Toddler Boys

Posted by  | Wednesday, March 10, 2010  at 5:42 PM  
Meredith is three and a half and loves every minute of "preschool" type activities that I give her. Jonathan, being just two isn't quite there yet so my challenge is finding activities that fit him. Boys especially need more than a coloring book and crayons. Usually though, he is included in whatever activity she is doing, only modified a bit. For instance, when Jonathan tired of finger painting, he stacked up the bottles of paint and enjoyed knocking them over. My kids love dressing up too! But, cute boy dress up clothing can be hard to find. We've acquired a football player outfit, a cowboy hat and boots and hobby horse, and here he is in a fireman costume my mom made him. He is holding another great toddler activity - a roll of masking tape. Once I was running late on the way to an appointment and didn't have time to prepare the kids bags full of things to keep them busy, but I did manage to grab a roll of masking tape instead. He can play with a long piece of this stuff for a long time! He likes to stick it to things (and it is easily removed if you don't wait a long time) and eventually rolls it into a sticky ball. I've also made shapes and curvy lines on the carpet with masking tape and have them try to balance on it or hop from shape to shape.
I don't have any of those great trays Christina mentioned, but I have found that when they kids are playing with beans or pasta, I just let them do it on the floor. If they drop any, they don't bounce and roll like they do on the table.

Jonathan can also entertain himself for a long time with empty containers, plastic or cardboard. They pretend they are boats or bathtubs or fill them with toys. Here he is taking a brief rest.

I also really try to find very physical things for Jonathan to do. He seems to need more physical play than his sister does, and I think that may be true of most boys. We take the cushions off the sofa every day and build forts or obstacle courses. I also frequently play "Simon Says" with them and have them jump, spin or flip. We dance, march and sing to music every day too. I send him up and down the stairs to find items or get things. And of course if the weather is nice enough, we go outside and dig in the dirt, play with rocks, trace our shadows with sidewalk chalk or ask daddy to play games with a ball (my husband is great at this - I can never think of fun games to play at this age, but he always gets them running and having fun). These are simple ways to enjoy the day. How do you keep your little boys busy?


Meg said...

I love the masking tape idea!

Christina said...

Painters tape works well for that too! And it won't damage - not even my walls...I use the tape to tape down their painting papers to the table and also to take paper for Will to practice cutting. It's easier to cut if its held still by the tape. Great post about boys, Margaret! You are SO right that they are different.

Tamara said...

I have 2 boys and 1 girl, and the boys most definitely need more physical activity during the day than their sister does--and a couple of games that they love to play are 'mother may i?' and 'red light, green light'. I especially love 'mother may i?' because it helps them to work on remembering their manners while being fun at the same time. We sit them at the top of the steps and they have to ask, 'mother may i move down x# of steps, please?'. And if they forget the please or the may i, they don't get to move for that turn. They get a kick out of it!

Terra Jones said...

We use painters tape to make race tracks for the boys (and some times their cars, lol...but it usually ends up them chasing each other, lol)

And totally true about boys needing more physical play...whew!

We do beans on the floor (well did when we had a working vacuum, lol!) They ask for them everyday, soon sweet boys!

They don't seem to enjoy "art time" as much, which leaves me always looking for ideas --

But they too love simon says, although my 18 month old doesn't always know what to do, he'll just copy his brother :)

They go NUTS when we do obstacle courses...we do water play (either in the sink or on towels on the floor)...

They love when I drag them on sheets around the house...

All these physical things, but they still love helping me clean, cook and do laundry! I'll take it ;-)

Oh, and we try to end every night with a dance party to get the sillies out ;-) We crank up the ipod to loud, fun music - love it! :)

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