Hacks to keep a toddler walking without wanting to be carried
Cyd has come up with some fantastic diversions that keep her daughter from wanting to be picked up while Cyd's arms are already full:
A small but often challenging part of my day involves traveling to and from the metro stop (4 not-so-flat San Francisco blocks) with my 2-year-old. It's not practical to take a folded stroller on the train, so we are either both on foot or I'm carrying her. Unsurprisingly I prefer the former, especially after work when I'm likely to have groceries, etc. in addition to my work bag and her daycare bag. I've been trying to evolve a better set of hacks for keeping her walking and avoiding the "up mommy, up mommy, please, please, PLEASE" chorus. Here are my current favorites:
- Sidewalks are full of shapes and letters--every cable access, plumbing marker, piece of graffiti is a potential target for "step on the next rectangle" or "where's an A"...same with colors of parked cars we pass
- I have her "push" me up the hills
- I suggest places (actually easily visible) like behind a street tree where she can "hide" and jump out at me
- I let her carry (well, drag) her own bag and tell her what a big help she is
Just a few thoughts...what else works? I'd love to hear other parents' suggestions.
Counting steps often works for us -- we do this while going up stairs all the time. Varying the tempo and gait (walking, then running, then hopping, then skipping), and creating mini-destination ("I'll race you to that tree!") also helps.
What your best keep-the-toddler-walking tips?