Toddlers and Summer

In the heat of the California sun how do you keep toddlers entertained without spending a fortune on expensive classes?

The great thing about this age is that the most random things can entertain them, the hard part about this age is that any one given item will only entertain them for a short period of time and then it's onto the next thing. So you have to have your bag of tricks ready!

During the school year I am a preschool teacher and have a lively class of 3 and 4 year old, but this summer I am challenging myself. I have my own son who is 16 months old and I am watching a 15 month old little girl. Two one year old's!!! What was I thinking?

We go on daily walks in the morning before it gets too hot. The kids love being outside even if they are strapped in a double-stroller and if we find a shaded area we get out and explore nature and by explore I mean my son (Mr. C.) gets right down to it and tastes all that nature has to offer, grass, dirt, wood-chips, and bugs straight into his mouth..yuck! While Little M. (the girl I take care of) watches and then tries to copy.

A new favorite is to take a shallow dish (tupperware works great) fill it with water and have some large paint brushes available. Take the water and the paintbrushes outside and let the little ones paint the sidewalk. The kids love it and it is strengthening their fine motor skill in those little fingers, improving hand eye coordination and introducing cause and effect. The kids have so much fun painting water on the ground, their shoes, hands, arms and legs. The best part's only water so even if it spills it's an easy clean up!

Put on some music!!!
Anytime throughout the day when the clock is just ticking by and nap time seems oh so far away, I crank up the music. I am a strong believer in music setting the mood for children. I use music as a tool in my preschool classroom if I want our classroom environment to be calm I turn on calm music and it doesn't matter if the children are playing, coloring or cleaning up if calm music is playing softly in the background it affects the moods of the children. Same goes for fun playful time, turn on some fun tunes for the kids to move to. This summer with my little munchkins I have done the same thing, about 15-20 minutes before nap time I turn on some quite music and we look at books, eat a snack or play quietly then off to nap time. It creates a comforting transition. Again the same goes for livening up a room! If I turn on a fun cheerful song they both look up and soon we are all dancing. Pick fun playful it's not the music you would chose for yourself but the kids will love it and it's okay to be might drive you insane to hear the same few songs over and over again but the kids will love it and it will become a familiar part of their daily routine.

1 comment:

  1. Kaitlin SchubertJune 30, 2010

    yay taylor! Im so glad you started a blog! I am babysitting a one year old girl all summer and I enjoying hearing about your adventures and it gives me great ideas to do with my lil one. Have a fabulous summer!


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