Best 10 Activities for the Toddler Witching Hour

Entertaining your toddlerRemember the “witching hour” for infants that occurred at the end of the day, usually between dinner and bedtime?  Harrison screamed all day due to reflux but even he reached a more fevered pitch during these hours, where we’d pace and cry and I’d beg to eat a hot dinner just once again and I’d never complain about anything for the rest of my life.

I hope I didn’t give anyone nasty flashbacks.  ::shudders::

Turns out that toddlers have a “witching hour” too. Ours usually occurs at that same beloved time of the day — the hours between dinner and bedtime.  We get home from the office and daycare.  Momma and Daddy are exhausted and Harry is exhausted but still running on adrenaline from playing with his friends all day.  He’s all words and rowdy boy and running all over the house.  The dog doesn’t help, either, because she’s panting and whining to be fed and I’m trying to get dinner in the oven for the humans.  Harrison starts crying, screaming, losing his toddler shiznit all over the place if someone looks at him wrong or his toy train falls off the tracks.

He’s bored, tired, and hungry.  I’m busy, tired, and hungry.  This leads for an awful combination of momma and son and I find myself counting the minutes until bedtime even though I’ve missed him all day.  So here’s a few ideas of how to alleviate “the witching hour” so that we’re all happier at the end of the day:

  • Go for a walk 1 of 10
    Go for a walk
    Get outside! Get fresh air! Go on a nature walk or do a walk bingo where he has to see a dog, car, acorn, etc. before you can go back.
  • Do a simple craft 2 of 10
    Do a simple craft
    Pull out the markers or washable paint and let him go to town at the kitchen table while you prepare dinner, check email, throw in a load of laundry.
  • Keep dinner simple 3 of 10
    Keep dinner simple
    Use your crock pot. Do a basic chicken on the grill with a salad and fruit. Pick suppers that don't take tons of prep time or concentration so you can a) get to playing faster and b) fill bellies faster.
  • Tag team with a friend 4 of 10
    Tag team with a friend
    Know another momma who faces a similar situation? Get the kids together! Wear them out while you prep dinner at one house, then she takes half when she leaves and you're ready to serve at the end of the playdate.
  • Serve a little snack 5 of 10
    Serve a little snack
    Something small, like fruit to help raise his sugar level naturally or a few crackers.
  • Play 6 of 10
    Simple solution, huh? Sometimes it just works best to order a pizza and get on the floor with our boy. These years are too fleeting.
  • Watch a movie 7 of 10
    Watch a movie
    I know, I know ... probably not what you want to hear. But on rainy days, it is a lifesaver to sit with Harry and watch a favorite movie while dinner cooks. He loves cuddling on the couch with us!
  • Go to the park 8 of 10
    Go to the park
    Get him out of his backyard and help him burn off steam! Doug and I usually go together, but sometimes I kick the boys out so I can get chores done!
  • Go for a different kind of walk 9 of 10
    Go for a different kind of walk
    He's inconsolable and not wanting to participate in life? Put him in the stroller and hoof it. I've found that the stroller still has a hush-now effect on my near three-year-old, just like it did when he was a baby.
  • Give in and pour a drink 10 of 10
    Give in and pour a drink
    Whisky works for me. The end.


Article Posted 4 years Ago

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