I've said it before and I'll say it again, my kid is an energy machine. He truly keeps going...and going. He is also a curious explorer, always looking for the next endeavor -- whether it be climbing to the top of the dining room table to get to anything and everything in sight, or trying his darnedest to put his shoes on all by himself. He is curiously determined.
That determination leads us to a lot of busyness and in Toddler-dom, minutes can feel like eons. So I got to thinking, what can this crafty mom do to entice her little rascal to sit still and focus, while maintaining that curiosity we all know and love?
Enter, the idea of "Toddler Games," my recipe for a few moments of mom-zen! Gather a few crafty items from your local craft store. I like Michaels. Then search your cupboards for some household basics and you are on your way to creating these quick and easy gamelets. Pinterest is full of inspiration for Toddler Games. I researched and made a few of them my own. So please, follow along and make them your own!
First up: Pipe Cleaner Pinhole. (Yes, I made these game names up so just go with it) The only thing you should need to actually purchase are pipe cleaners. I bought oversized ones for my babe's tiny hands to grasp easily. Household tupperware, scissors and crayons (optional) round out this project.
Shep lasted a good 15 minutes with this one! He needed a bit of help because the pipe cleaners kept bending. I will have to think about fixing that for version 2.0. Perhaps about using wooden popsicle sticks instead of pipe cleaners will do the trick. The goal of this game is to get the pipe cleaners into holes. This takes determination. Check out that focus face, he was really intent on making it work!
Next Up: Pom Pom Pinhole. Once again, the only item you need to pick up from Michaels are a bag of multi-sized pom poms for $5.99. I chose multi-sized poms because I thought it would be fun for him to play around with pushing different sizes into the holes. I was right. He now LOVES pom poms. Soft, squishy goodness. This game top notch. Curiosity was in full effect.
Use the tupperware from the pipe cleaner gamelet and let your babe go to town. There were pom poms everywhere because Shep made up his own game within a game-- he took the poms from one bag and put them into another zip lock bag. This lasted awhile and no help needed...hallelujah. Twenty minutes of free time for me to sit back, relax and revel in some quiet time.
FInal Game: Pom Pom Wahooo. (I'm still working on a title for this one) Grab an empty cardboard paper towel roll (free) and some left over pom poms and voila...you've got yourself another hand eye coordination game! This concept didn't keep Shep focused for as long as the others but since pom poms were involved he played for a few minutes before throwing them up in the air and rolling around in them.
This morning I found my rascal in the living room with, you guessed it, pom poms and pipe cleaners! It's safe to say these gamelets, that cost me approx $10 and some random kitchen supplies were worth the small DIY effort. It gave Sheppiedoodle the stimulation he needed while providing him with focus and fun for 45 minutes. It provided me some zen-time, which, in Toddler-dom, is a rarity. Now it's your turn -- ready, set, go...it's game time!