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Question for the SAHM's - activities, keeping busy etc


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#1 Ehill

Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:22 PM

I am SAHM and a very happy one.  My kids are 13mo and 3.5 and I intend to stay at home for the forseeable future.  DD is at kindy 2 full days a week.  We live in the city so plenty of options for things to do.  I don't love organised kids activities, I am happy to do max 1 per week but I don't get excited by storytimes at the library etc.  I am a pretty social, active and fit person and love getting out of the house especially in the mornings.

So there's my background.

So here is my question for the other SAHM's who have been doing it happily for a while now.  A good mix of enough to keep the kids busy, enough to keep their own mind in check and sane IYKWIM.

What do you do?  What are your days like?  Where do you go that your small kids enjoy?

I ask because it is easy to get in a rut and somedays I do find myself having a brainfreeze about what to do and not thinking outside the box.  Doing the same old stuff.  Also both the kids have gone up a notch in 'busy busy' and life is so much easier when I EXHAUST them!  DS is only 13mo but he is sooooo busy and has lots of energy.  He sleeps like the dead after a busy day especially swimming!

We go to our local aquatic centre, obviously playgrounds, coffee shops (my kids are pretty good at sitting still especially if food is in front on them), shopping centres, we are starting Little Kickers next week, coffee or lunch at friends, friends to our house, I love the beach but it is hard with 2, we have just taken a zoo membership......so as you can see we are pretty busy but I still would love new and interesting ideas.  Especially things that I would enjoy.   biggrin.gif

#2 fibilly

Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:36 PM

I'm not a SAHM, but on the days I am home with my 2.5 yo boys we like to get out of the house for hte same reason. We do similar things to what you have listed, but we've also recently joined Museums Victoria. Its great - unlimited entry to Scienceworks, the Museum & the Immigration Museum, and there are things in there which have entertained my boys. They love the bugs & dinosaurs, and there is a dedicated child space. Not sure what state you're in, but there might be something similar where you are?

There is an indoor trampoline place near us which my boys adore. The other thing we do is trips to 'farms' - max 30 mins drive, but in Melbourne there are ones in Bundoora, Collingwood and Wheelers Hill/Ferntree Gully, so a bit of a tractor ride and some ducks and everyone's happy!

Good luck.

#3 Ehill

Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:14 PM

I am in Adelaide.  Yes, I am pretty close to the CBD so I can go to the museum easily although not as much to choose from as the Vic museums.  

Farms.....my brother has one!  Maybe I need to go more often.

Thank you fiBilly, exactly the kind of ideas I am looking for.

#4 flowermama

Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:21 PM

My DDs are a similar age to your kids. DD1 has just started kindy (5 day fortnight). She also has swimming lessons and ballet. While she is at kindy I'm planning on taking DD2 to a music class. Other things we do are visit the local farm to see the animals, go to the kids gym at the Police Club (2 hours of fun for $5 a kid, it's great!) and go to the park. We have quite a few playdates. I don't go to the organised library activities but we go and get books out then have a babycino. DD1 loves trains so sometimes we'll go on a train ride somewhere close. That's all I can think of! When we're at home we do the usual things; craft, drawing, dress up, games, dancing etc.

#5 Kasey5

Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:31 PM

I am a mostly SAH mum with 3 and 5 yo (off to school on Mon!). We do much of the same things, but the other thing I love is my playgroup. It is not my mothers group, but a mixed ages group. It is great as Mum's chat, the kids play, and we take turns in organising a simple kids activity. I love it for the social aspect for me (and the kids!). Maybe because the kids are different ages, we don't seem to have any of the competitive stuff I read about here http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/life-style...0115-2crc0.html
You can find playgroups here http://www.playgroupaustralia.com.au/


#6 Danzie

Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:31 PM

My DS is at school now but last year on his kindy days I would go to my local aquatic centre which has a gym and crèche. I'd get a workout, DD would love playing with the kids in crèche then we could have a swim together afterwards or go to the shops/coffee or playground.

This meant that all three of us were exercised and out and about at least 2 or 3 days a week.

#7 kpingitquiet

Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:42 PM

We're the opposite, preferring to stay at home more often than not. But some of our recent days have been:

- Skype with grandparents, drove into the Hills, played at a playground, got Aust Day treats (sausage roll/pie), a nap, some coloring.

-All morning spent outside. I worked on tidying the patio and dong a few other yard chores while she happily messed around in the sandbox. Watched a movie after lunch then napped. More sandbox/yard play after dinner.

-Rainy day so playdoh after breakfast, some story reading together, she "helped" vacuum (me with my real one, her with her toy vacuum), naptime and then probably a bit of blocks and tea party with dad before dinner.

A lot of the time she just amuses herself with her chalkboard and blocks and dolls and books and buzzes by to check out whatever I'm doing, now and then. If it's rainy again, tomorrow, we might drop by the library for story hour. If not, we might take her push-trike and walk down to the coffee shop. Or, if I still have miserable cramps, we'll stay home and have a Toy Story marathon. Depending on the weather, she and her dad will either do playground, backyard stuff, or hang out in her playroom with her dad when he gets home.

If we went out every day, the house would be a disaster and no renos would get done biggrin.gif but can I suggest Warrawong for nice days, Central Market for seeing/smelling games for rainy days, The Rocking Horse and animal park, the Farm Barn, blueberry/strawberry/cherry picking before the season ends...lots of fun to be had...we just generally do those all together on weekends. The 3.5yo will love them and the 13mo will have fun rambling around, if walking.

#8 librablonde

Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:58 PM

I've been a SAHM for 5 years and am always busy doing something. I take my 3yo DS's to playgroup for a couple of hours once a week. Also they go to childcare 2 full days a week for my sanity break original.gif  DD1 does Girl Guides and horseriding lessons so I taxi the kids around to take her to those activities. Other than that, we don't have any other activities that I take the kids to. We are on small acreage so the kids are usually outside playing. We have a trampoline, swings and bikes, scooters, etc. Or we visit family and friends as an activity. I'm not overly social and can't stand library storytime or mother's groups, etc. I keep my sanity by talking with friends and family on the phone and having internet-surfing time to myself. I don't really facilitate structured activities for  the kids, they kind of find their own fun (unless it's a rainy day and everyone starts getting cabin fever).

This year I want to refocus on doing some pre-Kinder home education with the youngest DS's via the the HIPPY program (a free program for kids aged 3-5 http://www.hippyaust...bout_HIPPY.html) and also do more educational programs with them on Studyladder. When the older ones go back to school I want to devote 2 hours a day to creating a structure a little similar to Kinder here at home, sitting on a mat to listen to stories, doing art activities, etc. DFS2 is a SN kid so I'll need to start this year in getting him ready for Kinder in 2015.

#9 Ehill

Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:03 PM

I had never thought of the Central Market!  Yes, my DD woud enjoy it there and I am foodie and love cooking so that one works.  I could put DS in the Ergo rather than the pusher so he can see everything.  Also I think I can go to Warrawong with the zoo membership. Thx

We go out in the mornings and are generally home by 12 for DS to sleep.  Also I dedicate Mondays to the house and washing so I dont feel like all I do everyday is housework.  

Librablonde - I will check out that link.  DD seems to be a bright cookie and is chomping at the bit to learn more.  I just never know how to go about it.

Thank you everyone.  This is great. I better put my own post and reciprocate with some of my ideas!

#10 kpingitquiet

Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:06 PM

original.gif Warrawong's free to explore. Zoo membership gets you free entry to the animal talks, though, I think.

#11 Beancat

Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:19 PM

Ehill, I have been a SAHM for the past 12 months as will be for the next 12 months or so.  I avoid craft wink.gif  Too messy and DS gets enough at kinder and daycare.

Rather than look at individual activities for DS, i am trying a new approach this year, which is to get a theme and develop activities.  Of course he will still have plent to do that does not relate to the theme, but this is something extra we are trying.


Our backyard is really well set up so DS can play out there for hours.
I am planning to do a vegie garden, compost bin and worm farm with DS this year as our "major project" for the year.  If we had room I'd add some chooks to the mix.  DS will be involved with all aspects including the planning, building and ongoing maintenance.  It will include elements of literacy and numeracy.  I know it sounds full on but he has had a preliminary assessment as gifted (he is 4 if that helps).  One of the best ways to engage him is to incorporate a long term project with meaning into his daily tasks.  he is already reading and doing basic maths.  This project type approach will also help to get him ready for school

#12 carriesshoes

Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:28 PM

My kids are almost 4 and 2.  I work 4 days a week but on the days I'm home I have to try hard to combine burning them out, plus getting all my household chores done.  A couple of things I discovered lately that you might enjoy are...

Pirate Day - we dressed as pirates the other day and scrubbed the decks at home.  My DD insisted in being called "Elizabeth" like from Pirates of the Caribbean, and we spoke like pirates.  We ate like pirates and got all the chores done in a fun way.

Plaster Painting - my kids have quite  a good attention span, so every now and then (read every 3 months or so) we go to the local shops that a plaster painting shop and the kids paint a creature for the backyard.

Our local RSL often has shows for kids, and they even have a toddler/pre-school disco during the day every now and then.

#13 Phoenix Blue

Posted 05 February 2013 - 03:40 PM

I try to do a couple of things for me per week. My thing is being fit and active. So I play social netball one morning a week where there is a crèche for the kids. Another one or two days I go to the gym and put DD in the crèche there.

So technically not activities for her, but activities for me, where she is well looked after on site, and I don't go crazy going to another park, and it fills in a couple of hours.

#14 littlemissmessy

Posted 05 February 2013 - 03:48 PM

At the moment it's easier for us to stay at home as DS is almost to terrible twos and going out with him is stressful, not fun. But on the days when I do get out we go for a coffee with friends or go see one of my friends with kids. Shopping if I can contain DS in a shopping trolley.

#15 SlinkyMalinki

Posted 05 February 2013 - 04:13 PM

My oldest (4) is in Kindy 5 days a fortnight, other than that during the week she does one ballet class.
The baby (1) goes to Gymboree once a week, and usually spends one of the kindy days running errands with me.

I try and have a play date once a fortnight.

With my 4 year old - cooking, board games, play outside, craft.  She's allowed to watch a movie in the middle of the day while DD2 sleeps, and I get a sanity break.

For the 1 year old - she likes playing with little people, musical instruments, or just keeping an eye on her sister.  She's just starting to sit still long enough for a story.

I try and get them outside for a little while each day.

ETA:  TBH I'm a bit bored with it at the moment.  It's a bit hard to take the youngest to the playground casue she's not walking, but hates sitting in her pram.  I personally dislike indoor play centres too.

Edited by SlinkyMalinki, 05 February 2013 - 04:14 PM.


#16 Tunip

Posted 05 February 2013 - 04:29 PM

Just FYI, Warrawong will be closed as of the 1st of March - it's no longer financially viable, apparently.

ETA: no ideas re: activities as I am currently going slowly insane as a full-time SAHM. My son (also 3.5) does love the museum though!

Edited by mummasaurus, 05 February 2013 - 04:32 PM.


#17 Mummytoyou

Posted 05 February 2013 - 06:24 PM

QUOTE (mummasaurus @ 05/02/2013, 05:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just FYI, Warrawong will be closed as of the 1st of March - it's no longer financially viable, apparently.

ETA: no ideas re: activities as I am currently going slowly insane as a full-time SAHM. My son (also 3.5) does love the museum though!



Was just coming to say that, I also didn't think it was free unsure.gif ? Anyway doesn't matter since it's closing.

Not sure where you are located, we tend to stay home weekdays but on weekends holidays things we do in Adelaide are:

Thomas the Tank engine shows(school holidays
The Festival Theatre has 'Something on Saturdays" which is free craft activities and if you want to pay you can go and watch a show as well.
SASSMEE park at Millswood - ride on model steam trains.
St Kilda adventure playground while a long way from central areas is fantastic for a full day out.
Play cafe at Newton -  Wacky Warehouse
Museum, Port Adelaide maritme Museum, Art Gallery,  Migration museum
Team Trampoline - various areas
Blackwood recreation centre has loads of stuff
You can tour Haighs chocolate factory on Greenhill rd.
Ikea  wink.gif
In the hills things like Melbas choc factory, Berenberg farm, Cleland wildlife park
Goodwood community centre has great programs.

there are a few FB pages that list places where kids eat free and also playgrounds around Adelaide.

There used to be a few places where you could go and paint plates and stuff - Splodge??

Also most councils run programs, libraries are great too.



#18 Ehill

Posted 05 February 2013 - 06:37 PM

QUOTE (SlinkyMalinki @ 05/02/2013, 02:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
.
ETA:  TBH I'm a bit bored with it at the moment.  It's a bit hard to take the youngest to the playground casue she's not walking, but hates sitting in her pram.


Exactly!  This is me too.  I used to love the park and playgrounds bit it is no longer 'sitting on a park bench drinking a takeaway latte chatting on the phone' while DD plays.  DS is a menace and not quite walking yet so it is a bit of a pain.  Hence my question for other ideas!

I am finding my zoo membership (despite no Warrawong) to be great.  Also we started Little Kickers today with another friend so she and I chat while the kids play soccer.

lifehacker......love the Ikea suggestion.  I used to hate the place but my friend recently introduced me to the wonders of the free creche......suddenly not such a bad place  wink.gif .

We are off to the beach with my MIL tomorrow.  Yah!  Kids love it there and it EXHAUSTS them.

#19 tenar

Posted 05 February 2013 - 06:56 PM

Ikea is a good idea, I must check it out.  Certainly my kids love playing in the kids area of the showroom (in the Richmond one they have some toys that are just out for the kids to play with, and all of those display kiddy bedrooms are great fun too).  I haven't tried the creche there.

We get out almost every day.  That's life in a small flat with two kids for you.  My DDs are 3.5 and 1.5.  DD1 goes to kindy 1.5 days this year, DD2 has nothing.  This year we will do:

- storytime at the library on Monday mornings.  Swimming in the afternoons.
- music class or go to the petting animals at the market (or both) on Tuesdays
- Wednesdays is a kindy morning for DD1, errands or some "just you and me time" for me and DD2.
- Thursdays is all day kindy for DD1 (yay!).  I might be working Thursdays, otherwise it's park, music at the market, and housework day for me and DD2.
- Fridays the kids are with a babysitter so I can work.  They go to a local dance lesson (free at the local market).  

Most of our activities are free or really cheap.  I think that's a benefit of being in the inner city in an area where lots of places are trying to attract the "mums and bubs" crowd.  The only expensive ones (relatively speaking) are swimming ($15/lesson) and the music lessons we've just started ($30/lesson for two kids).


When I can fit it in and the weather is good the local pool has a toddler wading pool that's lovely.  Also we go to the botanic gardens often with my parents, or the local park/cafe.  The park up the road is also a place we spend a lot of time in the afternoons, with the other local toddlers.  

We do a limited amount of outdoor things at home, but not much because we don't have a garden.  Which hasn't stopped us from keeping a worm farm, growing veggies, or getting a paddle pool out this summer, mind you! original.gif

Edited by tenar, 05 February 2013 - 06:58 PM.





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