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#1 of 16 Old 01-14-2010, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I stay at home with my son, who recently turned two. It may be a big case of the winter blahs, or it may just be that I'm unmotivated, but I find us doing the same thing day in and day out.

:yawning and

I do much better with a schedule, it just gives me a motivator and a goal. With that in mind, I am creating a "toddler activity schedule" with regular categories of activities.

And because I have several friends who said "yes! we'd like that too!", I'm going to post our weekly schedule to help others who might need inspiration. I think I'll put a new activity list up every Thursday.

Now for my questions:

*What are/were your toddler's favorite activities (esp. when you are stuck in the house)?

*Do you have recommendations for resources that inspire you? Websites, magazines or books.

*Looking at the list I posted, do you see a category that is missing? (I know I put a lot on there - rest assured that I am no super mom, there is no way we'll be doing every single activity every week )

I appreciate all input!!

Mama to DS (12/11/07) and partner to DH (08/08). Expecting #2 late November 2011!
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#2 of 16 Old 01-14-2010, 05:13 PM
 
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My DD is 2 and some months :]

We love to do crafts or art type things, and we do a ton each day. I am a big fan of our "messy bin" which I got at Target, a Rubbermaid type pin for storing wrapping paper so it's nice and long. I fill it with shaving cream and food coloring, moon sand, or whatever else and we have a blast with it. It limits the mess to the bin [on good days] and can be great when the weather is a bummer.

Also: sticker activity books, play-doh, crafts we can give away [my mom works at a nursing home so we make magnets sometimes] and whatever else.

We do errands a lot. Running to the market, going to pick up fabric at the store, or something else can be turned into an adventure most of the time. DD loves going out and seeing people, and sometimes we go for lunch after at our favorite dinner or lunch place, which is fun and a switch up for the day.

I think cooking/baking can be fun too. Measuring, licking the batter, watching muffins rise...and than eating them!

And, I set up a lot of pretend play. I may ask her to make me something in her play kitchen, or set up her dollhouse to encourage her to play independently and that's worked.

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#3 of 16 Old 01-14-2010, 10:17 PM
 
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I just love this kind of thing! Sometimes in my immediate community I feel like I am the only one who takes being a SAHM seriously, you know? It's not just about letting your kids play with toys all day while you do whatever you want - fantastic!

I do weekly schedules for my 22 month old too. They aren't in thematic format like yours are (though that is a really interesting idea) - just kind of a free form what are we doing, what do I have to buy for those activities, and what do I have to prepare the night before or during nap time. They include stuff that I come up with by watching DS and seeing what he is interested in, as well as some other sources which I am more than happy to link to:

Toddlers Busy Book is a fun read with a lot of interesting activities.
Chasing Cheerios is a very popular blog. Her daughter is 3 I think, but I just look through the archives at what she would be doing closer to DS's age.
This blog has lots of info about the Montessori method
Jan Brett is a wonderful author/illustrator and she has lots of fun activities on this page
Making Learning Fun has some printable activities
Montessori For Everyone has a lot of great free download-able, printable activities.
Prekinders has a LOT of activity ideas - I have just discovered this site.
1+1+1=1 has some fun stuff for toddlers

Things that we enjoy doing every day are crafts (painting, drawing with markers, crayons, oil pastels, pencil crayons etc.) some free play for him (usually trains and trucks, such a boy), reading loooots of books (if I am sitting down, he thinks it's an invite to have me read to him - not that I mind!) and going outside (which you have every day, fantastic!). He also has a chance to help or observe me and DH doing housework everyday of course! Every week we go to the library one day, a play group one day, and starting this week we are doing a "kindergym" one day a week. These are things that we don't really have on our schedule but that are just a given, you know?

I hope this helps somewhat! I am always so interested in what other kids this age are up to. I will have to bookmark your blog

Amanda + Steven SAHM to James (Feb 19, 2008) and Alexander (Jan 7, 2011). Lost little ones always in my heart (07/11/2009) (04/2010)
 
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#4 of 16 Old 01-14-2010, 10:34 PM
 
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I think this looks wonderful! I have kind of a general question--how does your DS respond to the schedule and scheduled activities? I work at nights but am at home during the day with my DD (24 mos). We have been very "go-with-the-flow", although just this week I have started more of a routine (i.e. yoga on Mon, storytime on Fri, etc.) However, during our time at home I pretty much follow her lead. When I've taken her to structured classes, she is pretty much interested in everything other than the suggested activity. :-) And even when she and I are playing, she will spend only 5-10 min on each task and then ready to move on to the next. This is why I haven't really come up with a schedule like what you have--I just wonder if I tried to direct my daughter to focus on "numbers", she would be adamant that she would want to play with dolls, etc. Just curious about your experience...
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#5 of 16 Old 01-15-2010, 12:32 AM
 
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We grew up with a Highlights for Children subscription. I've seen a few issues of High Five (the preschool version) at doctors offices, and have liked that... but not enough to buy a subscription just yet. I think it's monthly.

We do family activities in the evenings between dinner and bedtime (which is usually not long).

Monday is Music night, we pull out all our instruments (the clarinets DH and I played through college, his guitar, tambourines & shakers, my recorders and pennywhistles) and songbooks, and make our own music.

Friday is movie night, we pop popcorn and watch a family movie (usually a cartoon).

Saturday is game night. We don't have a lot of games that my two-year-old can play just yet, but we watch/help him move the mancala pieces around, set up dominoes to knock down, put the pieces in the Connect Four frames, etc. We had fun with Twister the other night. We've learned that if we convert red to Elmo, Yellow to Big Bird, Blue to Cookie Monster, and Green to Oscar, DS can sort of tell the colors. So we had one adult spin, the other adult play. DS usually went under and around the arches we made, until he decided he wanted to spin.

Sunday, I'm starting to have a storytelling and poetry night. (The spoken side of a Ceili, vs. the musical half). So far, DH and I have been reading poems and such aloud. I would like to work on memorizing and reciting them (sort of like Waldorf, but not exactly).

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#6 of 16 Old 01-15-2010, 01:17 AM
 
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This is great! I made a goal to have more planned activities and this will help a lot.

We enjoy tea parties, hiding objects from each other, washing dishes, tactile experiences (shaving cream, dried food, sand, water), forts/pretend play, singing, baking, reading. I've started mixing up story time by having them fill in words I leave out.

I think I'll start tomorrow with the activity of us making and decorating a calendar, posting it somewhere low and weekly updating it with pictures/words.

 Single mama to two wild and sweet toddlers 2/08
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#7 of 16 Old 01-15-2010, 01:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone! I was nervous that I was going to get a lot of "but you just need to let your toddler BE!"
Don't get me wrong, I understand the value of giving toddlers the freedom to just roam, and ds gets that. But we are both just . . . stuck. His "roaming" consists of 1 minute of independent play before coming to me to ask to nurse or for a video (we do one video a day, and he is *addicted* - blech).

Anyway.

In answer to malayasmommy's question: there are definitely times that ds doesn't want to do anything "structured," and I don't force the issue. For example, today we went to the library's story & craft time. He listened to the books & songs (not really participating, but listening), and then he did the craft for about 2 minutes before he decided he was done. I didn't fight him or try to make him stick with it - we just went to a different section of the library and he got to run around.
There are times when I will suggest our activity a couple of different ways - perhaps sitting and painting doesn't appeal, but maybe he wants to kneel and paint. KWIM? But I don't ever force him.
And he is more interested in some activities than others - toddlers will have interests just like we do. I think one of my responsibilities is to introduce him to lots of new things (many times! I won't give up if he doesn't like something once).

PhotoJournMama - I know and love many of those blogs/books - thank you! I'll check out the ones I'm not familiar with (I'm particularly excited by those last two!).

I'm really pumped about doing more activities - I think the other great benefit is that I will be spending more *quality* time with him. And really, isn't that the main goal?!

Mama to DS (12/11/07) and partner to DH (08/08). Expecting #2 late November 2011!
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#8 of 16 Old 01-15-2010, 03:57 AM
 
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#9 of 16 Old 01-15-2010, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, our first schedule is up (you can check out my blog by clicking on my username & "visit my homepage"). We'll see how it works to loosely follow it next week

Mama to DS (12/11/07) and partner to DH (08/08). Expecting #2 late November 2011!
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#10 of 16 Old 01-15-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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I was interested in the entry called "kid swapping" - what's that all about? You take your friend's kid for the morning and she takes yours? Sounds interesting!
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#11 of 16 Old 01-15-2010, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by paulamc View Post
I was interested in the entry called "kid swapping" - what's that all about? You take your friend's kid for the morning and she takes yours? Sounds interesting!
It's just a way for us to get a break Today I took her kids from 9-11, next Friday she'll take mine. That means we only get a 2 hr break once every 2 wks, but oh what heaven that is

Mama to DS (12/11/07) and partner to DH (08/08). Expecting #2 late November 2011!
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#12 of 16 Old 01-18-2010, 01:58 AM
 
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There are so many things I love to do with my 3 year old, but I find it to be so hard most days to fit in organized activities when we are at home. Partially I guess because I also have an 11 month old. We do usually have a playgroup on Mondays and Library storytime one day, and other outings, but I feel like when we are home there is barely enough time in the day between changing diapers, making meals, trying to catch up on the dishes, throw in some laundry, get snacks, read some books, play, make sure the youngest isn't digging up the potted plants or eating the littlest objects she can find on the floor or that the older one isn't terrorizing her and then the usually they will nap in the afternoon and by the time they get up, it seems like its almost time to make dinner.

We do manage to play with playdough, color, go out and play in the snow, help me bake something, etc, but usually I feel like they are just running around the house being silly or playing with things for a few minutes at a time or emptying the kitchen cupboards or some other fun game like that. Sometimes I feel like I'm not doing enough activities with my 3 year old.

Blissful mama to DS 3/07 and DD 2/09, and loving partner to their wonderful dad
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#13 of 16 Old 02-05-2010, 05:47 AM
 
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#14 of 16 Old 02-05-2010, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've posted several weekly "schedules" and lots of fun activities. I'd love for you all to visit & leave more ideas for toddler activities!

Mama to DS (12/11/07) and partner to DH (08/08). Expecting #2 late November 2011!
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#15 of 16 Old 02-05-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kcstar View Post
We grew up with a Highlights for Children subscription. I've seen a few issues of High Five (the preschool version) at doctors offices, and have liked that... but not enough to buy a subscription just yet. I think it's monthly.
My 2 year old loves this magazine. My MIL bought it for him as a birthday gift. A great gift idea suggestion! My little guy always likes to check the mail so it is extra special when there is something with his name on it and he knows that Nana sent it to him.
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#16 of 16 Old 02-06-2010, 01:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PhotoJournMama View Post
I just love this kind of thing! Sometimes in my immediate community I feel like I am the only one who takes being a SAHM seriously, you know? It's not just about letting your kids play with toys all day while you do whatever you want - fantastic!

I do weekly schedules for my 22 month old too. They aren't in thematic format like yours are (though that is a really interesting idea) - just kind of a free form what are we doing, what do I have to buy for those activities, and what do I have to prepare the night before or during nap time. They include stuff that I come up with by watching DS and seeing what he is interested in, as well as some other sources which I am more than happy to link to:

Toddlers Busy Book is a fun read with a lot of interesting activities.
Chasing Cheerios is a very popular blog. Her daughter is 3 I think, but I just look through the archives at what she would be doing closer to DS's age.
This blog has lots of info about the Montessori method
Jan Brett is a wonderful author/illustrator and she has lots of fun activities on this page
Making Learning Fun has some printable activities
Montessori For Everyone has a lot of great free download-able, printable activities.
Prekinders has a LOT of activity ideas - I have just discovered this site.
1+1+1=1 has some fun stuff for toddlers

Things that we enjoy doing every day are crafts (painting, drawing with markers, crayons, oil pastels, pencil crayons etc.) some free play for him (usually trains and trucks, such a boy), reading loooots of books (if I am sitting down, he thinks it's an invite to have me read to him - not that I mind!) and going outside (which you have every day, fantastic!). He also has a chance to help or observe me and DH doing housework everyday of course! Every week we go to the library one day, a play group one day, and starting this week we are doing a "kindergym" one day a week. These are things that we don't really have on our schedule but that are just a given, you know?

I hope this helps somewhat! I am always so interested in what other kids this age are up to. I will have to bookmark your blog
Thanks for all the links mama! I spent hours reading through them last night and am making a trip to hobby lobby today for materials... I am so excited about trying out lots of new activities... especially the various tot trays... My toddler thanks you!

Free-birthing, un-schooling (Waldorf style), extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering Earth Mama to Kayleb, ( 10/07) and Anaya ( 5/10)! Joyfully married to my beloved I hug trees and plant seeds.
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