Toddler Activities with JoJo

Posted by  | Thursday, March 11, 2010  at 8:15 AM  

This week has been the biggest reminder to me why I am thankful that I had two kids close together - they play together so much! I have tried to divide what I do with Samuel (3.5) from what I do with Joel (2), but they pretty much do most things together! Just like Christina & Margaret said, it is mostly jr. versions of what Samuel is doing. Here's what you will see at our house on an average day:

1. Reading. This is SOOO important (but I'm sure you already know that!). Reading to your child each and every day is the most important activity you can do for their development. I try to read a variety of books with a growing vocabulary. We visit our library at least 3-4 times a week (it is two blocks from our house and an easy walk no matter the weather).
2. Dancing. I crank up the stereo and we jump around to the music. I try to get him to clap or stomp to the beat. But it is also a fun time to be silly with mom. He has so much more fun when I'm willing to jump around with him.
3. Puzzles. Joel loves to do the handful we have at home or the ones up at the library.
4. Cars. We have a small Rubbermaid box full of Matchbox cars. I will sit on the floor and play with them with Joel. We make them talk to each other (this is how I sneak in speaking kindly and having good manners like saying please, thank you, excuse me, etc). I also try to get him to sort them according to color or to try to line them up in straight lines.
5. Water Play. Ed started this and at first I wasn't excited about it. But both boys LOVE this. We push a chair up to the kitchen sink and let them play with the faucet/sprayer and a small collection of measuring cups, etc. They will play and play at this. This can be a helpful activity if they are bored and want my attention while I'm trying to get dinner ready.

6. Boxes & Bowls. Margaret listed this one with Jonathan and I agree. Joel loves to play in empty boxes and big bowls. He and Samuel will crack themselves up with tipping out of it, playing "Pop Goes the Weasel", pretending they are in boats, etc.

6. "Tootie Time". This is "tootie", that rhymes with "Nude-y" that means Naked. Every morning to get them from jammies to clothes and every evening to get them from clothes to jammies, the boys have "Tootie Time". I let them run around the living room with their clothes off. They think it is hil-ar-ious. And it has ended the tears from "I don't want to get dressed."

7. Playing with Random Things. This is probably the most popular thing to do at our house. Joel loves to get into the Recycle Bin and pull out all sorts of things. I used to get uptight about this, but then I realized that there was no reason for me to get so bent out of shape about this. The items are all rinsed and clean and it's pretty funny to see what he comes up with to do with the 2 liter bottles, toilet paper and paper towel rolls, boxes, etc. The only things I keep away from him are glass jars and metal cans that may have a sharp edge.

8. Flashlights. (I realize he is playing with a MagnaDoodle in the pic, but the flashlight in front of him made me think of this!). Each boy has their own flashlight and they love to run around the house and play different games that don't make any sense to me. We have an unfinished part of our basement that they call "The Dark Part" and they run in and out of there with their flashlights.

I hope you are able to see through this list that it isn't necessary to do "structured" activities with a toddler. The idea is to be active and creative throughout the day - and kids do this naturally. If you want to feel like you are "working on something" with your kiddo, then work it into their play. Do color naming and sorting as you play. Practice gross motor skills by running, jumping, balancing, etc. And most of all, have fun with your toddler and make sure to laugh A LOT!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...