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Well, I’ve been working out at home rather than the gym, where I was getting my workouts in, and to be honest, it’s just not fun. I’ve been dabbling in a few videos combined with my own workout routines, which if I could focus, would be great.
Then, I wanted to challenge myself and give myself some new motivation, so I signed up for the free 30-day trial of the Beach Body On Demand. I reviewed it completely and honestly because I’m not a coach at all. Overall, I really enjoyed the workouts, especially Shaun Week and Insanity. No wonder everyone raves about them. They are the good kinda hard.
Now that I’ve been working out at home for a few months, I have learned some tricks to keep my boys busy and entertained, including the baby.
After my first week of attempting to stick with the videos, I was tired of the interruptions, so I set out for a solution.
Here are the activities that kept my two toddlers and a baby busy, while I got my sweat on:
MEGAFORMERS: If you read my review of the beach body on-demand workouts, you will see my boys play with these a lot. I didn’t have them at first, then went and bought them halfway through the week. I am so glad I did. They are big, so the baby won’t choke on them, and he can hold a few and pretend he’s playing, as well as super easy to build with. My boys still aren’t that great at the small legos, so these worked better. These are by far, the best items on the list, and if you don’t read anymore, get yourself a pack of these. They have been a lot of fun for weeks now!
Re-Usable Stickers: I found some at the dollar store, and Amazon has them as well. These aren’t the usual sticky stickers. They are the kind that you can stick on windows, which the boys thought was super fun! They kept them entertained for quite a while! I also found this activity set with reusable stickers in it, which I’m sure would keep any kid busy.
ABC Mouse: This is a new one I just started with, and I feel much better about it than TV. My 4.5 year-old is starting to figure out how to use it. I will let you know more as we use it more, but overall he’s obsessed and we haven’t done much! I’m excited to see what he can learn, and my 2.5 year old watches while he uses it. You can set up users for each child, so if you have a child who’s a bit older, it’s a great way to keep them busy and encourage learning!
Car Wash: Because it’s summer and warm outside, my boys have had a lot of fun just doing car washes. I get bowls of soapy water, towels, and more to keep them entertained and cool. I put them outside, where I can see them out the window. This kept them busy for quite a while. You can grab a set of hot wheels, and just give them a new car each day, rather than all at once. This makes the playtime more exciting.
New Books: My boys have been really getting into books lately, so giving my boys a new one from the Library or Amazon is super exciting. They will sit and look at the pictures, then trade with each other. I bought book sets like this one, so I could give them one book a day to look at.
Small Surprise Bag: I went to the dollar store and stocked up on cheap little toys, which I put in a special bag. I use this most of the time to reward good behavior and chores. It also is nice when you’ve used all the toys and the kids are in a bad mood, but you just want to get something done. I let them choose a toy from the bag, only if they play quietly with it. Then, they can trade after a while. If you don’t have a dollar store close by, I found this science activity set on Amazon. I am looking at a few of these for next week because the dollar store didn’t have anything new. Luckily I only spent $15 dollars there, and all the activities and toys lasted a couple of weeks!
Now you might be wondering what the baby is doing while the toddlers are playing? Luckily, being baby number 3, he loves to watch them play. While they do new activities, I give the baby various toys. He is also loving snacking, so I give him a lot to snack on while I’m working out.
A major issue I have is that I like to workout when the baby wants to nurse. I basically set myself up for a nursing pause because working out after a cup of coffee is so much easier. If I worked out earlier, he would be a lot easier to manage. That’s one thing you can attempt to do for yourself, is work out during the time of day when your kids are happiest. Whether it’s first thing in the morning, right before nap, or maybe in the evening. I am still not good at this tip myself, but I am working on finding a time that works best for us all.
Anyways, back to the tips!
Legos: My boys are just getting into Legos, but I ultimately have to build the Legos for them, and then keep it built. My 4.5 year old will attempt to build with them for a while, and I am putting this on the list because I imagine in about 6 months he will be building more with them. I got him a police Lego set, which I built, but they both played with it really well one morning. Like for 35 minutes! The key with these for me was I only got them out when I was going to workout, which made it more special and entertaining. I had to make sure the baby was in his jumper, walker, or chair, so I wouldn’t have to worry about him swallowing a piece.
Breakfast and colors: My favorite time to work out is an hour or so after I wake up. This is also when the kids are getting hungry, so I multi-tasked. The eating portion kept my kids busy while I did warm-ups. I also got out their coloring books and colors to keep them busy after eating. Pancakes are a big favorite right now, so they’d eat their pancakes, while I jumped around. Of course, washable markers are the only way to go.
A note here. We actually have two kids’ tables. I separated my boys because there was just too much temptation to fight. They each ate and played at their own tables. Then, they could switch tables halfway through. It worked so well to set them up with time away from each other. Then, there were fewer fights and more independent playtime.
I have this kid’s table for their learning area, and we picked this one up from the side of the road and re-painted it. The first one is a cheaper quality, but I love the hole in the center for storage, and the second one is more solid wood.
You might notice that I haven’t mentioned paints or play dough. My kids are just too messy and need too much help with those things. I have to be more involved with those activities, so I didn’t include them here.
I also didn’t just send my kids outside to play because we have a pool. It’s fenced and locked up, but I am extra careful with that being there, so I don’t like them outside unless I am watching out the window. I can’t watch out the window while I’m watching a workout video.
It’s super hot here in the summer, but my plan is to bring my workouts outside as the weather cools down. Then, the kids can swim and play outside while I workout like we did a couple of months ago. I realize that not everyone has the option of working out outside, or a large backyard to play in, so I focused on what works inside for me and my boys. I’d love to hear more tips in the comments if you work out at home and have to keep your kids busy!