What does that look like for me? Here are two examples :)
1) Creativity with scheduling. As much as I like routine, I really don't like to feel stuck, or like we just do the same thing everyday. We have a very abnormal work schedule to begin with, as campus ministry is NOT 9-5, but we've had to be even more creative now as we balance Noah and my involvements on campus with caring for 2 little girls! --- Noah and I have figured out a way for me to get some good 1:1 time with one student each week. He goes to campus really early on Wednesdays (6:45) and so he comes home earlier than normal (4 pm). We've worked it out so that he takes Ellie for an hour from 4-5 pm so I can meet with a student and not get interrupted in our conversation:)
I've also found that if I have a student for lunch- it can work out well as we can "catch up" while Ellie and Josie are around, and then really talk after lunch when the girls go down for naps. Creativity with scheduling also explains why I'm up and out the door on Tuesday mornings before Ellie or Josie are even awake-- it's worked out to be the best time for me to co-lead a Bible Study on campus. It takes lots of planning, juggling things around, and CREATIVITY! But I feel we're finding a way for us both to be invested on campus as much as possible :)
2) Creativity with activities. Just like people rotate their toys, I've fell in love with a special stash of "tubs" that I rotate. This has especially been a lifesaver since Josie's arrival.
I have filled tubs with all sorts of different things
(a noodle tub- with dried pasta, measuring cups, bowls, etc.
a duplo tub- with a set of duplo blocks,
a "beads" tub with wood beads and string to lace them on,
a magnet tub with a set of ABC fridge magnets
a playdough tub
and many more...)
I keep all of these out of sight, and save them for those times of the day where Ellie just wants a little more attention or help finding a new activity. It's always far more fun when she's forgotten about the tub and then I pull it out again- it's new and fun!
Some of her favorites right now are the poof balls- sorting them by color in the muffin tin and scooping them with a measuring spoon and the beads/pipe cleaners. She's getting pretty good at getting the beads on the pipe cleaners all by herself!
I highly recommend "hiding" some toys/activities in tubs and putting them away. It's been really fun to get creative with different materials around the home that Ellie can play with!
3) productiveparenting.com I don't remember how I came across this site- but I signed up to receive emails M-F for both Ellie & Josie. Each day that I receive an email it has an age-appropriate activity for your child (using mostly household objects). I really enjoy the prompt to "do something productive" with Ellie and have really enjoyed the simple ideas. They're not fancy or intricate, but something you may not think of on your own.
Get creative, you'll be impressed how much your child enjoys it! And how much they're able to learn/figure out with simple objects.
Who knew that Ellie could play with chicken bouillon cubes for 45 minutes while I'm cooking supper? :)