Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Favorite Toys and Activities {the two year old version}

1. Blocks and other building materials. Just be prepared - knocking down the tower is just as much fun as building it!

2. Books of all kinds. Our kids enjoy being read to, and also looking at the pictures on their own. They either make up stories, talk about the pictures, or quote what they remember of the actual story. And they are always begging for "just one more book!"

3. Music - especially action songs, silly songs, and classical. This includes playing instruments - rhythm instruments, recorders, kazoos, toy guitars or trumpets. Build them a simple wooden stage and let them give you a show!

4. Nursery rhymes or Bible verses. Toddlers love to memorize things, and this a great way to keep them occupied in a confined space, like the car.

5. Cars, balls, and baby dolls. Old classics for a reason! And don't be a bit surprised if your girl likes playing cars and balls, and your boy likes playing baby dolls. After all, they see Mommy driving and playing catch with them, and they see Daddy taking care of babies.

6. Dirt.Seriously. Need I say more?

7. Cooking supplies - either toys or hand-me-downs from the adults in the house.

8. Swinging, jumping, sliding, racing, running, tag, exercises, stretching...

9. Imagination! Kids this age are just learning how to play with other kids, and the give and take in their imaginary games is so fun to watch. Start them on a story, suggest they are an animal, let them go wild!

10. Imagination!  It's that important - it gets two numbers! Kids this age are also just starting to make up worlds of their own, and anything - including fingers - can be props for play. In our house recently, a broom was a weed-eater, an excavator boom, a vacuum, a hose, a horse, and a broom, all in the space of about five minutes. Another morning, a spoon was a tiger hiding behind cereal bushes, and two pieces of popcorn were people walking along a path.

11. Art. This could be as simple as coloring with crayons, but kids this age also often have the fine motor skills needed for painting and gluing. We always have crayons, markers, colored pencils, pens and pencils, a variety of paper/coloring books, and stickers where the kids can reach them, and they are allowed to use them anytime, although only in designated areas of the house. There are very few days we don't have artwork spread across the coffee table!

Things That Make Me Happy

Numbers 1-4:

Saturday, February 8, 2014

More Beauty from My Sister!

I absolutely adore having a sister who knits. She's so talented... and she shares :D It's pure bliss. She gave me a shawl a while back that I have been using as a nursing cover, and I finally got Cadence to model this spectacular hat she knit for her -

Hat from Kristina, over at House of Bourbon.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Favorite Toys & Activities for Munchkins - Under 6 Months

Because I felt like making a random list, and because Mommy keeps complaining about my lack of blogging:

1. Pat-a-Cake - Sit with baby on your lap and wiggle their arms (or legs!) around while you sing nursery rhymes.
2. Ointment tubes - think diaper rash ointment, or really anything they see adults using.
3. Lids to plastic containers, such as small bowls - These are great because they're almost always handy, and the edges are super easy for baby to grab.

4. Ribbon or Yarn Balls - gather up some scraps of ribbon and tie them together. Instant entertainment.

5. Playmat - These are great for hanging a variety of toys above the baby for them to grab or bat at.
6. Toys that sing or play music
7. Being read books with bright pages
8. Walking around the house in your arms while you talk about what you see - this has been all three of my babies' favorite thing.
9. Rattles and other toys with very slender handles - these are easiest for them to grip, since they can clench the whole handle in their fist
10. Plastic rings - they're not just awesome for attaching other toys to things, they actually are toys, too!