Having Brooks and Sawyer is so much fun, it keeps us very busy! We really enjoy getting out, exploring, and having fun experiences. We knew this would come with some challenges with two of different ages, we divide and conquer a lot. Taking turns with who goes with who, hoping to make sure both boys know they are important to both of us!
I also knew this would bring challenges during the week when it was just me with the boys too! I like to break up the day getting out and about or at very least getting outside around our house! I do a lot of wearing Sawyer when we are out and about but we are very clear with Brooks that they both have to take turns. Sawyer will take turns in the carrier so that Brooks can do some of his things he loves that Sawyer is too small for or it doesn’t make sense for him to do yet. And Brooks has to take turns coming to an area that might not be his first choice while Sawyer has time out of the carrier. At each place it looks a little different but we try to have clear expectations going into it.
Finding places that have a built in support system is great too because like at Fit4Mom or the Library story times there are other moms there that get it and are willing to help if/when needed! Because let’s face it some days are trickier than others and sometimes you just need a helping hand! If you are new to getting out with small children and need some reassurance these are great places to start!
Some of our favorite places to take both boys are:
- Discovery Place Kids: The area they have for Sawyer is GREAT and there are some things that are age appropriate for Brooks in that area still too so it is perfect for both of them to be able to play! There are some places around the bigger areas of the museum I will get Sawyer of out the carrier and let him explore, if it isn’t too busy!
- Movers and Shakers Library Time: Most libraries offer a story/music time for kids and this was one of the first things along with Fit4Mom that I did with Brooks when he was a baby and still do with both of them! It is great because there are other moms/caregivers to meet and interact with as well as time for the kids too! We go to the one for Brooks’ age now because it is what fits our schedule and Sawyer is able to come and do it too! Both of them enjoy it and Brooks enjoys the computer and choosing books before we leave!
- Fit4Mom: Both boys are in the stroller during our workouts but after class we hang around and they are both able to get out and play with the other kids! We do playgroups or crafts after class and both boys are able to participate in these, it is great! Find a location near you or come join me at Fit4Mom Lake Norman!
- LangTree Lake Norman: This is a GREAT place to go where we are able to experience nature, play, and run in a safe space! We typically take food for the turtles and fish, both boys can be down on the sundeck to play. There are also some great restaurants and a ice cream shop so if we want to make more of a day of it we will grab lunch and maybe ice cream after!
- Parks: Hope Park, Cornelius Road Park: These two parks have small & bigger equipment. Brooks still like to play on the smaller side especially if there are a lot of big kids as they can make him a little nervous and when Sawyer is out of the carrier at the parks Brooks likes to be close by (protective big brother)! Brooks loves to swing and loves it when he and Sawyer are able to swing next to each other at Hope park! Cornelius Road Park also has a paved walking trail so we can bring Brooks bike or scooter and walk after we play. Fisher Farm Park doesn’t have playground equipment but we enjoy going here for a picnic, walking, and they have big open space that I can bring a ball or trucks for Brooks to play in the field area and a blanket for Sawyer to crawl around on and play too!
- Rescue Ranch: Beginner Buddies Program & Playground
The beginner buddy program at rescue ranch is for 1-5 year olds and is so fun! They typically have it set up in stations with color or letter matching, a craft, sensory play/bins, games, puzzles, books, and they get to see up to 2 animals when they have this and they learn about the animal and then get to pet them too. Then they are able to play at the playground after the program!
- NC Zoo: We have a membership and love going as a family! This is definitely somewhere I am looking forward to leaning in to more as Sawyer is getting older! I can definitely see me taking the boys hear during the week and letting them play on the playgrounds and taking some time to see the animals together too! This zoo is very big so on the days it is just us while dad is working we may not see the whole zoo and the trip will definitely look different but could still be fun!
This will continue to evolve as Sawyer gets older and continues to get more mobile! I share this in hopes that it encourages you to get out and about, figure out what it looks like for you but don’t let having small children hold you back from exploring with them! Even if it is around your home, I find switching it up can be a real game changer if we are having a hard moment, day, or week! Sometimes we need a change of scenery!