Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Toddler Activities: 17 Months Old

One of the challenges of being a stay at home mom is finding activities for your little one to keep them entertained throughout the day. These are a few of our current favorite activities:

Silverware Sorting: Try this simple sorting activity with your toddler. I guarantee your little one will enjoy helping you with this chore. The next time you empty the dishwasher, let your toddler put away the spoons, forks, and any knives that are not sharp. You can put the divider on their highchair tray or even the floor and give them a container with the silverware in it. Put a spoon in with the other spoons, and a fork in with the other forks, then let your toddler do the rest of the work. Even if their sorting is not perfect, it is still a great motor skill activity.

Muffin Pan Fun: This is a fun activity that you can do with supplies you probably already have around the house. Give your toddler several golf or plastic balls and an empty muffin pan. Help your toddler put each ball in a compartment. Your little one may want to dump them all out, gather them up, and repeat the activity. You can turn this into a good learning activity by counting the balls as you put them in, and even counting the full and empty compartments. If you have colored plastic balls, you can name the colors or sort balls by color. This can also be a great distraction activity when you are trying to prepare dinner or clean up!

Sink and Float: The concept of "sink" and "float" can be easily taught through play. You can either play this game with a bowl of water, or at bath time. Put a rubber ducky or ball in the bathtub. Tell your little one, "It stayed on top of the water. It floats!" Then put a toy car in the bathtub. Tell your little one, "It sunk to the bottom of the water. It sinks!" Continue the activity with other items you find around the house that sink or float. You can even play a guessing game before placing the item in the water. "Do you think the wooden block will sink or float?"

And, of course:

Read: Reading is one of the best activities you can do with your child at any age!

A few of Emma's current favorites are:

My 3 good things for today are:
  1. This is maybe a little too personal, but I got to shave both of my legs today - unfortunately not an everyday occurrence with a little one to keep up with!
  2. I added another freezer meal to my stash for when the new baby arrives!
  3. Emma counted 1 to 10 today (almost)! She skipped 4 and needed help remembering 10, but I was pretty proud.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sprinkles & Bows!

With a title like that, you might think this post was about Emma. But it's not...

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband, Derek! I love and respect you so much, and I am so lucky to have you!

When you're supporting or raising a family, I think it can be very easy to slip into survival mode sometimes.

Your focus can narrow to just getting through this week at work, or just catching up with the never-ending laundry.

While there are days when just getting by is all we can hope for - and that is fine! - I don't believe we should ever use that as an excuse to let special days slip by.

Earlier this week, Emma and I were both struggling with a bad cough and runny nose, and Derek was working long hours on a project at work, and knew he wouldn't be able to take his birthday off.

When I asked Derek - between a cough and a nose blow - if he was excited for his birthday, he admitted that it felt like it was just going to be "an ordinary day, except it's my birthday."

Maybe it's dorky, but I think your birthday should hold some glitter and mystery and whimsy whether you're 8 or 38 or 88. 

Even if we are on a tight budget, or feeling sick, or just plain busy, I wanted Derek's birthday to be special. 

So while Derek was in the shower this morning, and Emma was still sleeping, I made heart-shaped bacon  and cake batter pancakes for breakfast, complete with sprinkles!

I also wrapped his lunch in birthday wrapping paper, and included a shiny silver bow on his turkey sandwich.

Of course, he will also get his favorite home cooked dinner, and a present from Emma and me when he gets home from work.

But I really hope the little things brightened his day as well. It doesn't have to be expensive, or require a lot of time to prepare.

Sometimes all it takes is sprinkles on your pancakes and a bow on your sandwich to make a day special.