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Anyone have any creative ideas for keeping a 1-year-old busy for about a three-hour stretch 1/wk while I get the chores done? I don't have naptime because that's set aside for homework. Ideas?”

5 replies so far...

  • Break that 3 hours up into smaller chunks of time. Work, take a break and play, repeat. I clean in 15 minute increments - it adds up quickly and I get a lot done without feeling overworked. Little, frequent wins.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by NancyC on 29th July 2010

  • When my kids were little I would have my nephew, who is 9 years older then them, spend the night and the next day I would pay him to watch the boys while I cleaned and did stuff around the house. This worked out great for me because it gave my brother & his wife a night out and it gave me time to do my things. Usually $10 or so was great for him.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mama2boyz on 28th July 2010

  • Another thing, I re-structured my life so that I clean as I go with the kids around. It is rare that I need a stretch of time away from them to get stuff done. I bought them little brooms, etc., and I assign them to a job that won't make more mess while I do the real stuff - though there is only so much of that you can do with a 1-year-old. I do pay for monthly maid service to fill gaps in the "big jobs."

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by SKL on 28th July 2010

  • I had a "Superyard" for my kids (with size extentions), and put all the best toys in there. The kids would happily play in there for at least an hour at a time. I could get them to sit at the kitchen table (or high chair) for at least a half hour if given something interesting to do with their hands, e.g., those big round crayon things, painting with something easy to clean, tinkering with a small-motor toy such as beads or infant puzzles, a toy computer, and/or some books. Then they would be good for at least another half hour or hour in their bedroom with their closet door open. Again, this is a place where they had cool toys but they only got to play in that area occasionally, when I needed to be able to do something else. During these times, I would have some nice music on - interesting but not irritating. Another thing, one of my kids would have been happy to sit in the middle of a pile of books all day long. (The other kid, not so much.)

    I would not recommend TV at this point. If you are thinking of using the TV, consider kid music videos. I introduced Cedarmont Kids DVDs when they were nearing age 2, and these were excellent (try Toddler Tunes first) - probably would have been fine a bit younger, too.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by SKL on 28th July 2010

  • Chores....boy oh boy...(smile!). One thing that you could try is to incorporate the little guy into your routine. Folding laundry? Get him to sort the socks (so what if they're incorrectly paired up). Cooking? Set him up to wash the carrots (or potatoes). You'll need some extra towels in the area...

    If this makes it worse though, my advice is to grin and bear it. The child will not remember the completed chores, he'll remember you laughing with him as you mop up the mess...

    Trust me when I say I know exactly how you feel. Some days I'm exasperated, but other days I simply have to accept that certain things will fall down and so be it.

    Good luck!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Javamom on 27th July 2010