Currently Browsing: Toddlers

Turning Three!

I have been blessed with three children, their ages are fairly close together and I am currently in the final stages of my third child’s baby phase. He turns 3 on Sunday- Valentine’s day and he is a true valentine, sweeping us off our feet with his ways!

As he approaches three though, I cannot help but feel a sense of “is it really all over?” He is out of nappies, hasn’t had a bottle or dummy for ages but until now when people ask me how old he is, I still love to say he is two. Two means a baby, a little toddler, still in need of all the comforts that a baby has but with more freedom. Three is a WHOLE new ball game, I have no more reasons to be part of “baby clubs” or talk about teething woes, he is passed that and I cannot help but wonder where did the past 7 years of babies go? I am sure you have also found parents of teens and young adults saying, “Enjoy your children when they are young because they grow so quickly”. When you are in the thick of sleepless nights, potty training and tantrum analyzing, it’s hard to believe that life will ever be different, and yet here I am saying the same thing- where did the time go?

I am reading an inspiring book on training and teaching children and all I can advise for those in the thick of things is this: do your best, laugh more with your children because it really is true, before you know it your last child will be turning 3 and you will be lying in bed asking yourself, “how is this all over so quickly?”.

Break Time!

Break time at school: the one thing most children go to school for. Just when the day’s getting boring or long or you can’t fight the hunger any longer, the break bell goes and you’re free from the confines of the classroom. Now, what if second break was canceled? How would the children and teachers feel then? Ah, if it were canceled for one long first break, it could be possible.

I think you know where I’m heading with this…My darling boy has now moved from having only one nap in the day. At first I had the “first break being cancelled” feeling. He would sleep for an hour maybe and then would be tired for another nap at about 4: 30pm. Anyone putting their kid down at that time is in for a long evening. But after he slept for 2hours 45 min on his first “one nap day”- I’m thinking- wooooohooooo for one nap! That day I was able to put on a load of washing, dye my hair, shower and here’s the biggie: READ! Yes, for about 15 uninterrupted minutes, I read. Ah, the joy and I peace I felt at that time.

I’ve now come to know the joys of one nap in the day. My cherub sleeps anything from one hour to two and a half  during the morning.  During this time I do the most important things first that will create a smoother afternoon time. I cook because I find cooking time usually coincides with cranky time which creates crabby mom and a crying kid. By moving cooking early- I feel supper is less of a burden and we have a happier home. Next on my list is either hanging or taking down washing. There’s always washing. There are only three of us and yet I have to do two loads on some days just to make it through the week. Thereafter, I do various tasks that need to be done- but I do them quickly so that I can have some “Golden time”. This is the part where every inch of my body lets out an “ahhhhhhh” as I sink in a chair, fall on a bed or place my hands in the same position they are in now. I read somewhere that you will be more willing and able to survive the second leg of the day and actually enjoy it if you’ve had a moment. Most of the time I find it quite ironic that as I hit the good spot on the pillow where the drool has agreed to settle, I hear the ever-familiar movements of the cot. I always wait to hear whether my luck is in and maybe my boy will decide to hit the snooze button. Then I hear ” Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, Maaaaa, Ma, Ma, Daaa, Daaad, Maaaam. This is usually followed by a hide and seek game. Funny how I seem to find my boy every time. I’m good!

Overall, one nap time is a good experience. The best part I have yet to mention:  Not only is first break longer but school gets out early. With second break canceled, it means we can leave early. My cherub is eager to hit the sweat absorbent blanket and I get bumped up to “Platinum time”! YEAH!

Pottying Around

potty trainingAfter potty-training two children (a boy and a girl), you’d think I have this whole thing down. No problems- child no. 3 would be potty trained just after he turned 2! Just like the others!

But surprise, surprise- things have not turned out that way. And he’s turning 3 in November so I guess, I’m starting to stress a little over this.

As I avidly watch my friends cope with their almost 3 years olds (and all 3rd babies) I’ve noticed that a lot of them have already got the potty-drill sorted- and one of these monkeys is YOUNGER than my J-baby!! PANIC!!

I’ve tried everything I can think of, but he just shows no inclination!

So if there are any expert potty-trainers out there who have some good tips, please, please, please…HELP!

Gymn Ball Baby

gymn ballUnlike my own gymn ball, Granny and Grandpa had an inflated gymn ball at their home. This landed up entertaining my son for some time. My husband then felt inspired to inflate my “not been used since pregnancy” gymn ball and use it as a source of entertainment for our little guy. What a great idea! He loves it. If he catches a glimpse of it as we pass the room where it is kept, we have to make a detour to have a quick bounce or just to touch it sometimes. This I’ve found is also a great way to get a work out in yourself and is perfect for those indoor, rainy, I don’t know what else to do days.

Here are some activities you and your little one can do on the ball. My boy’s only nine months so there seems to be no age limit.

  • Drum Ball: The ball has a lovely hollow sound when hit like a drum.
  • Bouncing Ball: You bounce the ball and your babe tries to help bounce it.
  • Bouncer Ball: Sit your little one on the ball and while holding him/her, bounce up and down.
  • Roller Ball: With his/ her feet on the ground, roll the ball and lift your babe as is rolls so that he/she rolls with the ball.
  • Thigh Master: Sit your baby on your lap, place the ball on your outstretched legs and lift them so that the ball rolls toward your baby
  • Bicycle Ball: Place your little one on its back. Raise the ball over his/her feet and let them kick at the ball as if riding a bicycle on his/her back.
  • Peek-a-boo ball: Hide behind the ball then roll it away to surprise him/her.

As scary as the thought may be, having the gymn ball out for entertainment may encourage it to be used for exercise!

Having Fun With Toddlers

playdoughWatching your children develop and learn is so exciting but can be a bit of a shock to the system when you realize their energy levels! I have three active, both in body and mind, children Jason is 6 years old the Sarah 4 years old and Michael who is 2. In my short 6 years of experience my husband Dylan and I have bought a few items that I believe have proven extremely valuable in creating workstations for these busy bodies.

 

Jason’s first birthday gift was a red plastic table with two chairs. Even at 1, he learnt to sit at the little table and do activities and the others have followed suit. We invested in the more expensive plastic chairs and so it can take the weight of an adult which worked out great when I was trying to teach them something like building a simple wooden puzzle, playing with playdough or learning to color and draw pictures and painting. The table is easy to clean and they enjoy sitting together.

 

The second valuable item was a large outdoor trampoline which we dug into the ground. Jumping is soooo good for them and they work on their large muscle tone development and have endless fun with each other and friends who visit. If your home is small or you are in a flat, then those smaller exercise trampolines are perfect. I really HIGHLY recommend this, even in winter when the rain breaks for a while I send them for a jump or if the noise level gets too much for my ears they are sent for a jump!

 

I mentioned earlier about playdough, I make a lot of playdough, it’s so good for their fine motor skill development and experiencing different textures. DON”T be scared to use this recipe it really is sooooo easy , if I can get it right you all can too!

 

Playdough:
Put all of the following ingredients into a medium sized pot:

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 cup plain flour

½ cup salt

1 tablespoon oil

1 cup water 2 teaspoons food colouring

 

Put your pot on the stove on a medium to high heat and stir ingredients together so it all mixes, you will notice it starting to pull away from the sides, keep mixing it and until it forms together in a ball, take it out the pot and kneed it once it cools down a little. Voila! Your own playdough, I promise it takes less than 5 minutes. Keep it in a plastic packet in a sealed container and it will last quite some time.

 

Please remember as with EVERYTHING that you do with your child, you will have to invest time in the beginning to teach your toddler how to play with the dough or build a puzzle, but you will see that your little effort will reap rewards when you need to make a phone call or to quickly finish supper and you are teaching your child how to play on his own for short periods of time. I hope this will help a little, these have been lifesavers for me!

 

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