Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Entertaining a One-Year Old II - Get Out of the House

In case you missed it:

There is only so much time Cannon and I can spend at home before we go stir crazy. There are quite a few resources around town that provide entertainment and activities for us.
This has been one of the best ways to meet other stay-at-home moms in the Plano/Allen/McKinney area. I've blogged before about my love for 2010 Babies, Lens Baby and my newest group that I'm excited to check out is the Dallas-based Waldorf Playgroup.

Most groups charge a small fee ($5-$10/year) to cover the cost of running the website, some are free. I'd encourage you to check for groups in your area with similar interests.

Public Library
We visit the Allen Public Library or the Plano Public Library at LEAST weekly.  Not only to we bring home a stack of books (and often videos), but there are a variety of activities at the library as well. The Allen Library has an aquarium, hand puppets, wooden puzzles, bead mazes and little activity tables available at any time.

Finally, both the Allen and Plano libraries offer story hours for infants (0-12 months), toddlers (1-2 years) and older at various times during the week. I have enjoyed taking Cannon to them, if even to remind myself the tunes and words to nursery rhymes and songs.

For those in the area, here are links to the Plano Library's Children Calendar and Allen Library's Children's Calendar.

Your library is a plethora of resources if you haven't already tapped into it.

Parks & Splashpads
As Cannon's gotten older, we've been able to enjoy parks and playgrounds more and more.  We started off swinging and are getting to the point where he enjoys exploring the playground, digging in the dirt and playing with sticks. Despite the hot Texas weather it's often refreshing to get outdoors and into the fresh air.

For those in the area, Allen has some great splashpads which are great to beat the summer heat. Click the links to find more information/directions to Celebration Park or The Fountains at The Shops Fairview.

If you're not in the area, check your city's website for information on local parks, trails and playgrounds.

Walking Trails
Since Cannon was a newborn we've utilized the jogging stroller to trek all across local trails and parks for walking and running. While we miss Swiss Avenue, we've enjoyed exploring Chisholm Trail, the trails around Bob Woodruff Park, and Cottonwood Creek Trail.

If you're in the area you can check out a map of Allen's trails or Plano's trails.

Yes, sometimes we go shopping just to get out of the house. I don't LOVE doing my grocery shopping or CVS shopping with Cannon simply because it's difficult loading and unloading him and the groceries in and out of the car, but sometimes it gets us out of the house.

We've also been known to go on walks at nearby malls, window shopping at Watters Creek, or take an impromptu trip to Target or Hobby Lobby just to walk the aisles.

Other Resources
Of course, if you're looking for non-free options, there's always the Dallas World Aquarium, the Children's Aquarium at Fair Park, the Dallas Zoo, the Dallas Arboretum, and more.

And finally, if you're in the DFW area, check out Metroplex Baby for a huge host of events for families and children.

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