Stay-at-home Dad of two, Abel, suggests:
Get a video camera [or use your digital camera] and record what your kids are doing (both happy and sad moments). Watch the clips together. It’s fun to see their expressions seeing themselves on TV.
I totally agree with this. Holden frequently asks me to “make a movie” because he loves to watch himself doing whatever. He still saves his cutest observations, songs, and dances for when the camera is not rolling.
A few variations on this toddler activity that have been successful in our house:
- Sleep study. Figure out what’s going on when you leave the room. When Holden was about four months old and he would end up at far corners of the crib and we had no idea how he got there, we decided to set up a time-lapse video camera. Alec and I recorded eight hours of footage that plays back in eight minutes. Funny stuff (only to parents, I’m sure).
- Just about to hit the milestone. We all want to have the cameras rolling for the first roll, crawl, step, or word but unless the camera is always running, that’s highly unlikely. Toddler Holden likes to cheer on the video of baby Holden almost crawling. The suspense gets him every time.
- Baby friends. One of the few videos that we every pieced together involved Holden and his other little baby friends swinging and kicking like babies do. Give it a soundtrack and share it with the world via YouTube or Jalapenyo.
Later you can entertain your partner with the day’s events or keep your toddler busy watching and re-watching their own antics. Does this count as TV watching? I don’t think so.
This idea was plucked from the list of 70 Toddler activities and games on ParentWonder.com (they also have a bunch that are already on our site as well as some good ideas for older kids).