Thursday, September 13, 2012

Keep Them Playing

As I pull out my hair, I am realizing that my boys have not really mastered independent play yet. Sure Lincoln is 2 so he's pretty small, but Dylan still requires my help coming up with ideas to do, or how to spend his time if he's not watching tv (which he did a lot more of this summer than I'd like to admit). Lincoln also requires help to accomplish a lot of tasks and to not let things get out of control (such as half of the water beads ending up smashed rather than just played with) so I'm on call a lot. This can be tricky to figure out between feeding the baby, making dinner, cleaning, organizing MOPS stuff and who knows what else. I stepped down from planning my 10 year high school reunion next summer because I just felt like I was spreading myself too thin to raise my boys well and be a good wife. 
So we play. We are not one of those families that shuttles from one activity to another. One, it can be way expensive to pay for lessons, classes, sports, memberships etc. so sometimes I suggest that as gift ideas. Plus most of us are home bodies. We don't do well being out of the house in the evenings, I always plan my errands in the morning before lunch/nap time. So anyway we find frugal easy things to do to keep us busy. 

My boys... sometimes there just aren't words to describe what is going through their heads, much like this video. Belly flops on Mommy's bed. They thought it was hilarious... me, not so much. 
Making "applopus" snacks.
 I have a subscription to the magazine Family Fun which I highly recommend for cheap, creative ideas for kids. There are always fun craft, snack and activity ideas that we borrow, such as the cool apple octopus snack in the photo above. I actually get my subscription free through an offer I found on They do the promotion every so often and I love getting free magazines!

I found Lincoln like this the other day, playing with a tractor while hanging upside down out of the washing machine.
Sometimes I let them try something new. I don't like my washing machine manhandled but it also bought me 20 minutes to finish the dishes and wipe down the kitchen. We often have sofa cushion forts  and playdoh on a plastic table cloth on the kitchen floor.  

Playing dress up
 We now have a dress up bin in the playroom so Lincoln often comes out wearing something silly. They only issue is that he wants to wear every outfit/thing and changes every 10 seconds, usually when I am trying to feed the baby. I'm still working on figuring out how to work that one. 

The boys playing with Warner in the exersaucer. 
The boys like to try to keep the baby busy when he is awake, coming up with games like hide and seek out of sight and tickle bugs. Luckily Lincoln tries his best to be gentle. 

Lego mania has hit the Sadler house.
We aren't die hard fans yet, but the boys are starting to really love Legos. Lincoln doesn't put everything in his mouth anymore so we can be a little more relaxed with where we keep them and how often everyone can play. Lincoln made his first tower out of duplos the other day and it was very exciting!

My little hipster

Dylan learning to rollerblade

All three boys outside
We also try to get outside and get some fresh air when we can. This summer has been very windy. We have also had many wildfires (95 have been reported from one lightening storm on Sunday!) so smoke has been an issue too. But when we have a nice day we try to get outside and ride bikes or run around in the grass or hit a baseball. We haven't gotten to the point where I can sit in a lawn chair with my Kindle and just supervise, but those days are in my future. We have a pretty tiny yard, but it is fenced and there are tons of different things for them to do so I'm happy. 

Warner is too cool for school
We try to be goofy. We listen to the toddler radio station on Pandora and dance around. We talk about big poops (yes potty training is so glamorous) and put jokes in lunch boxes. I guess it helps pass the time to have fun rather than drive mommy batty. 

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