A sweet mama I know was pondering how other moms keep their toddlers busy.
I do realize that I no longer have toddlers, but Bryson is a very active preschooler,
so I will share my 2 cents worth. *smile*
I find consistency with kids to be beneficial.
Not a strict schedule, but rather a rhythm to the day.
We like Outside Time to be first thing in the morning;
fresh air and freedom is always a good thing!
Story Time usually follows. Andrew does his ‘formal’ reading lesson with me while Katie can read to Bryson.
Now that Andrew is actually reading (we went back to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons for the 3rd time, and this time it has clicked. Definitely a ‘yay God’ moment!), Bryson has been listening in on what little-big brother is doing.
Craft Time is always a hit. Katie and I try to plan a craft to go with the story, but it doesn’t have to be fancy; fingerpaints, coloring, or self portraits are always an easy hit. For a quick craft idea, Childcareland has daily posts to share out of simple supplies already on hand.
Snack Time with sissy helps me to be able to set up ….
Hands-on learning with a Montessori bent to it.
Some of our favorite activities include playdough, magnets, sorting, pouring, puzzles, etc…
*of course, with smaller child, always supervise. *wink*
While the kids are busy playing at the table, I take the opportunity to prepare lunch. The littles keep occupied while I can still keep an eye on things. I call that a win/win. (The big kids are usually doing school work at this time).
Lunch is followed by Quiet Time.
Never say “nap”, lol. Quiet time is for all ages. My kids quit napping (aka sleeping) by about 16 months, but quiet time at mid day is often necessary. I do allow TV at this time, such as some educational show on history or animals~as long as they stay quiet. My older kids enjoy reality survival shows that the littles don’t mind watching either. This is my opportunity to clean up after lunch.
Next is Floor Time activities which include cars, marbles, action figures, lincoln logs, bristle blocks, etc…
This allows me to do ‘table time’ with the big kids (ie History, Fine arts, etc…).
Chore Time aka “Jurisdictions“.
Chore time is to tidy the house before daddy gets home. The littlest of our clan helps mom in the kitchen. The other kids rotate jurisdictions weekly… school room, dining room, & living room. Clearing tables and floor is the biggest must. =)
Outside Time (yes, again) lets the house stay tidy, and I take this opportunity to prepare lessons for the next day, check e-mail, and yes, ponder posts for here. *smile* The big kids usually buddy up with a younger sibling for some one-on-one attention; this is done naturally, not something I enforce.
of course, on those common rainy days, outside time becomes Game Time.
This includes video games such as soccer, Super Mario, Donkey Kong…
or card games such as Go Fish, Crazy 8’s, War…
or board games such as Dominoes, Candyland, Yahtzee…
or kid games such as follow-the-leader, i spy, Simon Says…
Toddlers may not know how to do all this yet, but they sure have fun trying! If necessary, buddy them up with a bigger sibling for guidance.
The days when I become distracted and we don’t follow a flow to our day, misbehavior (ie boredom) soon follows…
*side note: all these activities are flexible to a routine, thus each July I ponder how our school days (beginning in August) will look like and then adjust the littles as needed. With Bryson being a bit older now, and Andrew sliding into a big kid slot, I will share our new routine later this summer…
Yes, I definitely believe there is a Rhythm to Sanity…