What Do You Do With a One-Year-Old?

That’s what I was thinking about last weekend. Yes, Zoey has boxes of toys, but she, or maybe it was me, was getting tired of those, and I thought she needed to be stimulated in a different way.  I searched and searched online for all kinds of ideas and came up with three favorites. (Well four, but I’ll tell you about that in a minute!).
The first one was so much fun. I walked in the door with a huge sack of balls (bought at Walmart for $10), and as I expected she saw it and yelled “BAWL” (that’s how she says it). I dumped this big bag of balls into her crib and let her have at it. She kicked them around, threw them up in the air and bounced up and down. I was 1 for 1. 

I had to get some things done in the kitchen so I brought her in with me and set her on the floor with her train that she loves to take apart and play with. I also set down an old tissue box with some fabric swatches stuffed inside. Once she was done with the train and saw the tissue box she began taking each one out.  I fit around 50 swatches in there ($5 from the Walmart clearance aisle). Then to my surprise, she started putting them back in! I didn’t know she could actually put things away. Is it too early to start teaching her chores? I digress. So in that whole time I was able to make dinner and fix her a plate. It was amazing!  2 for 2!
The last one was a bit harder, and we saved it for the next day when my Dad was able to come and help my husband. We got a swing to hang from our tree in the front yard on Amazon.com. It was about $25 plus we had to buy some extra rope at Home Depot because our tree is so high. It took a bit to get it up and evenly hung, but it’s up, and my nephew, Valen, was the first to try it. He had a ball!  Then Zoey got in. I *think* she liked it… What does this face tell you?

All I know is that she sees the swing from the window and gets excited…I’m waiting for the excitement to hit her face when she’s actually in it. 2.5 for 3?

Remember that 4th idea I was talking about?  Well, I thought that Zoey would really love a little hiding place. She loves to play hide-n-seek, and I read all over that forts/tents/canopies were a hit at this age. I was inspired by this canopy at Land of Nod,  but at $139 plus $69 more for the matching pillow (that you would have to buy because it’s so dang cute!), I thought maybe I could make my own. I found several sets of instructions and bought a hula hoop and some fabric…and now I need my Mom to help. I’ll let you know how that goes or if I end up just buying the cute one from The Land of Nod after all…

**Update: I made it, check out my canopy here!**

Also, for some great iPhone/iPad ideas for kids, check out Kari’s list.  And if you are traveling with your toddler, here are some great tips for distractions.  


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