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Monday, January 29, 2007

Toddler Patrol

Aquadoodle play mat: uses only water and it's a big surface for him to play and draw until his little heart is content. It's also perfect for introducing shapes and letters to him.

Edible playdough: get the highchair out, put a garbage bag or towel underneath and let him play, eat, smash and otherwise keep himself occupied! (Keep him in the same room as you)

Play toddler tunes for 20 minutes of dancing, acting silly and tickling to get that one-on-one time in. Act out the songs. We then switch to kids' Christian songs for him and we play our classical music selection low in our learning room.

We got him a train table for Christmas, it's the one from Step2 Train and track table, he Loves it! I don't think this is what you're thinking of but truly, it keeps mine happy and occupied for at least 1-2 hours during lessons.

Utilize that nap time to do read-alouds, history, and reading!

His own coloring station complete with Crayola's Mess-Free markers and paper. I also have coloring books for him if he will sit nicely and color with crayons. (I, of course monitor this!)

He loves our dry-erase easel, it has a chalkboard on the other side but he doesn't like using the chalk, he'd rather eat it. This has be monitored closely too.

Last resort: Cars, Love Bug (old Herbie movie), Curious George, Baby Einstein, - whatever movie he likes.

To try before you get to Last Resort: Quiet time in his room with baby gates on the door. He may need time to "chill" - he has a very demanding life, you know! I have a toybox filled with nothing but wooden blocks for him, a few board books and some cars and trucks to play with.

That reminds me, I've taken away ALL his toys. I divided all of them into shoebox bins that I keep high in his closet- he gets ONE a day. I include cars, trucks, animal figurines, a few of his electronic toys. The big cars and trucks cannot fit so under the bed they go, he can play with those anytime, same with the wooden blocks and board books.

This has saved my sanity- our house would be toy-destroyed at all hours of the day no matter how many times I called out, "Time to Tidy!"

Mine loves to gibber-read while we read aloud and it's wonderful to see him sitting beside big sis pretending to read.

If you can, let him stand at the kitchen sink with a few plastic bowls, let him play, splash and get all wet. Of course, remove anything that he may harm or may harm him.

Make sure you spend special time with him during the day, the poor little guy just wants to be loved, chased, tickled, doted over and otherwise paid attention to. Mine opened a bag of flour and decorated the kitchen with it, 15 minutes before we left for church. I was unavailable in the bathroom and Pastor Daddy was on his way to pick us up. It was a sight! I didn't go to church this Sunday, what took him possibly 8 minutes to do took me 2.5 to clean up.



Jenn said...

Can I just tell you that I LOVE your blog!

You have soooooo many wonderful resources that I think if I check one out a day I may finish in time for the beginning of next year's school year!

I ordered Egermeier's Bible Storybook from Amazon as we were using DK's Illustrated Bible for Children and neither one of us were enjoying it. I also love your list of "House Rules", very similiar to what we have here but the coinciding scripture is such a fantastic idea.

Please keep your resources up until next year, I'm going to need them for 1st!

Have a blessed day!


ThoughtfulMom said...

That's a very handy list of options.

I'd add:
- a kitchen cabinet that's safe for playing in. It means you pick up the tupperware-type stuff everytime you cook, but it keeps a baby occupied for a good 20 minutes.

I like to keep my boys' rooms toy-free. They both have a pile of appropriate books, but that is about it. We have cubes full of different options (Little People sets, cars, blocks, train track/trains, lego duplos, etc.) in the playroom, and during room-time, I'll give him a cube to play with. (Same idea as keeping things in the top of the closet.)

We're working on establishing room-time at our house because otherwise I might go nuts with my active #2, busy #3, and newborn #4. I need a break in the afternoon!

Jess, I don't know if you were thinking of taking down your first grade resources, but please don't! I'm quite possibly going to need them when we are done galloping the globe. :)

Anonymous said...

You forgot duct tape. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Edible fingerpaint: Make some vanilla pudding, divide into small cups, stir in food coloring and presto! My 2yo son loved it! (the painting and the eating)
I just have to remember not to let him use REAL finger paint anytime soon as he might try to eat that too!
Melissa (bookmooch friend)