You would never admit it in public. It's the well-kept secret of many parents.
Long days home with the kids can be, well, boring. And if you're a stay-at-home mom, they can be boring and isolating.
When your child's interest in all the toys in her playroom is exhausted by 8:30 a.m., the rest of the day can seem overwhelming. But with some advanced planning, you can take charge of your week, day-by-day, and enjoy more fun time with your little one.
And you don't have to spend a fortune on activities to keep the days passing at a comfortable pace.
Here are some ideas for activities that won't break the bank, but will shake up and add fun to your daily, or weekend routine with the kids:
- Become a 'storytime' regular at the public library.
The Manchester City Library's Main Branch hosts Toddler Storytime (ages 2-3 years) on Wednesdays from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m., and Lapsit Storytime (children 23 months and younger) on Fridays from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. The library also hosts Children's Storytime (for children of all ages) at the West Branch on Thursdays from 10 to 11 a.m.
Storytime activities are tailored to each age group and offer stimulating activities for the kids. Books, bubbles, toys, songs--it doesn't get better than that!
Registration for storytime at the library can be completed online using the events calendar (click on the event you wish to register for, then click 'sign up'), or by calling the Children's Department at 624-6550 ext. 328.
In addition to storytime events, the Manchester City Library also hosts many other fun events throughout the week for children of all ages. Check out the library's calendar for a complete schedule of events.
The library's Main Branch is located at 405 Pine Street, and the West Branch is located at 76 North Main Street.
- Join the fun at NUThin' but GOOD TIMES!
When the weather gets chilly, it's hard to let go of the playground. It's the best way to kill time with the kids without spending a penny.
If you've been counting down the days to warmer weather because you want to reclaim your child's favorite stomping ground, you'll be thrilled to learn one of the biggest playgrounds in the area is located indoors.
Admission is reasonable and is definitely money well spent. You could easily spend a whole day here.
The best part is, parents are welcome to climb with their children, which means you'll have as much fun as the kids do. In fact, zipping down NUThin' but GOOD TIMES! giant slides is quite nostalgic.
Admission is $9 for children ages 4 years and up; $5.50 for children 3 years and under; $2.50 for crawlers, and FREE for infants. Admission for adults 18 years and older is $2.50.
- Take that day trip you keep putting off.
Whether it's your child's first trip to the aquarium in the city, or your family's first visit to the local art museum; finally schedule that day trip you keep pushing off to another day.
Even if it's just a lunch date at a restaurant you have been meaning to try; a new adventure, no matter how small, will shake up your daily or weekend routine.
- Found a mommy and me book club.
Gather fellow moms and their children together to celebrate literature. Just two suggestions: Try to form a group of moms with children who are all about the same age so that book selection and discussion (if any) is age appropriate for all your little readers. And when choosing books for the moms, select light reads. If your group wants to dive into heavier novels, by all means, go for it. But keep in mind you only have a month, and you'll probably only find enough time to read a few pages each night before bed.
Host book club meetings at a different home each month, with book themed treats and activities for the kids.
Check out the New York Times current Bester Sellers list for book ideas.
- Host a toy exchange.
Gather moms and their little ones together for a toy swap. Not only will you have a chance to connect with your friends while the kids are swept up in the toy frenzy; but following the event, you'll enjoy a break from the 'I'm bored' complaint while your child enjoys playing with her loot.
This activity is probably best for children who are old enough to understand the concept and are prepared to part with old toys, or who are too young to care if a friend takes their toys home in exchange for their own new toys.