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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Welcome, All! The sharing continues! If you're just joining us, be sure to check out the thread for January with lots of cool ideas for activities for toddlers:

http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...threadid=36466

Here's the updated schedule for posting this month and next -- and of course I'm happy to add anyone who wants to join in!

2/2 sleepies & Hannah
2/9 momcat & peggy
2/16 Bella's Mama & lisa2s
2/23 grumo & carminex
3/2 oceanbaby & mama2kyla
3/9 brookelynnp & tinaq
3/16 MirandaW & MegsMom
3/23 LiminalOne & reesa
3/30 Drewsmom and Aloha Deb

Keep up the great work, mamas!
THX!
El
 

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Just making sure that I'm on the list!

I thought I'd throw this out there:

My ds (2 yr. 9 months) loves to work in the kitchen with me. I have one of those apple peeler/cores so I usually set that up, but an apple on it and then let him peel and core the apple while I prepare other food. Ds gets a snack out of this activity. He also loves helping me with the Cuisenart, blender, juicer and the salad spinner.

Sometimes while I'm cooking, I give DS a cookie sheet and I put about 1 cup of corn starch on the cookie sheet - then I give ds a 1 cup of water and let him add the water and mix it up with his fingers. This is called Goop. Goop is great and totally zen like because it is neither a solid nor a liquid. You just keep adding water until you get the desiered consistency.

Then once the goop is really goopy I sprinkle red, yellow and blue food coloring into the goop and let DS mix the colors. This gets messy, but I can usually keep ds occupied with this activity while I get dinner going!
 

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1. Coloring: Use blank sheets of paper. Start by drawing a stick person and writing your child's name under it. Say the child's name and point at the child, then read the name and point at your actual child, then read the name and point to the stick figure. This might be a good way to teach your child some communication and artistic skills. Give a color to your child. Ask your child to draw you.

2."Where is the object?"(Also known as Shell and Pea game): You will need three cups and a little ball or small object. (identical cups make this much harder ;-) Place the object under one of the three cups. Line the cups up and then move them around. Have your baby try to find which cup it was that had the object. They will have to pay CLOSE attention and it will also help with "object permanence".

3.Stacking: Use containers such as empty plastic bowls or metal bowls....plastic cups...etc. Show your child how to stack. Putting the largest first then smaller and smaller. This will help them with learning order and size relation.

4. Acting: Read a story together. Then pretend you are the characters. A good story to do this with is "The Three Pigs" (you might have to do one pig at a time, if you only have one child). You can be the wolf (for example) and pretend to knock on the door and say "Little Pig Little Pig Let me come in". If you do not own this story, you can either look online or just try to remember it ---or even make one up. This should help with imagination.

5. Listening walk: If it is warm you can walk outside. If not, you can just walk around the house. You are very quiet and listen for noises. Once you hear one you say "Did you hear that?" "What do you think that was?" and then you explain what it was and talk and discuss it. This is very good to teach children to be calm and pay attention to the world around them...as well as to use their sence of hearing....and point out that there are lots of noises around us..that we normally do not think about.

****I hope you enjoy these! I love playing with my 18 month old son. His favorite thing to do is listening walks. He loves to say "HMMMMMMMM" when we are looking for the noise :0)
 

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Awesome ideas! Sam and I play one similar to the
Listening Walk. Usually, it starts when we hear an odd sound. With two cats and a dad who is always doing something in the house somewhere we have tons of these opportunities. When Sam hears the sound, he will say, "What's that sound?", cock his head and put a cupped hand to his ear. (We have no idea where he picked this up.) Then we try to figure out what it is by walking around to find it.
 

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Sleepies - those are WONDERFUL ideas!!! I'm going to definitely try the Listening Walk and Where's The Object? with my 19 month old ds. Thank you so much.

We go on "treasure hunts" outside to pick up objects from nature and collect them in a basket. Like pine cones, leaves, rocks, snow, that sort of thing. We bring them inside & talk about them & show them to Daddy when he gets home. We name them and touch them and study them. (we haven't tried glue yet at 10 months, but eventually we'll glue the collections onto a paper. what age did you start glue with your toddlers?)
 

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we didn't do glue with my oldest until he was about 2 and 1/2. they need to have enough verbal skills to listen to the command "Don't put too much" or "you put too much". also they need coordination enough to squeeze. MAYBE a glue stick could be done a bit earlier!!??

fyi. we also did sissors at 2 1/2 (child safety sissors).

around 2 and 1/2 you can get into some FUN little projects.
 

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Question about the corn starch thing... is this okay for a baby who still likes to taste everything, or should I wait until dd is older (she's 17 months now). Could it make her sick? (I've never even bought corn starch before, can you tell?)
 

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Aloha from the aloha state! I love the ideas and can't wait to try the cornstarch, my ds loves to mix and play in the kitchen. Yesterday we played with shaving cream on a cookie sheet and he had a blast. He is turning three soon though so he knows not to put it in his mouth. He also loves to use the apple-peeler-corer-slicer. Another fun activity he has enjoyed since he was 18 months old or so is to go through the spices opening them and smelling each one by one. Dill weed is his all time favorite.
 

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what a great thread!!!
I can't wait to do the cornstarch thing!

Aiden likes to play in a big container of rice with measuring cups, funnels, bottles, etc.
put the rice container on the floor on a big tablecloth for easy cleanup
 

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Another idea......


My 15 mo ds had alot of fun last night discovering an array of fruits and veggies while i made dinner.....while sitting in his highchair i put an apple, a pear. a banana, a carrot, a cucumber, garlic an onion and a sweet potato on the tray and found pictures of some of them in his books.

He was filled with glee looking at the pictures while closely examining the 'real thing'.

Of course he HAD seen most of these veggies/fruit before, but not with the luxury of just being able to hold each one at his leisure and poke around each one, examining them in great detail. He especially found the onion interesting, the crinkly paperlike skin was really fascinating to him. I think that often as adults we tend to forget how even the most simple activities can be full of fun and surprise for our toddlers. I love how being a Mama is reminding me of these things


It was fun for me to watch him full of discovery, really making connections between what he sees in his books and what he experiences for himself in real life.

MM
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think this thread needs reviving! With the boards down and our generally chaotic lives, we seem to be losing significant amounts of steam here, so I thought I'd post a few ideas for this week. If your turn is coming up and you're feeling like there are no good ideas left, try revisiting some of the old ideas but add a twist of your own . . . like I'm about to do!

Household Collage: This was the first idea I posted and I admit, I never did it! So in desperation this weekend I salvaged a magazine from the recycling bin and cut out pictures of babies (as multi-racial as possible). I put them up on the kitchen cabinets after ds went to bed and in the a.m. he was ASTONISHED! And I promise that in 3 minutes he was saying "Babies! Babies!" and this was not a word we'd ever heard him say before. And then he had fun peeling off the tape and ripping down the pix, so I figure it was a good fine motor activity, too. So I'm reviving this idea and will try to do it once a week. And this was after I thought it was a lame idea! Give it a try!


Homemade Blocks: Also one of my first ideas . . . well after months of saving up boxes, I sat down last night and covered about 20 boxes in solid-color wrapping paper. I built a tower that ds discovered this a.m. and he was thrilled. BUT, he then had almost 30 minutes of fun by carefully ripping off the colorful paper! SILLY ME! THEY LOOKED LIKE PRESENTS!
: Oh well, it entertained him AND he used that little pincer grasp!

Daddy's Morning Surprise: My amazing dh has started an awesome tradition at our house: Every night after ds goes to bed, and as we're putting away toys, he builds something out of ds's blocks and leaves it for him to discover in the morning. This is becoming so special to us all -- ds giggles with glee and does his happy dance when he sees it (SO CUTE!) and dh emails me, dying to find out what ds's reaction was! (He goes to work b4 ds and I get up.) Ds approaches the creations with wonder, and is very careful not to knock them down for a while . . . It's almost like a "Daddy wuz here" statue . . . and the structures oftentimes give ds ideas about new ways to use the blocks. Part of me wants this to be a special thing that only we do, but it's such a lovely thing for ds and dh to share, I wanted you all to pass it on your s.o.'s, if you'd like.


Blocks Go Horizontal: I just realized recently that we have been building towers with ds for months, if not a year now, and yet we never build horizontal structures. So lately we have modeled lining the blocks up on the floor, or making them into a long "train" that ds can push. (I'm a little torn about this, bc I feel certain Joseph Chilton Pearce would say that we should leave this to the children to discover for themselves, but I did this in a moment when I felt like we needed to buy new toys bc ds was burning out on his blocks. So pick your evil, I suppose.) The wonderful thing is that the next day I walked into the living room to find this amazing Stonhenge-like figuration of blocks -- individual blocks standing on end, positioned around the room -- and it was truly one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. (Isn't it cool how the smallest things can make your heart sing?!?!)


Makeshift Easel: We are really wanting to buy an easel for ds, but can't afford one. They're wonderful for children bc they help them develop upper body strength -- I mean, think about it: drawing on a piece of paper on the floor is totally different from drawing on an upright surface. So we have taped a large sheet of paper (see my newsprint suggestion earlier) onto the fridge and ds draws w/his washable crayons while I cook. Yes, he colors on the fridge, too, but these crayons wipe right off. It's a great makeshift easel for now!

Old-Timey Clothespin Fun: Remember those old-fashioned clothespins that look like little people? I had a bag sitting around from my old K teacher days and opened it for ds so he could experiment with putting them on the edge of a plastic container (got this idea from a book). It's good fine motor bc he has to line up the pin opening w/the lip of the container, and then also has to push pretty firmly to get it to stay on. I know you'll probably have to buy these, but they're good for many projects to come (see below).

Dust Under the Fridge: Ds got 2 child-sized brooms for Xmas. He LOVES to sweep and is quite good at it. In fact, he has successfully swept ALL of the brand-new refrigerator magnets UNDER the fridge. Yes folks, they're gone forever (until the Cleaning Fairy comes to my house to move that darn thing!). But this gave me an idea to intentionally put stuff on the kitchen floor for him to sweep (i.e. alphabet blocks, clothespins, beans for older children who won't eat them!). And if you really wanna challenge them, make a big square (or triangle, or rectangle, or octagon, etc.) on the floor with masking tape and show child how to sweep the objects into the shape. I know there's some potential here for making this into a game for older children -- masking tape and kitchen floors are a great combo!

Highchair Water Play: (more fun while you're cooking!) Got one of those bowls with a suction cup? After child has eaten, fill it with warm water and let her splash around in it. Give her spoons and cups w/ a little more water and let her pour. Add something to the water (edible, like frozen blueberries, or not, like plastic shapes) and give her a slotted spoon to scoop the things out. If your highchair tray has a nice lip, you can even keep refilling the bowl for a while. And the end result will be sparkling clean hands with no fuss!

Hope something here inspires someone! If you have variations on any of the above, post away!

Happy days to you all!
El

P.S. I know there's plenty of interest in dividing this thread up into 2 threads: one for older and one for younger children (like 12-24 months, and 24+) -- I'll keep running the younger thread, but no one has volunteered to oversee the older thread. Any takers? It's not that much work!
 

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Hello, mamas!

Well, it was my turn this week, and I completely forgot. Please forgive me! Here are a few ideas - they are probably not the most profound, and there may be some repeats 'cause I haven't been able to keep up with the January thread! So, here goes:

1. Take a field trip! Ds is fascinated by our pets, so I love to take him to pet stores that allow a "hands-on" experience. He loves to pet the bunnies, squawk back at the birds, and watch the fish. (He loved this so much that we now own fish!
: It was better than a bird...!)

2. Take another field trip! We live in a minor metropolitan area and have a small, regional airport. Ds LOVES airplanes, so every once in a while we'll just go to the airport to watch the airplanes! It's a cheap way to spend an hour (just pay for parking!), and he loves it. I have a friend who takes her son to the car wash. It's the same thrill - you get to watch the cars roll by, but with the added benefit of all the soap suds and water jets.

3. We play a lot of hide and seek. Dh or I will hide, then sing "hoo-hoo" (minor third - think cuckoo clocks, doorbells, "nyah-nyah"...) until ds finds us. He thinks this is hilarious, and he is starting to repeat our singing patterns. He will also now initiate this game by humming the pattern to us and then running away.

4. Don't forget about wiggles, tickles, and other goofy things! For instance, ds loves to bounce on one of our leg to "Jack be nimble/Jack be quick/Jack jump o-o-over [as he flies over to our other leg] the candlestick!" John Fierabend has four or five books available for purchase. There is a "wiggles and tickles" book, a book of lullabies, etc. They are a wonderful resource.

As I said, these are far from profound - I just forgot to go looking. I'm sorry, friends! I do hope that something here gives you an idea or two, though... good luck!
 

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I don't think I have a week, but I thought I'd share something that we did yesterday:

Have a Teddy Bear Pic Nic in your living room. Get a blanket and all your teddy bears. First walk through the pretend forrest and then put down your blanket down in the living room (or whereever you want.) Then set your pretend basket down and pretend to eat food. You can then play all sorts of games like ring a round the rosie with the teddy bears. Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear is another good one:

Teddy Bear Teddy Bear turn around (turn around)
Teddy Bear Teddy Bear touch the ground (touch the ground)
Teddy Bear Teddy Bear reach up high (put your hands up high)
Teddy Bear Teddy Bear touch the sky (sway arms above the head)
Teddy bear Teddy Bear touch your shoes (touch your feet)
Teddy Bear Teddy Bear I love you (Point to your loved one.)

You can also play doctor with your Teddy Bear and sing the Bear went over the Mountain and let your toddler tell you what the bear sees.

Enjoy!
 

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hi there

I am interested to join and help out. I have a 34 month old (almost three year old 'Gasp' where did the time fly?). I wouldnt mind helping out with ideas for the older toddler list if the list split into two groups. I agree its good to separate as there are quite a lot that can be adapted to the age group, but also need to have ideas that are stimulating for each.

I was going through my new Montessori Parent Guide book and tried out a few ideas today with my toddler. (she is feeling a bit left out as we have a month old baby)

This is what I did today:

-Matching Shapes: (instead of those blocks with different shapes to try to fit into the form). Create your own shapes out of construction papers and be wild and creative. Let your child cut out some shapes too as the older ones will like to use scissors.

Then on a white paper, trace out all the shapes that have been created. Then scrambled the shapes and ask your child to match the shapes to the one that is drawn on the paper. If they have hard time, have them trace the shape with their fingers etc. Talk to them about the colour of paper, shape etc.

-Matching & Feeling Objects: Have two cloth bags. One for mama and one for the child. Go around the house and find two objects of similarity and put one into each bags. (ex: clothespins, blocks, lego, animals figures, bath toys) and then take out one object, explaining to your child you found an object in your bag...what the shape feels like etc... then take it out. Ask your child to find similar object in her bag. Then take turn...ask her to go first and you try to match same object.

-'I Spy'. This is a good time to start with our toddlers.
Dont need to explain as I think you all know this game.


I can do tons more ideas, as well looking for some too. My toddler seems to need more stimulating ideas and we do lots of crafts but I think she is ready for more things.

Mother to two lil ones (34 mos and 1 mos)
 
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