Sunday, April 15, 2012

Taming Toddlers

Looking at that picture one would think the boys live a peaceful, quiet little existence...


They're 18 months and 33 months old. Peaceful and quiet happens when they're asleep. They are busy (and I do mean busy!) boys. Little Toddler Man has been on the go since before he was born. I once ended up in the ER when I was pregnant with him because after a slip on the ice when I was 24 weeks, he didn't move. For an hour!!!!!. I was overcome with fear. From the first fluttering I felt with him, he never went that long without moving! He was fine, obviously, but it just goes to demonstrate his state of perpetual movement. Baby Boy wasn't such a mover before he was born, and when he actually sleeps he's pretty still (I used to hold a finger under his nose sometimes to feel if he was still breathing he could be that still.) But when he's awake... B-U-S-Y!!!

So taming the busy toddler beast takes all sorts of forms here! Play dough, baking, drawing, reading, building towers, or the best one outside playtime are just a few of the activities in my bag of tricks. Sometimes, though, we can't get outside and then woe is me. I spend the day retrieving toddlers who are busily scaling baby gates, or like one day noticing out of the corner of my eye, as I was separating the kitten and one of the dogs, a 2 1/2 year old happily skipping past the window in the pouring rain). Left to their own devices mayhem often ensues.

In light of the madness that is two small active tots, I jumped on the chance to sign up for a "busy bag" swap with my October Mommies Group on Rav. I can hardly wait to get our twelve different activities in the post! I have lofty dreams of being able to go to the loo without disaster.

For my part, I decided to do Cupcake Decorating from Mommy Saving Mom. It's such a cute little template and I thought it would work for little ones like Baby Boy who can just have fun decorating and for older ones like LTM who can do shapes, colours, counting etc.

A few evenings watching tv and my cutting was done and most of it used supplies I had on hand already. Win! I'm pretty happy with the results! Hopefully the kids like them too.

Since I was already thinking about busy bags, the other day when I was going on the third day of a migraine, and Baby Boy was napping, Little Toddler Man was bored and looking for something to do. Born of a desperate need on behalf of my aching head for five minutes of trouble free toddler, LTM and I set to work. He helped me by picking out colours of felt and mixing paint. Then he "helped" by matching the parts together as I finished sewing. We managed to whip up a set of "Popsicles" for the Popsicle match game from Babblin Brooke. Between the making of them and the five minutes immediately following peace and quiet happened, so again. Win!

Today has been a cool dreary day so the boys and I made another matching type game using paint chips and clothes pins. Good fun was had by all as the boys chose colours, LTM practiced cutting on the scraps and Baby Boy investigated the engineering of clothes pins by systematically trying to take apart each and every one of them. Oh and trying to glue everything in site. Oodles of fun!! I figure there's all sorts of things can be done. Matching, grouping, counting. I'm sure there's more.

So, now we've got a few more things in our arsenal of keeping the boys busy and out of mischief and we'll be looking forward to even more when the swap packages arrives next month!

I feel like I've painted a rather bad picture of the boys. Like they're little maniacs hell bent on trouble with a capital T. Some days they are, like any self respecting toddler should be, but don't get me wrong. They do have moments that they are content to do a quiet little activity or play happily together. Besides, I've always said, and I really do mean it, that I'd rather have my busy, inquisitive, eager to discover the world around them children, then couch potatoes that just want to sit in front of the tv all day! They keep life interesting and are light in our lives.

And they're cute. Which is a good thing some days!

Now. If only I could come up with a busy activity for our Pyrenese Newf cross, Bella. But aside from getting a flock of sheep for her to herd, I'm not sure what that would be!

We're off to go have our outdoor play time now, so I'll leave you with these few ideas for "taming the toddler". What are your favourite activities with your little one?