Today is all about activities for a toddler. I’m sorry if you can’t relate to that at all. If you are past the time in your life with one or haven’t experienced one yet, just ask someone in your house to pitch an absolute fit and fall on the floor because you peeled their apple the wrong way. That’s basically what it’s like.
Here is the little three year old dictator that lives in my house, Claire.
I think I decided before I even had kids that I did not want to be their cruise ship director all the time. Call me a horrible mother, but it is not my job to entertain them all day. Being a teacher for a long time before having kids opened my eyes to a lot. (That could be a post by itself) I saw so many kids who had a difficult time “creating” their own fun when there was some down time. They just didn’t know what to do without some guidance or suggestions (or electronics). Sometimes they just need to figure out what to do or play on their own without any structured activities. I feel the more they do that, the more creative they become. *steps off soapbox*
However, most days I do like to have a little “school” time or work on something with Claire that falls under the structured category. I just don’t want those things to fill up our entire day.
I got a lot of these ideas from The Busy Toddler website. She is a former teacher, and I love that her ideas usually don’t involve many supplies and/or prep. Most are very simple, which is key.
This was such a great idea that really made her think, and once I got her started, she was able to take it from there.
There is clearly no limit to what some chart paper and sticky notes can do, and I consider anything that can keep her fully occupied for approximately 7 minutes a win. There is also no limit to how many names in our house end in ‘ie’.
It always amazed me in the classroom that I could take the most mundane activity and change it up just a little bit, and it would make such a difference in keeping their attention. For example, working on the floor makes it more fun for some reason.
Lining up her little army of bears with a little sister supervisor in the background.
Working on scissor skills or helping with dinner? This was a huge hit.
A little fine-motor skills and sorting activity.
Focused like a laser while making a cereal necklace. This kept her attention the longest…almost 25 minutes. That’s the equivalent of wining the lottery.
Shape and letter matching
Some spaghetti noodles, cereal, play dough, and a content toddler for more than 10 minutes.
I drew on some contact paper and put the sticky side out, so she could put scraps of paper on it. She clearly hated it.
If you read this far, thank you. If you have a toddler in your life, I hope you got some new ideas. If this was of zero interest to you, come back on Friday. Kat will regale you with tales from her trip to the Emerald Isle where she
may or may not have had dinner with Bono and Liam Neeson.