Saturday, August 6, 2011

Toddler fun

While Patrick was in South Carolina a few weeks ago, I did something fun with Benjamin each day {almost} to keep us sane and busy. This week I have a few more ideas up my sleeve. Thanks to pintrest, I've got a handful of things to try with my boy!

Most of these "activites" or crafts are super easy and pretty inexpensive - which is wonderful. Here's a run down of what we've done or will do this week:

*Playing with dry beans - Benjamin loved this! I gave him a few bowls, a measuring cup and some spoons. He played for 15 minutes with this and came back to it several times (I left it out for a bit). I laid out a blanket, which made for easy clean up. But watch if you have crawling babes. The beans can get bouncy when a toddler is making a cake ;)

*Splash pad. Free, fun and full of water things. Benjamin enjoyed this.

*Homemade finger paint. There are tons of recipes for this on the internet. I used one with flour, but next time will use a recipe with corn starch. Dried flour is tough to clean up! Keep an eye on your kiddos, though. After walking inside to check on dinner I came back outside to a dog, a table, a toddler and a baby covered in blue finger paint :)

*Make a treasure chest. B likes pirates and pirate ships. So I took a diaper box, cut three sides in half and then taped construction paper to the box. Then I let B decorate it with stickers and markers.

*Make a rainbow cake. Not one of the fancy ones with gorgeous layers and icing. Just divide cake batter into several bowls, add food coloring and plop into a cake pan. Let it bake and watch the layers and swirls form! {doing this tomorrow}

*Treasure hunting with colored rice. I just divided three bags of white rice ($.79/bag at Target) into six sandwich bags and added a little food coloring to each. Shake, then pour into a big bowl. I bought little soft blocks at Target {dollar section} and hid them in the rice. Benjamin had fun digging for them and playing with the rice, too. You can easily save this to play with again!

*Homemade car mat. Using construction paper and a little cardboard, you can turn your stairs into a three (or four or five) layered car mat!

*Finger painting animals. We are going to make fish and a few other animals with our hands and construction paper. I think Benjamin will enjoy this, although he doesn't love stuff all over his hands.

These things are just new activities I've found over the last several weeks. This doesn't include things Benjamin loves to do on a daily basis that we can really exaggerate and enjoy together {such as hunting dragons. playing dinosaurs. coloring. making up and singing songs. building. playing outside}. And I've also started drawing a picture that goes along with a verse to hang on a door. That way he can see the pictures as I talk about that verse. He really enjoys this and it's helped him when we discuss the bible.

Although I have a pretty good list started, I firmly believe that your children really just want your attention most of the time. So in an effort to mother better and make myself and my home less of a priority, I'll do a lot of these with B. However, some of these activities are great for him to do in the kitchen while I'm making dinner. Win. Win. Win ;)

And while I'm going on and on about toddler activities, here are some helpful websites:
101 things to do this summer - another list from a homeschooling website

Ok. Here's to a great, creative week! And hopefully I learn to incorporate these things as fun ways to keep busy, teach and grow with my boys. Not just as survival methods! I'll post an update with pictures when we've tried all of the things I've listed!

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