These Mommy and Me activities will help keep your toddler happy and engaged, while allowing you to stay healthy and relaxed for your upcoming big day.
By Leah Bieze
It’s important to remember that when you are pregnant, you need to have time to relax, rest, and ready yourself for the big day ahead.
But when you have a young toddler already running around, this can seem nearly impossible!
These five toddler activities are designed to keep your toddler happy and engaged while allowing you to enjoy your time as well.
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Toddler Activities #1: Preparing the Nursery
Whether your little girl loves to help decorate or your little man is keen to head to the hardware store, preparing the nursery together will help your child come to terms with the big changes that are coming.
Allow your toddler to choose colors, a mobile, or a special toy for the baby. They’ll feel important and more in control of the situation. And both of you will get plenty of one-on-one special time.
Toddler Activities #2: Playing Shop
As toddlers grow and develop, they love to have the opportunity to mimic the world around them.
And it’s an important way to help them learn and pattern important behaviors.
Playing shop is a fun way to role-play that simulates a real world experience. Use paper money and choose items from around the house as the “goods.” As the shopkeeper, you can sit back and relax whilst your toddler has all the fun deciding what to buy.
You can mix this up by having a clothes store (a.k.a. closet) with a “changing room” and a grocery store (a.k.a. pantry or fridge) to make the game last a little longer.
Just make sure you set up the “cash register” comfortably by the couch so you can relax.
Toddler Activities #3: Swimming Smart
Heading down to the local pool can provide much relief for pregnancy hot flashes while keeping a bouncing toddler equally thrilled.
Be sure to check first if the complex has a toddler-friendly wading pool.
If the thought of getting out of your maternity wear and into a swimsuit in public is too much, consider investing in a small wading pool for your backyard or patio. Your little one can splash around, and you can lie in the pool and comfortably relax as you play lifeguard. And if you invite some other moms over, you can all enjoy the water and help each other keep an eye on the kids.
Need a real break? Ask Dad to take a day off and leave you on the lounge chair as he takes your toddler for a dip in the pool.
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Toddler Activities #4: Creating a Home Spa
A little bit of pampering never hurts, and this is especially so for those of us in the throes of pregnancy.
Setting up a home “beauty school” is a really fun way to share some special time with your little one. Lead by example to reap rewards with this fun toddler activity – start by brushing you child’s hair and then asking him or her to do the same to you.
Next, try gently scratching their arms, back, and legs and again have them do the same.
Activities can vary from “painting” toe nails with water-based paints to putting makeup on, or sitting back and having your feet rubbed.
You’d be surprised how much fun this can be! (And that children can actually give great massages.)
Toddler Activities #5: Doing Mommy and Me Yoga
These days, gyms are far more accommodating of children – and of pregnant ladies!
Pregnancy yoga is an ideal way to stay calm and fit enough for the big day ahead. For toddlers, there are many yoga classes known as “mommy and me” classes. Kids roll around on the floor, stretch, and turn their little bodies into strange and wonderful shapes.
Underneath the fun, though, yoga is now being recommended by many occupational therapists to help small children relax.
And this can prove very useful through the stressful time ahead; after all, it’s not easy becoming someone’s big brother or sister!