Changes…

Well hello there.  I have been absent for many months.  Actually so many that I have a new little love to introduce you to.  Meet my little lady.  She was born in June and we are all in love.

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With the addition of my little lady, I have been working on easy and fun activities to keep my toddler boy entertained.  I’m going to share some of them with you as we complete them.

First, let me share with you what I am calling our activity bag!  There are many variations of this idea out there and most of them are called busy bags.  I opted not to call it busy because I feel like when we call ourselves busy we are not owning our own time….a little soap box discussion for later.  Moral of the story, I call our bag an activity bag.

The idea is that while I am needing to dedication time to the newborn (nursing, changing diapers, nursing, changing diapers…you get my point), my toddler has engaging activities to do that he can work on independently and/or I can chime in so we are engaging in the activity together….maybe even all three of us.  I am all about following the child’s lead.  My toddler is very into Cars movies and letters.

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What’s in our bag:

-Collect items around your house: books, paper, magazines, cups….anything that you think your little one would enjoy exploring or that might fit into a “theme” you want for your bag

-Keep an eye on the Dollar Store of the Dollar Spot at Target.  You can get coloring books, flash cards, and other trinkets

-Search online for free printables of themes your child is interested.  My little guy loves baseball.  I found free printables of baseball themed numbers and colors.  In addition to just searching online, you can visit one of my favorite sites TeachersPayTeachers

-Since I work for home sometimes, my little one sees me using “work” materials.  So I put a small notebook, pen, and calculator in his bag.

Have fun with it! The beauty is that the activity bag will be changing…maybe once a week or every other day!

 

What have you found to be helpful to keep your toddler occupied and engaged while caring for a newborn?

 

Makeover Monday: Bottle Dishwasher Basket

Happy Monday!  Any one have a Bottle Dishwasher Basket at home that they are no longer using?  Maybe it is taking up space in your kitchen cabinets…let’s fix that!

This Makeover Monday appeared naturally as I was keeping my little guy occupied while I put the dishes in the dishwasher.  I have a drawer in our kitchen that my little one can play in…it has his cups, plates, bowls, and other odd and ends including the bottle dishwasher basket.

This morning he took out the dishwasher basket and started shaking it and putting his fingers in all of the holes.  Hmmm….it felt like a light bulb literally lit up above my head….let’s put pom poms in the basket through the holes.

This activity kept my 18 month old interested for 30 minutes!!!

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What you need:

  • Bottle Dishwasher Basket (or any basket with small holes/openings)
  • Small/medium pom poms
  • Ziploc bag or plastic bag for storing the pom poms

 

How to use it:

  • MODEL IT!  Open the top of the dishwasher basket and put a few pom poms on the inside rack.  Push the pom poms through the holes and talk through it “I’m pushing the red pom pom in the basket”.
  • EXPLORE!  Put a few pom poms on the inside rack and sit back and watch your little one explore.
  • WATCH & LISTEN!  We, adults, can learn so much from watching and listening to our little ones.  Watch and listen to your little one and follow their lead with this.
  • EXPAND!  Play is the work of children.  Let your little one play and expand their play and language for him/her.
    • If your little one requests “more” pom poms, expand the sentence with “I want more pom poms”.
    • If you little one needs help, expand the sentences with “I need help”.
    • If you want to work on adding some manner words, expand the sentence with “More pom poms please”  “I want more pom poms please” “Help please” “I need help please”.

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Language Skills being worked on:

  • Identifying colors
  • Counting
  • Spatial concepts (in, out)
  • Cause and Effect
  • Requesting
  • And many more 🙂

 

Hope this adds a little creative fun to your Monday!  Have a great day!

 

Shine on,

Julianne