Planning Ahead for Lock-Down and a Big, Important Decision: What Should Jax Be for Halloween?

Hooray for fall! This is my favorite season and Jax and I have been outside enjoying it as much as possible. It only lasts for so long here in Minnesota. I’m not really looking forward to what’s coming down the pike: lock-down for cold and flu season, being cooped up inside with a boy who really loves to be with other people, below freezing temperatures, lots of snow… I’m working on a list of activities for us to do when it’s too cold to play outside. Here’s what I have so far:

  1. Sensory play (dried beans, whip cream, water)
  2. Puppet show
  3. Finger painting
  4. Shape sorters

This will last us about 2 days. I think Pinterest will become my best friend!

Help me! If you have any more ideas of activities for a 1-year-old that we can do inside over the winter – please let me know in the comments!

I’ve noticed that Jax is very scattered. He will play independently for quite some time, but he jumps from one thing to another almost constantly. He also gets very frustrated very quickly if he can’t do something or if things aren’t going his way. When he gets frustrated, he gives up.  I’ve been working on the concept of “one more” to get Jax to focus on an activity for longer than 30 seconds. I’ve also introduced the sign for “help” to give him a way to ask for help if he needs it so he doesn’t get frustrated and give up. Does anyone have suggestions for activities, games, etc that might help him with this?

And, now for some fun! Will you help us decide what Jax should be for Halloween? (I know the last poll didn’t go so well! We loved the results, but just had a hard time finding the right materials to make it happen!) This time, we will follow through, I promise!

Author: Andrea M

Oh man, what an adventure! I went into labor unexpectedly when I was 23w3d pregnant. Jaxson was born weighing 1 lb 8 oz. A tiny little peanut, but boy was he feisty. He still is! We love it now, but we probably won't when he is a teenager. I write about our journey and all other things that come with it, including a brain tumor. We look forward to "meeting" you - come hang out with us...we're pretty cool.

9 thoughts on “Planning Ahead for Lock-Down and a Big, Important Decision: What Should Jax Be for Halloween?”

  1. It’s definitely common for little ones to bounce from activity to activity. I also rotate toys in and out frequently- it’s a lifesaver.

    This may be a bit old for Jax but George loved this felt board that we made for him. It’s basically just a bulletin board covered in felt, and I made some shapes and other things out of felt to stick on there. For some reason he couldn’t get enough of it, and I would just cut out new shapes, etc. every few weeks. The trick is to have him play with it and take it out of the rotation before he gets bored with it.

    Good luck this cold season!


  2. you sound well prepared for rsv season already! You are a great mom and will make the best of the season!
    Virginia also bounced around from toy to toy all of last year. To combat this I divided all her toys into 3 sets. 1 set upstairs, 1 set downstairs, and 1 set away. I tried to rotate them regularly to keep things fresh and limit the amount of toys to 5 or 6 in one area.

    Do you have an easel? That gets alot of use around here.
    We have a giant magnet board (made from an oil drip pan) that gets alot of use too.
    We limit screen time, but skype was a nice way to “see” people during RSV season. It was nice to see how Virginia matured and started recognizing more people too.

    Do you have local friends with kids around Jax’s age that you can trust? If so perhaps you can have some one on one playdates at your house. I know many people are not comfortable with this (it took me a long time to figure out if I was comfortable with it!). I limited these types of playdates to stay at home moms with just one child (less germ exposure.. in theory). I had 3 moms that I trusted and that really understood Virginia’s condition and truly respected our situation. We did this maybe 5 times last year and it did wonders for our morale 😉


    1. Thanks, Alyssa! I don’t feel ready for RSV season at all!! 🙂 I like your idea of separating the toys. I know he has too many and I’ve been meaning to sort through them and only set out a few at a time. Thanks for the ideas! I’ve been considering some one-on-one playdates with some other preemie moms who “get it.” I’ll see how I really feel about that when the time comes. 😉 Remind me, how old is V?


  3. I have a activity for you. I will bring it whenever i make it in your direction (sooner then later,i hope) Part of Jax going from one thing to the next just comes with being a kid. I had 2 tea parties going, then within 5 minutes all the puzzles were out, and about 5 minutes later it was paper dolls….. his attention span will get longer! I wish someone had told me about using sign language with Ulrik, it would have helped with our joint frustration! What a great idea, i hope it helps both of you 🙂 A website i use often to look for activities is,, there is also…. hopefully you can get some ideas. You can also check with you ECFE class. Good luck!


    1. Thanks, Libby. I love doing sign language with Jax. He doesn’t “get” it quite yet, but I think he’s starting to recognize some signs. My 17 month old niece signs all the time – it’s amazing! Thanks for the resources for activities!


  4. When Jack was younger, I tried to do similar activities each morning…I felt less lost in how to stimulate him. For example, after breakfast was story time. Then we might do a song or play instruments (“music class”). We always tried to get outside, even if just for 15 minutes. Fine motor activities and gross motor activities were a must too. I kind of thought of it as baby pre-school. I also made sure he had “alone” time for independent play. Jack was similar in his play…bouncing from one activity to another and frustrated. That has lessened as he gets older. If I think of other stuff, I’ll let you know. I have a pinterest board that I used a lot too:


    1. Thanks, Heather! I started following your Pinterest board – it’s great and there are a lot of good ideas there! I like your idea of structure / schedule. I struggle with that because I am not much of a schedule-type person! I’m working on it for Jax!! 🙂


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