I recently decided it is time to schedule in a little self-care, so I've started running again, with the goal of a half marathon in December. I try to do long runs on Saturday mornings, when Hubby is available to hang out with Jr. Now, Hubby does a fine job entertaining Jr. But, when I told him last Saturday that I would be running for an hour and a half, he teased, "That long?! What will I do to keep Jr. busy?!" I knew he would be fine, so I just rolled my eyes and tied my shoes. But, as I started my run, I began to think of how blessed I am. Not all daddies know exactly what to do with a toddler's short attention span.
Are you a daddy that seems to run out of ideas? Are you a momsie who isn't sure how your hubby fills the time when you are away? Are you a family trying to avoid plopping Bubba down in front of the t.v.? The cool fall weather brings with it many opportunities for father/son fun. Here are some ideas that I've picked up from my awesome Hubby, along with a few suggestions of my own.
- Picnics. Anyone can make a sandwich and throw down a blanket in the back yard.
- Start a rock collection.
- Gather beautiful fall leaves. Better yet, rake the leaves into a pile and jump in them.
- Hunt for bugs, worms, and other yucky animals that momsie doesn't want to touch.
- Go for a walk in the stroller or wagon.
- Play fetch with the dog.
- Teach your son how to care for the pets, i.e. feeding, watering, brushing.
- Throw a ball.
- Pick up sticks.
- Look at birds and squirrels.
- Point out airplanes.
- Play at a park.
- Race and chase.
- Build something extraordinary from things in the yard (ramps, forts, tunnels)
- Rough and tumble play! Wrestling, rolling, tossing . . . all these things come more natural to daddies than to momsies.
- Turn on daddy's favorite music and dance.
- Turn on Jr.'s favorite music and dance.
- Build a car track or ramp.
- Build a fort out of chairs, blankets, sofa cushions, etc.
- Turn a box into something wonderful (car garage, tunnel, fort).
- Read books. Little boys need to see their daddies reading!
- Build up towers of blocks, leggos, pillows, whatever.
- Eat cake Bill Cosby, said it best. "Dad is great! He gives us chocolate cake!"
- Play ninja, trojan warrior, cowboys, or something else with fake guns or swords. (Yes, Dr. Momsie says it's a-okay. Some aggressive play is normal and natural for little boys!)
- Talk, talk, talk. This doesn't always come naturally for men, but your little boy needs to hear more than masculine grunts. If you don't know what to say, just narrate whatever little-one is doing. "You chose the blue block for the top of the tower." "That's one...two...three...four cars on the track."