We are so excited to host Amanda, an amazing mom blogger that writes over at Dirt and Boogers! Seriously, how creative is that name? And she is just as creative with all the wonderful things that she does with her son and also shares some wonderful organizational tips on her site as well. If you are ever at a loss on how to keep that little one busy, head over to her site for lots of inspiration. Today, she is going to share a great idea on how to keep your little one busy with some simple everyday objects.
I’m Amanda and I blog over at Dirt and Boogers. I have a 2 year old son, J, and am expecting another baby in January. I believe that play is the true work of childhood, so I blog all about the fun playful things my son and I get into. You’ll often find us getting elbow deep in sensory play and we aren’t afraid of a little (or a lot) of mess! I also share a few tips and tricks of surviving parenthood as well. I am thrilled that the Chirping Moms asked me to guest post this week! I love their blog..don’t you?!
I’ve been doing planned activities with J since he was very young. This is an activity I put together for him when he was 20 months old. Toddlers love filling and dumping containers of any size. So when I came across a baby food jar of red marbles in our sensory tray materials, I got an idea. I found 3 more empty baby food jars and filled them up too. One jar had green pom poms, another yellow. I filled the last jar with clear marbles and added the jar with the red marbles.
I put the jars on a cookie sheet to contain everything and placed it in front of J. He immediately dumped them all out and started filling them back up again.
Things were sorted by color and texture. Jars were dumped out and poured together. He was able to hear the difference of the marbles falling versus the pom poms. He was able to practice his fine motor skills with picking up and manipulating the small objects. We also worked on colors and new words along the way.
The greatest part of this play was not what he did, but what he didn’t do. J sat quietly and stayed focused for 30 minutes!! He didn’t acknowledge me at all and instead intensely focused on the play. That’s when you know you found a great activity for a toddler!
I stayed close by and simply tracked his behavior by saying things like “You’re filling that jar with red marbles”, “Oh, now your dumping them all out again”, “You hear the the clink of the marbles falling”. Statements like these let him know that I’m with him and aware of what he’s doing. Also, by not interrupting or showing him how to play, I’m acknowledging that what he’s doing is important.
After 30 minutes, he abruptly stopped, looked at me, and said “all done”. The suddenness of it was startling to say the least. I guess he was just done! So, we just cleaned up and went on our way! There are choking hazards in this activity, so supervision is necessary. If you would like to see more of our activities, head on over to the blog. Thanks again to the Chirping Moms for having me!
And make sure you scroll down below to see some great handmade toys that will keep your toddler engaged and enter in TWO giveaways to win a couple featured toys!