So screen time may be taboo, and the ultimate sign of a terrible parent is leaning too much on the friends that live inside the television. But sometimes Mommy just needs a little help. There is still laundry to do, dishes to wash, and watching a little TV makes way less mess than Play Doh does. So the Salty Mamas make zero apologies about sprinkling in a little (or some days a lot) of screen time here and there. Which is how our kids favorite cartoons, become our favorite cartoons.
We’d like to take this moment to publicly thank some of the cartoons that have helped us get through these past five years.
We’re gonna go ahead and put it out there- parents lie to their kids all the time. Like, ALL the time. The lies we tell our kids range from the big and widely accepted (we’re looking at you, Santa) to the small and overused (“we’re leaving soon!”). But either way? Yeah, #SorryNotSorry. Not even a little bit. So now, in no particular order, we present to you the lies we tell our kids on a regular basis.
With limited patience and BIG energies, it can be very difficult to find toddler activities that will keep your kids engaged all.day.long. And with the first three years being crucial to kids’ development, the pressure is on to find activities that will keep your kids happy, playing, and growing the way they should. Making up a toddler schedule can seem overwhelming- there are so many suggestions about how to keep a toddler busy, with each activity lasting for about three minutes- but by sticking to basics and establishing routine daily activities for toddlers, you can really help to create a toddler daily schedule that will leave both you and your child feeling fulfilled.
Creating a daily routine for your toddler helps to make sure that they are progressing in the key areas of language, cognition, gross motor, and fine motor skills.
They seem like heavy concepts (and they are), but when you break them down, there are super fun and simple ways to help toddlers learn the basic skills they need to be successful in preschool and beyond.
We think you’ll find that by fitting each of these activities into your toddler’s daily schedule, you’ll be nurturing their growth, and having lots of fun at the same time.
So without further ado, here are the ten things that you should fit into your toddlers’ schedule every day.
Make no mistake: We love our kids. We do. No matter what you read in the rest of this post, hold tight to that solid truth. But there is another truth, that is just as true: We HATE some of the games they require us to play with them. In no particular order, here are the worst kids games that we wouldn’t mind never ever ever not once having to play ever again.
Have you ever done that thing where you want to do ALL THE THINGS, so you tell everyone yes and you don’t tell anybody no, and then it looks so PRETTY in your color coded Bullet Journal, but then when it comes to actually living that plan, you are EXHAUSTED and wondering what the hell you were thinking?
No? Just us?
At any rate, it was a busy, fun, exhausting week, and in the end we wouldn’t change a thing. Here are a few of our favorites.
This post contains affiliate links. You can read more at our legal page. Thank you!
1. Impromptu Playdates
What do you do when you have leftover supplies from the preschool Easter Party, and are wondering what to do with all of those pudding cups? Invite over your besties and throw yourselves a party! We made these adorable handprint chickens (Ducks? Whatever. Birds.), ate pudding, and then the kids spent a surprisingly long time coloring these adorable Easter Egg Coloring Pages from Real Mom Recs. So if you’re looking for a last minute Easter activity, she’s got you covered! Just print, cut apart, and set them out for some kid-friendly fun that will (hopefully!) keep them occupied for a good, long time.
2. Being Prime Moms, Not Pinterest Moms
Okay, we take that back- we are a little of both. But Jaymi got so busy making cutesy projects (that she actually enjoyed making) for Abe’s upcoming second birthday that she couldn’t stomach the thought of one.more.project. So when it came time to decide what he’d wear to his party, she thought she’d check Amazon real quick and found out that they actually have a PERFECT shirt for a sports themed second birthday party. How amazing is this cute little tee? And it cost about the same as it would to make it yourself, and saves about 7 hours worth of work probably, so WINNING.
3. Gluten Free Cookies
Jaymi hasn’t had a ton of luck finding a Gluten Free flour substitute she loves, so she finally decided to google “flourless cookie recipe.” Which brought her to these AMAZING chocolate meringue cookies that somehow manage to have that real-cookie texture with none of that floury nonsense. We’ve got more recipes (both GF and regular!) for you to check out on our Baked with Love Pinterest board.
4. Wandering Wednesday
We participate in a link up party over at Confessions of Parenting called “Wandering Wednesday.” Every week, bloggers drop their best posts on the page, and this week our post “Open Letters to the People that Make Us Salty” was chosen as the featured post. The link up is open to new bloggers as well- you can find out how to contribute your own piece here.
5. Have You Had That Baby Yet?
We have a few close friends expecting babies soon- like, YESTERDAY kind of soon. And yes, they are getting sick of hearing “have you had that baby yet?” and “any baby news?” We humbly suggest that they refer all inquiring parties to HaveYouHadThatBabyYet.Com. Try it- it’s fun.
6. This Wine Glass
Because honestly, it’s been a week, and this wine glass makes us smile. Especially when it’s filled with our favorite white.
Confession: Our third child was a big, fat, whoops.
Let me back up a minute. We wanted three kids. Heck, we are still planning to go for four. Five? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. In a very much planned event, our first two kids are 18 months apart. In retrospect, getting pregnant when my first was nine months old – still SUCH a baby himself – was a little, uh, crazy. So, immediately after our daughter was born, I put the kibosh on all baby conversation. I’d only taken a nine month break the first time, but this time I was going to go BIG. I adamantly proclaimed to anyone that would listen that we were taking a WHOLE YEAR OFF this time. For a year we wouldn’t even TALK about that next baby.
During the year, we made our master game plan.
We’d enjoy our first two children. We’d get the swing of things. We’d find our groove. And then, when the kids were older, maybe in school, we’d decide that the time was right. We’d tuck in our kids – maybe 5 and 6 by now – and look at each other, both thinking about how we missed the sweet smell of a little baby, the weight of them in our arms. We’d go for #3 and then quickly after #4. We’d have two sets of two, our perfectly planned family.
But you know what they say about plans. I think I can still hear the heavens chuckling…..
This morning I opened my email to find a very rare message from my husband. We’re not people that email, text or really communicate while he’s at work, so I knew this was either something urgent, important, or special. What I received was a picture, followed by this:
Cole’s early birthday present???
I know we are not ready and really this burden would fall 100% on you but this could be the adoring fan who is always there for him that he needs.
I quickly went through a thousand emotions from rage, to thinking he was sweet, to crying at the idea of another thing to keep alive, to swooning over how adorable the pups are, to realizing that I needed to nip this in the bud. Fast.
I clicked “Reply” and fired off my ten reasons we are NOT getting a puppy right now.
For three weeks in a row I came thisclose to forgetting my sons swim lesson. At the same date and time that it’s been for almost a year. I wish that was the only time that Mommy Brain reared it’s ugly head, but it’s not. At this point it’s chronic. I brew a cup of coffee that I forget to drink. It took me weeks to remember to make my kids their dentist appointment. My life is full of lists of things to do. It used to be because of the sense of accomplishment I’d feel crossing things off the list. Now it’s legitimately because I will not remember if I don’t write it down.
Why? WHY?? Surely it’s not because old age has begun to wreak havoc on my mind! I’m 35 – though if you ask me there’s a 97% chance I’ll say I’m 36 because I have FORGOTTEN MY OWN AGE. And I’m not pregnant – knock on wood – which has been my go-to excuse for the past 5 years. So what is it??
I realized it one morning during this conversation:
In my mind, I’m the kind of assertive woman that speaks her mind. I’m a good role model for my children and will always stand up for myself, especially in front of them. I ain’t afraid of nobody and will tell them what’s up with all the confidence in the world. In reality? I’m just a really tired lady that thinks of witty comebacks about 45 minutes too late. So instead of telling all of these people what I really think of them in the moment – I’ll just leave these open letters here, and dream of the day they become viral and all the people that need to read them get the message.
It’s winter, and the weather is pretty disagreeable these days. Moms everywhere are desperate to find somewhere-anywhere!– where their kids can run, yell, play, and burn off some of that ENDLESS energy. En masse, we all flock to the nearest kids’ indoor playground, which quickly turns into a roiling mass of noisy, busy, happy kids and toddlers- and their mothers. In no particular order, here are the seven types of parents you can expect to see while you’re there.