In the Bathroom
When a little effort is made, bath time can be fun and stress-free. A good tip is to learn or make up a song about bath time and sing it every night so your child learns to sing along and get ready for her bath. My sister and her husband made up a little song for my niece, and when she hears them sing "Rub a dub dub, who's in the tub?" she knows it is bathtime and starts squealing and giggling—she gets so excited she runs away and they have to "catch" her, which adds to the excitement. She adores this ritual, even when the family is away from home on vacation.
A few inexpensive bath toys, plastic kitchen containers and cups, and a little bubble bath goes a very long way to keep your child happy and make her everyday routine a little less routine!
Reading to Your Child
Many parents overlook the importance and fun of reading stories to their children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), only 50 percent of toddlers and infants are routinely read to by their parents.
Not only do children love hearing their parents' voices, but they really enjoy hearing Mom and Dad put on the various voices of a book's characters. Another alternative is to make up a story for your child and then ask him what he thinks happens next. This keeps a child entertained and encourages him to use his imagination, too.
The request to read a favorite book or hear a favorite story may tire you out, but young children thrive on repetition, which helps them gain word recognition, story sequence, vocabulary, and recognize storybook language.
There is no need to go out and buy your child every new book that comes to your local bookstore—instead join your local library (and choose the books together with your child), frequent secondhand book shops, or even form a children's book club with the other mothers in your area and swap books.
Many libraries also offer fun and free activities for kids, including storytimes, puppet shows, plays, and reading groups for older kids.