Wednesday, January 20, 2010

experimenting with toddler passtimes

fridge lotto magnets

I've been trying a lot of new activities with the boys lately, experimenting with what they're ready for and what is still too much of a challenge, too dangerous (to the other twin), or too messy. I'm pretty resigned to cleaning up messes, and believe strongly in allowing the boys to explore objects that engage their senses. That said, all of these were from over a week ago - for several days, I've just been too tired to deal with it!

Here are some of the ways I've modified our space and activities we've tried.

Table and Chairs

This little table is set up in our kitchen/dining area. I use it right now to put snacks out - I'm working diligently (and not yet successfully) to help the boys learn to keep their food on the table, both here where they have the freedom to come and go, and at the big table we all use for meals. I have tried placing activities, like sorting games or stacking rings, on the table, but that really only works when I am sitting with one of them. I had to replace the chairs that came with the table with these shorter stools - although they both loved the idea of having chairs, they were just too tall for now.

Fridge Lotto

Shoghi has been captivated by flowers for quite a long time, but recently he has learned to actually say "flowers," so we hear about these spring beauties all day long. I got the book "Planting a Rainbow" for him at the library a couple of weeks ago, and he's been quite delighted by the colorful blooms on the pages. On a whim, I whipped up this little fridge matching game. I simply drew a bunch of different flowers and a sun, which at the time was Max's newest word, and stuck it to the fridge with a piece of contact paper cut to a larger rectangle size. I glued corresponding images into baby food jar lids, and stuck a magnet on the back.

Although they both point to the flowers and sun, the magnets mostly just get thrown. We've already lost two of them! Clearly, this matching game is too advanced. They love magnets, though, so I think we'll make more.

Frozen Colors

I got this idea browsing the forums on Mothering. I just took a silicone ice cube tray, putting one drop of food coloring in each cube with water.

This has turned out to be a nice activity for the floor in the kitchen. It's messy, and I have to make sure they don't walk away with these potential carpet stain cubes, but they both liked handling the frozen ice. If you're sensitive to the idea of the kiddos ingesting food coloring, look for a natural version at your local health food store.

We have many books about colors right now, so this is a great hands-on activity to reinforce color differentiation. Some of the favorites this month: Flaptastic Colors and Planting a Rainbow: Lap-Sized Board Book.

prepping the colors


This speaks for itself... Max in his typical full body exploration style has taken to fingerpaints with relish, but I think I'm going to have to get some paint brushes for Shoghi, who seems pretty grossed out by the feel of it.

What are some of your favorite toddler passtimes?

Click these links to see more photos of our activites or join our flickr group and share your toddler fun photos?


  1. Putting a little tempra paint in shaving cream in the tub is fun, as is "cooking"n with dried beans and pots in the kitchen, Grey always had fun (still does) with sheets of bubble wrap on the floor, when I make bread some dough for him always rocks, oh and they love it when I make flubber too.

  2. PeanutButter Playdough! You are doing such a fine job against tremendous trials. Kudos, nay MegaKudos to you.I am so proud of you!

  3. I just love how different they do everything. I mean, most kids do but they're the same age and brothers and such. ;)