Beating boredom is the first rule of toddler lockdown

Beating boredom is the first rule of toddler lockdown

Providing all the stimulation a young mind needs is tricky when he’s happy behind the sofa

It’s hard to know how much lockdown is affecting my son. He’s now 22 months old and at this stage looks likely to be spending his second birthday in some form of quarantine or other. In a lot of ways, he got used to it quicker than we did, and we didn’t take much longer after that. One of the strangest parts of this whole saga has been how quickly it all became normal, barring my incessant longing for a mediocre meal in a mid-price Italian restaurant, and the constant low-level worry that he’s being starved of stimulus and will emerge from all this woefully behind all his friends because their mums and dads were actually good parents and had a nine-hour course of cultural delights planned each day.

It doesn’t help that so many of the ‘great ideas for young kids’ you see online are so complex and labour intensive, and when we try them on him he seems resolutely uninterested and happy to continue doing his same old thing. We read to him, play games, do painting and building, speak to him all day in full sentences and try to keep screens to a minimum. We video-call his nana and grandad and make sure he has a little run-around in the park for half an hour every day. But we still fear it’s not enough. That we’re not enough, and he’ll arrive at his first day back at playgroup saying ‘nee naw’ at his new fire engine, while all his playmates are tuning their violas and punning in Greek.

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