Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Toddler Favorites

My toddler has recently been choosing his independent activities and going towards the same ones repeatedly, so I figured I'd share his choices with you!

1. The sensory bin

Presently, it is filled with beans, cups, and a few small trucks. 

This sensory bin was the BEST splurge I made in his three years. Seriously. Best part? It has a lid! Other best part? The bin easily comes out of the table leg frame to empty easily for simple change of scenery. 

Some recent sensory bin favorites have been pom poms with colored silicone cupcake liners for sorting, the beans you see below for dumping and pouring, and the ever-popular rice. 

2. Magnetic chalkboard wall. 

While this project took longer than I ever hoped to get done (a future post on that coming), it was completely worth it. Our half-wall in our kitchen was almost wasted space. One day, while scrolling Pinterest, I had a brilliant idea to make it a magnetic chalkboard wall. And here we are now, with an amazing area for him to be creative and artisitic! 

3. Painting

We have a collection of Crayola paint bottles and pull out an old ice cube tray when he gets the urge to pint. The Crayola collection comes in 12 bottles and literally lasts us YEARS. A little goes a long way, it's washable, and comes out of clothes and off of skin super easily. It might seem like a lot of money to spend on paint, but when you factor in the number of times you use it AND how easy it is to use, it's worth the $33. 

My mom hack of using an ice cube tray for a paint dish was quite popular on Instagram so figured I'd share here too! 

4. Sorting

While I kept his caps from his pouches for sorting activities early on, he LOVES his colored bears for sorting activities now. Maybe because they stand up? Maybe because he can talk to them? Who knows. But when he asks for his bears, I can't say no! 

He has colored cups to use as well as bowls and even silicone cupcakes liners. But I like to vary his methods and in February, he was all about hearts. So one, night, we busted out sorting bears into colored hearts! 

(and yes, he's still wearing his holiday jammies... this is a no judgement zone) 

5. Puzzles

While he enjoys his puzzles, I like to make them a little more complicated and utilize some higher-level thinking for him. So, I take the puzzles pieces off and hide them in a pan of rice. He then has to find the pieces in the rice THEN put them into the puzzle. Adding an extra step adds an extra level of thinking too!  

I know you might be thinking "RICE?! Are you CRAZY?!" Yes, I am. When we first started, I was cleaning up rice ALL.THE.TIME. But he learned over time and now, it isn't an issue. It takes consistency and practice and is SO worth it in the end. 

What activities does your toddler tend to choose when given the option? 

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