Thursday, July 5, 2012

Teaching Toddlers: These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things!

As a mom with littles I'm always looking for ways to keep them entertained. Whether we are doing something together, or I need them to occupy themselves for a few minutes, if they don't enjoy the activity it's not going to last long. So from one mom to another, I've compiled a list of our favorites; from books, and toys, to crafts and everyday items that turn our otherwise long days at home into fun and sometimes even educational experiences!

We spend LOTS of time reading around here. In the colder months we make it to the library once every other week, but in the summer we pretty much stick to what we have here at home. I asked the girls to tell me some of their favorites, so here they are, in no particular order:

Farmyard tales Series
 Caps for Sale
The Little Red Hen
The Rooster Crowed
When I Was Young In The Mountains
Jesus Story Book Bible
My First Search and Find (for Toddlers)

My girls LOVE games! To them, this is classified as basically anything in a box that we only get out when Abram is asleep!

Puzzles – Amelia is just starting to be able to do some of the harder ones on her own
Box of Beans
Colored Pasta
Rummikub – they love to match the colors/numbers
Lacing beads/buttons

We don't have tons of toys. The majority of the toys we have consist of play food and other kitcheny type things, along with some baby doll things. Tim built a kitchen for the girls for Christmas last year and all three of the kids spend a lot of time playing with it. Some of our favorite things to play kitchen are:

Felt food – we have several sets (we tend to like these better than the wooden ones, the girls love being able to actually make sandwiches and salads)
Wooden food
Any mini gadget that looks like it belongs in mommy's kitchen!
Baby's, cradle, and highchair
*Amelia's newest obsession is Legos!
*Abram's favorite toys are cars, and balls!

Crafts are a high priority around here, especially to Amelia. She keeps her favorite coloring book and crayons on her chair at the table and colors during breakfast most mornings! Here are a few of our favorite “tools” to use while being creative!

Do-a dots (a current FAVORITE)
Twistable colored pencils/crayons
pom-poms (which my girls for some reason call puff-balls)
WASHABLE finger paints
pieces of felt and tissue paper

Occasionally I do need a few minutes to get things done without actually sitting with them and supervising, or we just get sick of the toys and need some random fun. So, here are a few “unusual” things we do to pass the time!

Fill up the sink with a couple inches of water and give them bowls and measuring cups/spoons
I lay my hot pads/oven mitts all over the living room and tell them they can't touch the carpet (they call this hopscotch)
Simple chores – give them each a lysol wipe and see who can wipe down the most light switches and door knobs the fastest (why they like this I'm not sure)
Play library – this usually means we put all the books back on the shelf, standing up the right way, the girls even “scan” each one as it goes on the shelf!

So that's how we keep busy. I'm always looking for fun new ideas, so give me your best ones! Feel free to leave a comment about your favorite kid friendly activity/craft etc!

*and yes, sometimes I just sit them in front of a video for a few minutes, this however doesn't usually hold their attention for very long.  Not to mention, it's hard to find videos that are not filled with things that I'd rather my toddlers not know - always looking for suggestions!


Amber said...

Where do you get your colored pasta?

Kate said...

I made it! I mixed rubbing alcohol with food coloring, then put that and the pasta in a lg freezer bag and shook it really good, spread it on waxed paper on the back deck and let dry for a really long time. *Make sure kids don't put the pasta in their mouths*

I did 5 types of pasta and 5 colors. I used one box of each type and divided the box into the 5 colors so there is "about" the same amount per color.