The struggle is oh so real moms and dads! I’m sure many moms can relate to other parent’s dilemma on how to keep their tots sit still whether in the plane, during meal times, when you need to something quick like answer a phone call, prepare something at home, take a bath, in the car, dining out, when you bumped into someone and you guys wanted to chat a bit, or when you go places like the supermarket, shopping malls, coffee shops, and other places.
As for us, we officially have 2 toddlers! Imagine everything is double – the fun, the chaos, the clutter, the shouts, the laughter, the love, the hugs, the kisses and everything else. Well, my definition of a toddler is when a baby starts to walk on his/ her own. So yes and yes, we have babies running around the home and I keep falling in love with them everyday even through the tough moments.
We haven’t mastered it yet but every now and then or maybe almost everyday, we struggle to make them sit still (of course they’re babies and we understand how curious they are at this stage- a 2-year old girl and a 1-yr old boy). We have to be honest here, it’s really challenging and it will test your patience. For the moms and dads who are experiencing the same, here are our tips for you. It worked for us. Well, some still do, some don’t , some worked for a while, some didn’t. I believe each child is different but somehow they’re similar too. So whatever works for the others may not work for some kids but everything is worth a try (especially if it’s your sanity that’s at stake! hahaha!).
These may work for 1 to 7 years old. Depends on the interest of your child too.
Stickers are best for kids around 1.5 years old or older. It may also work for younger babies. Don’t you love colorful things that stick on and off surfaces? Make sure you get those cute embossed or glittery wants if you want the children to get really attracted to them. From experience, kids just stick them then remove them over and over and over again. Best to get special stickers than those flat paper stickers.
Parents can take advantage of this and use educational stickers like letters, numbers, fruits, vegetables, shapes, colours, etc.
Where can you buy?
You may buy affordable ones from Regina’s gift shop in Shoppesville Greenhills, National Bookstores nationwide (sometimes you can see nice ones in the scrapping section). some call these bubble stickers. You may also check from Lazada here and here. Check out some others here too. If you have time to go to Divisoria, of course that’s where you’ll get the possible cheapest stickers of many types and characters too.
- Books and activity books
For young kids, board books are always the best! No torn pages, no wet pages, and no broken books. So trust me when I say buy board books for the first books of your children even if they don’t tear it, accidents happen and sometimes, it’s the nanny or parents who spill on the books or accidentally tear them. Anyway these board books can be passed on from one kid to another or to other friends who have kids too.
There are books with textures and flaps and other activities a child can do to explore and also learn from the books. Keep your children interested in books. These are priceless treasures in today’s world. Learning is different from book versus those from tablets and televisions.
Where can you buy?
Of course in leading bookstores nationwide like National Bookstore, Powerbooks, Fully Booked (they really have a nice board books for infants and kids). If you don’t mind buying preloved books, Book Sale has a lot of nice choices. You have to dig in and pick carefully. There are books as cheap as 45 pesos and even 15 pesos if you’re lucky.
- Conversation and Stories
Conversing with your child works. It can keep him still for a few minutes and at least explain to him that he/ she needs to sit down and stay calm. Explain that everyone will be doing the same “like mommy, like daddy, and everyone else”. The little ones who cannot converse yet can actually understand us already and can read our actions. Remember, the best way to teach is also by being good examples to children. They are great imitators and have sponge-like brains. Show your child around and explain things in your surroundings. Take advantage of this time to teach new things like the body parts or new things he/she sees around.
Make this time short story-telling time. You can invent stories or just tell what you can remember in “baby”-talk version- simple words and catchy tone.
Take note, it may work for some children and it may not for some too. Just keep trying every time.
- Writing Materials
When your kids are still 1-3 years old, you can’t expect them to be excellent writers. They will just scribble as they watch patterns and colors unfold in front of them. Just always bring a bond paper, small notebook, or a small sketchbook (you may also bring colouring books or you may draw images on a paper to show to your child during doodle time) and a pencil or washable crayons with you. Why washable? Just in case things get out of control, at least you don’t need to stress about your child accidentally writing on walls, tables, and chairs and you can just simple clean them or wipe them off yourself. Take advantage of the new products that will make your life easier and safer.
- Non-Toxic Clay
Clays are always best for creativity and is said to broaden a child’s repertoire of actions like squeezing, pinching, stretching, digging, crushing, hitting, shredding, tearing, flattening, rolling. There are a lot of non-toxic clays out there for kids but our favorite is Play Doh. Just make sure you watch over the kids because it is but natural for kids to get attracted to the colors and texture the clay and so they are highly inclined to put them in their mouth.
Where can you buy?
Online, you can buy from Lazada but you can get clays and doughs from Toys R Us and Toy Kingdom nationwide.
- Child’s favorite toys
When you head out or travel, don’t forget to bring your child’s favorite toys. It will help keep them calm and keep them feel safe. Their favorite toys are their source of comfort and having them around will calm them and keep them happy.
- Favourite show or video
With Smartphone and a ready internet connection almost anywhere in the world will keep us connected to Youtube and all other things that we instantly need int the internet. You can easily play your child’s favourite shows if needed. Well in our case, we use it when things get unruly and hard to control. Of course we don’t play videos in Church and in gatherings that needs silence and are solemn. For us this always works though.
Bring snacks to keep your child busy when he/she gets hungry. Snacks like fruit loops and other cute snacks will keep your child busy. The readily available ones in a lot of the supermarkets around are cereals and healthy snacks from Healthy Options. Don’t forget to bring water and baby wipes!
- Busy Books
photo from: Quack and Meow
Oh how I love these! Busy books may be an activity book, puzzle, sound book but my most favourite busy books are the cloth books available in the market.
These busy books are very educational and you can bring them anywhere. They’re very handy and easy to play. No noisy pieces too.
Where can you buy?
You can get these from Quack and Meow .
- Make them a lot of DIY busy kits
Young kids have short attention span (well, most of them but not all). So when you need to keep your tots to sit still, it helps to give them something new to do every now and then. Here’s a couple of helpful things you can prepare when you head out or even at home. Also, you may have you’re own ideas for busy kits / bags amd make them yourself too. The feeling of having a DIY stuff for your child makes parents happy since they make everything for their children witth a personal touch.
Remember, just be creative, relax. Sometimes it’s also nice for children to wait and get bored. They can watch and observe anyway and just put out activities if needed. It’s still best to involve them on whatever is happening at the moment.
Hope these few tips will help!