brave to do it inside and… food colouring – sheesh! You go girl. Good on you for setting up a blog, let me know if you need any help with the set up and understanding wordpress!

      • graceofmae November 9, 2012

        Thanks! Need help – having trouble with a few things!! Will pick your brain when I see you next!

  2. […] I’ve become distracted. After reading a post about toddler play on my girlfriend’s blog Motherwho I’ve decided to share some of the sensory box play I do with C. It also kicked me out of lazy […]


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