Managing a toddler and 5 dogs

I recently shared that as a mom to a toddler and 5 dogs, in these cold Canadian winters it can sometimes be very difficult to try to find ways for all of us to adequately stretch our bodies and minds, get our heart rates up and have fun.

But, being the mom to this toddler and these 5 dogs, that is sort of my responsibility. So, how to make it work?

The two youngest ( my toddler and my youngest dog, Kash) have the highest needs for day-to-day sanity. The middle two dogs have, well, medium needs. And the two oldest have minimal exercise needs, but the needs they do have are critical to keeping their mind and bodies healthy.

I am often told that 10 and 11 year old dogs resemble 2 and 3 year old dogs. I credit having seniors that do not act or look like seniors with keeping them physically and mentally fit.

Little sidetrack now... I'm looking to update the website. Pondering color scheme quite a bit and would like suggestions. What do all of you think about http://vincenzopistrittophoto.com/. Yes, no? Leave a comment. Apologies! I am a scatterbrain, I am going to get back on point now.

So how do we manage?

Let's start with The Boy:

Free play is the name of the game here. At the stage The Boy is at, my best bet is to set up the environment for him to play safely, and then.let him go.

Some fresh air daily. This is, frankly, not always possible. If the wind chill is -293 degress, there is no amount of layering that will keep his face warm or that promises to keep those damned mittens on. Plus, what fun is it when he has to be so bundled up that he looks like a beached starfish that can't move and play?

But, on every day that we can, we try to get out for some fresh air daily. Sledding, climbing, even just wandering around it does wonders.

Novel indoor activities. As a mom who has, for now, chosen to forego public daycare, the onus does get put on me to make sure that The Boy has ample opportunity for healthy development. I try to implement 1-2 new and different at-home activities per week to try out and play around with. Sensory games, art projects, a new toy that does not lay around all the time something that is new and exciting but also well within the reality of how an 18 month old will use it.

Indoor snow play. On those days when it is just too cold to play outside, we bring the outside to the inside! Snow play is guaranteed to provide a good 30-60 minutes of fun. Build an indoor snowman. Do some snow baking. Shovel it around. The possibilities are endless.

We are lucky in that we have a relatively spacious ground floor in our home. This allows for lots of running play indoors and chase me games. I readily admit that lots of running happens inside here in the winter months.

Dance parties! I try to have a good dance party 2-3 times per week. Find a good kid's dance music playlist on Youtube and then get dancing! It's a good way to get both of us moving, and dancing is soooo happymaking.

I have been researching local play groups and organized activities for The Boy and I to take part in. Because I keep him at home, I have to prioritize socializing with others, especially others his age. I have had some luck with making a list of possible activities. I found two local playgroups, a drop-in gymnastics class, a Kindermusik class (movement class, in which I am waiting to get in), a cheap swim time at the pool, and a toddler "soccer" program. I plan to use all of these on a rotation to get him involved with other children. With the long, miserable Canadian winters, these are also essential for sheer sanity. One can only remain within the same walls for so long before we all begin to get a bit nutty.

I need to give credit for this posting partly to http://nldisplays.com. I got the idea from I little piece I read up on from there site.

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Posted in Moving and Relocating Post Date 12/30/2014


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