Or more accurately, how to do anything fun with a full time toddler!
Hi everyone! Sorry it has been ages since my last post. Quite a lot has happened in the world since then – I hope you are all doing ok!
I started writing this post a few weeks ago when daycare ended and I was looking after my daughter full time. My work pretty much went on hold and I was looking at positive ways to still be creative. At the time my daughter was waking up early, going to bed late, and either refusing to nap or only napped in a moving pram. She wants me to play with her 24/7 and won’t even watch TV by herself!
Which is lovely but it meant my productivity went POOF
However, I have managed to develop a few tactics to cope with the full time toddler care, while still doing something creative and fun (side note, she is now back in daycare twice a week which is why I am FINALLY able to write this post!)
Don’t put pressure on yourself
I really enjoy being productive, but looking after a young child 24/7 is EXHAUSTING. It’s very tempting to start comparing yourself with other parents you see on social media who seem to do a bazillion things while still looking after kids.
I’ll be honest, if I’m tired at the end of the day, I will go to bed. I won’t force myself to stay up as inevitably what I produce will be second class, I will just get more tired, and eventually end up sick. Sleep deprivation is not good for you! Being functional and healthy is much much better!
One new daily activity we started is long walks around our neighbourhood (my attempt to tire my toddler out). I have started seeing so many interesting flowers, butterflies, foliage, and colour palettes and will try to carry my phone with me to snap some photos or write ideas down in the notes app.
Some of the local inspiration
Hack your toddler’s art activities
I have found a few fun art activities that we can both enjoy and I hope to use some of the results in upcoming designs! Please let me know in the comments below of other art activities!
These are really easy and fun. You will need some acrylic paint and some white printer paper (or any paper that is easy to fold in half).
Basically you just fold your paper in half, then open it up again. Dab paint on one half of the paper, the more paint the stronger the blending. Then simply fold the paper over again and rub to transfer the paint to both sides. Open up and voila!
Collage is a big design trend at the moment and really the possibilities are endless. You just need something to cut up, a glue stick, and something to stick it to. Most of our collage art is cut-up Aldi catalogues glued into a scrapbook! I also had a lot of fun painting bits of paper and then cutting them up to make abstract shapes.
Just a warning – this is quite addictive. And you most likely already have the key ingredients at home – shaving foam, food colouring, and white paper.
Here is a great tutorial showing the steps. I actually did this activity a while ago and used the marbling I created as a background for my Palm Swirl print.
Be prepared – for some free time…
Have a list of priority tasks you really want to work on, so if a window of free time suddenly appears, you are focused straight away and can do something productive.
I have a great notebook I was given that gets you to write down at the start of each day what your focus for the day is. I usually write a list of 3-4 small things I want to do and I have found this system has been fantastic for getting things done in snippets of free time.
And finally, be proud of what you do achieve!
My daughter normally wants 100% of my attention and starts twitching if I so much as pick up a pencil or glance at my computer screen. However I have discovered if I set up her toddler art table with a spot for her and a spot for me, I have had some days where I was able to do a bit of painting for myself! We even managed a family art activity where we all painted our chickens…
I’ve also started involving her as an assistant for some abstract photography I’ve been experimenting with – the results of which I’m really excited about! That will be a future blog post 🙂
Hope you have found this interesting – any other ideas on how you manage time with a toddler I would LOVE to know!!