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#1 of 14 Old 06-06-2005, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wondering if anyone has any advice on this situation...

I work at home, and up until last week, DS (16 months) has been completely content to be playing in my office nearby and out in the hallway (I have the steps blocked off by a big gate, and I can see him the entire time). Last week, however, he discovered the fun game of launching things over the gate and watching them bounce down the steps. Now, I understand he's not doing this for any reason other than it's fun to watch things bounce down the steps, but at the same time I'm not happy about his books being flung and bouncing around, as I want to teach him to respect his books and other non-ball toys (that aren't meant to be thrown). He does have a few balls, which are fine to throw, but some of his other toys might break going down the steps repeatedly.

As I work at home, I also can't spend my whole day fetching his toys from the steps, only to have him throw them again (I did that twice, and that's exactly what happened) - I also don't want to set it up that it becomes a game that he throws things and I go get them for him...

So as I type this, he has only 2 large things left to play with up here, things that are too big for him to pick up to fling over the gate. That wouldn't necessarily be a problem aside from the fact that once he gets bored of them, he will be coming to me and needing my attention, which means I can't work.

I don't know that there is a solution to this, really; maybe I'm just looking for some reassurance that he will probably stop this soon? I hope? He's very happily playing with his push popper right now, so it's not as though he's upset at "losing" his toys. I do know in less than an hour he's going to be bored to tears, though.

I thought of keeping a stack of toys here by me and giving them to him one by one, but I have a feeling then it will become a game of "mommy gives me something and I throw it down the steps".


Any ideas?

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#2 of 14 Old 06-06-2005, 11:38 AM
 
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I'm impressed he plays by himself at all! My ds just started playing by himself for short periods in the last few months and he will be four in August. I'm sure your ds will get tired of his new game soon. The more he does it, the sooner he'll be over it. Of course, you don't know what new and exciting thing he'll do next!

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#3 of 14 Old 06-06-2005, 02:58 PM
 
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We went through this right after my youngest was born. My older boy who was 17 months at the time (and sometimes his twin sister would join in) would throw the ark followed by all of the little people animals from the ark down the stairs while I nursed their brother. My rule was, throw it down the stairs, you lose it until after I finish nursing your brother (with a newborn as we all know that can be a while). The twins are now almost two and I have not had to retrieve the ark from the stairs in ages (or any other toys or dirty clothes that use to follow).
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#4 of 14 Old 06-06-2005, 03:05 PM
 
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LOL that is a good game! I think I would do what the PP says and NOT retrieve them. I totally empathize as I work from home too and have a similar arrangement, but the gate is not at the stairs. However DD 1.19.04 is only just beginning to play by herself for any length of time so you are really quite lucky he is happy to entertain himself!

Her favorite activity currently is emptying her entire clothes collection all over her room and then trying to put them on (which is really hysterical to watch lol).

Who stole my signature!
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#5 of 14 Old 06-06-2005, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, mamas....After being exceedingly irriated this morning (ha!), I decided that I will only give him things that I'm OK with him chucking for the time being, until this trend seems to fade. Glad I'm not the only one with a chucker, though!

Destinye, I love your little one's game...mine "helps" me fold the laundry, which results in a situation similar to the one you described - hee hee!

cedoreilly, absolutely, I still haven't gotten the things he chucked this morning back to him. I did give him a couple things here in the office this afternoon, and thus far they have remained here....right now he is enthralled with a pull back popping ball car, just watching the wheels spin after he pulls it back and picks it up - he really is a good little guy...

So, thanks for the thoughts and support! I'll be sure to sift through his stuff tonight and remove anything I don't want to see bouncing down the steps.

I also appreciated the "the more he does it, the sooner it will be over" advice, 4evermom....I have a feeling you're right, so I might as well make it be things I'm not that worried about (read: no books!)

After reading other posts on this forum, I've realized how lucky I am that he's been willing to play on his own and entertain himself for a while now - I count my blessings on that one!

Thanks ladies!

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#6 of 14 Old 06-06-2005, 04:35 PM
 
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I dunno, it might sound a little foolish, but you could try getting another gate, one of those pressure ones...and put it on top of the other gate...then he will not be able to throw them over the first one cause it will be double high. Unless he's a climber too, which is what my son was/is/will probably be forever..... :LOL Just a crazy thought....
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#7 of 14 Old 06-06-2005, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Doesn't sound foolish at all, thanks for the suggestion - it's a big wide open area, though. We have 3 panels of a "corral" bolted to the walls to bridge the oddly shaped space. If it was a standard hallway-sized space, that would be the perfect solution!

Yes, we are lucky that he's not a gate climber...a furniture climber, yes; a mommy and daddy climber, absolutely - but a gate climber, for some reason, no (hallelujah!)!

Thanks for the suggestion!

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#8 of 14 Old 06-06-2005, 11:07 PM
 
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I work from home, too, and get toys tossed in at me from time to time!

General rules are - toys that shouldn't be thrown, like books, go in time-out if they do get thrown.
- toys that are ok for throwing and get thrown out of reach stay there until I'm ready to get up and get them.
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#9 of 14 Old 06-06-2005, 11:20 PM
 
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I don't have this specific problem, but I had problems with my DD throwing her toys - we decided to do the 'only throw balls' rule - but that can be hard to enforce if you only have a few balls - one thought is to get him a big bucket of balls he can throw over the gate, so he can enjoy this game for a while without you having to retrieve anything or any of the 'nonthrowing toys' being thrown.

I found limited distance practice golf balls to be perfect for this - they are golf ball sized, but basically look like a wiffle ball - hollow plastic with holes. The perfect size for a toddler to throw, not heavy enough to damage anything and they are super cheap, I think I got several packs of a dozen for a few bucks each.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#10 of 14 Old 06-07-2005, 02:22 PM
 
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dd loves to throw her toys down the steps too, but most of her toys are downstairs, so there's nothing she could break.

Another favorite "game" is to sit at the bottom of the stairs and throw balls up the stair and watch them bounce back down :LOL
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#11 of 14 Old 06-07-2005, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am loving these stories of the "games" everyone's kiddles play! Seems some things are universal (a friend and I were discussing today the universal toddler appeal of "the tupperware/lid drawer" - hee hee!)

Great idea about the golf practice balls - I do want to give him things that are "OK" to throw - I think a trip to the store is in our future!

BTW, only about half of the stuff he started with today ended up down the stairs...probably cause he knew I was OK with him chucking all of it (little stinker!)

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#12 of 14 Old 06-07-2005, 11:58 PM
 
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I thought I had the only gate chucker. We have a gate that blocks our family room from the kitchen. Our kitchen is the size of a toilet stall and just not big enough for 2 people, especially a toddler, while cooking. It's just too dangerous for him to be directly under the stove and there's nowhere else to sit. Anyway, when we are cooking and he is in the family room, when he gets bored he'll throw every single toy he has over the gate in protest that we're not in the family room with him, even though we're interacting with him, playing peekaboo, singing, etc. while checking on whatever we're cooking. I don't have a solution, we just sort of laugh about it. I just wanted to commiserate.
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#13 of 14 Old 06-08-2005, 03:28 AM
 
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Can you tie toys to the gate for him to throw down and pull up?? Heck I don't know. My kids didn't do this.

I would put no throw items up until he is older to understand.

Or once he has thrown a book down say you are sad that he coudl have torn it. Book are to be treated nicely.
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#14 of 14 Old 06-08-2005, 12:03 PM
 
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I would just let him chuck away.
Of course, remove anything you don't want him throwing. :LOL
My DD does this all day. We have 4 gates on the main floor (3 stairways and the kitchen). There are toys everywhere.
I just collect them once a day (or two if I'm feeling especially lazy).
She's been doing this for months and no sign of disinterest, btw so don't count on that happening.

DS 6 DD 8
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