I think every mom has their own hour of personal hell that they go through every day, and it’s a constant struggle to find something – ANYTHING that will make that one hour a little more livable. Often, that thing becomes the tv. I know. I’ve been there and done that. But I’m trying desperately to fill that last hour before Daddy gets home with something productive, something that keeps her hands busy, all while also trying to keep the baby fed and content, fix dinner, and constantly remind her why we can’t go outside – because the heat index is over 104.
So here are some fabulous ideas that I have taken from Kids Activities Blog and modified to make them my own. (Here’s the link to her post so you can go see the original ideas!)
The first one that Becca has fallen in love with is with the colander. This colander I picked up ions ago in the Target dollar section, and it was a favorite bath toy for quite a while. Then it just sorta became a holder for more bath toys. Now it has purpose once again! She LOVES threading the pipe cleaners into the holes (the holes are too small for straws, as listed in the blog above). The first time I introduced the activity, she played for 30 full minutes before moving on to a different activity! Woohoo! (And it’s great for her hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, too!) The larger picture in the collage came with help from Mommy – we made ears and hair for her hat. She LOVED it! I love the giggles that came from this fun play time, and it was fun for me to play with her doing something other than running cars on a mat, again. For the millionth time. 🙂
Another idea that she had on the blog was putting ribbon in a bottle. I love that idea and can’t wait to try it, but it got me thinking – what else could she put in a bottle… until I realized it was recycling day and the bottles were already gone! So, I began thinking about buttons, and decided to try a button sorting activity with her. I discovered that I gave her too many small buttons for her patience/attention span, and instead of just digging my hand in the button box, I SHOULD have carefully selected some really cool ones for her. Live and learn… and make changes for next time. But, she did love the button sorting, and now that she’s done it with supervision, she should be able to replicate the result on her own.
While I was upstairs digging in the button box, my eyes fell on these number cards from a Go Fish game I bought at Dollar Tree and laminated for durability. So, I pulled them out along with our stand up pocket chart ( buy yours here), and put one in each pocket, and had her sort the numbers and put them in the correct row. In all of her brilliance, she has trouble putting things in rows. Her brain just doesn’t work that way. She wants to put things in piles, not lay them out next to each other. So this is a definite skill to work on – as well as the fabulous hand-eye and fine motor coordination skills of putting cards into a pocket chart. She loved it. My only complaint was that there aren’t enough pockets to include the numbers 11 and 12, which also came in our deck. So, I had her just do them on the table.
The trick to all of these activities is figuring out what your child needs to work on, and making it fun. Becca repeatedly asks for “Mommy, can we play games?” She sees them as fun games because THAT IS HOW I HAVE PRESENTED THEM TO HER. She would actually RATHER play games than do lots of other things. I have to encourage her to keep doing her other types of play when the games are also available. Now granted, these activities don’t always occupy and tame the savage beast for very long, and we still have meltdowns. We still have time outs. Because that’s life with a two year old. But these activities seem to be helping, and that’s why I’m sharing them – so that hopefully they can help someone else, too!
Side note – if you’ve read my other posts, you’ve probably seen Becca wearing this shirt in pictures before. Yes, it does get washed. HA! It’s just a favorite of hers that she often selects when getting dressed. 🙂
We tried stuffing ribbons in a bottle. She enjoyed it, but really struggled to get them in – definitely a great test of her fine motor abilities! I highly recommend trying it. As you can see, we used a bottle with a wider mouth (like a Gatorade bottle) instead of a water bottle – that would have been impossible for her. And still, I had to help a lot. She had fun with it, but got frustrated quickly – we only played maybe five minutes. We’ll try it again soon. I just need to figure out how to get out all the ribbon we stuffed in… I think I need a dowel rod…