Hello world! It’s been ages since I posted anything on the blog. Hopefully I will continue to find time in my busy schedule to make this a regular thing.
So, I just had a baby. I also have a 2-year-old.
Yep, my life is crazy busy.
I’d be lying if I said that taking care of two kids was easy. Not only is my two-year old strong-willed and stubborn, but my one month old has reflux. Needless to say, my days at home are all about survival. So far we’ve all made it out alive, but I know a more structured day would be better for all of us. It just takes time. I’ve been building a routine, and I think we’re getting closer to making this routine stick.
One thing I’ve tried incorporating into our day is one-on-one activities for my two-year old, and independent activities for her as well. This is difficult to do with a new baby who demands to be fed every two hours. I do find that if I spend this time with her and give her something specific to do, she doesn’t act out for attention. So making the time to set this up for her is key to a successful day, and it keeps my hair from turning gray!
If you’ve been reading this blog over the past few months, you’ve seen all the Montessori activities that I’ve made for Ella. Setting those up before giving birth to my second was the smartest decision I’ve ever made! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, be sure to click here.
Have I mentioned how much I love the Dollar store?
Well, I do.
I bought 5 of these bad boys and only spent $5. If I went anywhere else I would be spending at least twice that amount if not more!
These plastic dish bins are the perfect size for a closet organizer that I’ve had since college.
Anyways, here’s what I put in the bins:
1. 2-3 books
2. Sensory bin activity (To see some ideas, check this out)
3. Art activity (coloring books, crayons, watercolors, paint, markers, etc.)
4. Outside activity (sidewalk chalk, bubbles, small trucks and cars, jump-rope, water toys, etc.)
Here is an example of a bin.
You can’t completely see what’s all in there, but everything fits nicely and it’s so easy to just pull it out in the morning when I need a few moments to nurse Calvin or get the house cleaned.
Here is a list of what I’ve put in this bin:
1. 2 books (I’m a Shark and Fishy Tales)
3. Coloring book with crayons
4. Bubbles for outside
What I’m doing is rotating these bins every week. So when the week is over, I take everything out and put new activities in there.
I can tell this method is working because my Ella is more focused and her naughty behaviors seem to disappear the more time I focus on meeting her need to learn. Toddlers get bored with the same old things, and thrive on structured playtime. What I mean by structured playtime, is just giving them only a handful of options. Toddlers and kids can get overwhelmed by too many toys, books, and activities being available to them. When you limit them to only a couple of choices, you’ll notice that they are able to play with those toys for a longer amount of time.
Slowly but surely, we’re figuring this new family dynamic out.