Monday, October 15, 2007

The battle is over.

The battle for your dinner prep time is over my friends. That is, if you have Battleship.

The Schmeese loves lining things up and he is really into small little things. I looked through our game shelves the other day and brought up Battleship. I sat down at the kitchen table with Schmeese and showed him how to put all the little pieces in the holes.

It is KEY that you sit down with your child and spend a good ten minutes or so doing something like this WITH your child or else you will have red and white battleship bombs all over your kitchen floor. You can't expect them to just figure it out and play neatly. Well, at least not with mine anyway.

Expect them to be frustrated at first. Schmeese really struggled initially because he didn't understand why some wouldn't go in. I helped to see that they only went in one direction. It was cute to watch his little mind problem solve and work it out. That has to be one of my favorite things about teaching. You can just see and hear the gears in their mind turning.

They are so proud of themselves once they can do it all by themselves.

Schmeese "played" Battleship for a good twenty minutes by himself (after I invested the initial ten) while I prepared dinner. He has done that for about four days in a row now.
I also got a tin of dominoes out and he spent time lining them up, standing them on end and knocking them down.

Variations: Check your game cupboards and see what you come up with. Although toddlers are too young to play most of the games you may be surprised what you come up with. I can see Schmeese putting checkers on all the checkerboard squares or lining up chess pieces. What about cubed Boggle letters? I can def see potential in Boggle too.

Any other ideas?

Cost: free (assuming you have the games)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Brilliant Emily

I received the following email from a hometown friend named Emily. I LOVED these ideas. Especially the styrofoam and golf tees one. I am so grateful she passed on the brilliance.

Thank you Emily!

I have separated the email into three sections so I can tag each one differently.

Styrofoam and Golf Tees


I wish I had my camera with me so I could have taken a picture.
Here's what she did: ( a friend of Emily's)

Save the solid rectangular pieces of styrofoam packing that come when
you buy stuff like computers, DVD players, etc.

Give your kid a bag of golf tees and a small toy hammer.

Let them spend an hour hammering all the golf tees into the styrofoam.

If they are a little older they can make pictures and designs with
them (kind of a la Light Bright)

I was a little surprised that it held their attention, but this kept
two three year-old girls busy for quite a while this afternoon.

Cost: $0, supposing you have this stuff around the house.

T-Shirts and Squirt Bottles

Idea 2:
Tie dye t-shirts with squirt bottles. I did this with my kids and
their cousins this summer and they had a blast. Cost level is pretty
low, mess level is pretty high. There is a description and pictures
of it here on my blog.


Idea #3
Have you heard of letterboxing? It's like treasure hunting in local
parks and wilderness areas. They post clues online and you go out and
try to find these boxes that contain a log book and a rubberstamp.
When you find the box you stamp your own notebook and leave your own
personal stamp behind in the logbook. I found out that there are a
ton of them hidden around San Antonio and we intend (as soon as it's
not too hot and we're done being sick) to head out as a family and
try this. It sounds really fun, especially for school-age children.
Here's a link to the national letterboxing organization:

I love looking at your ideas. Such good inspiration for all us moms.


Monday, October 1, 2007

50 toddler activities

Check out this link I came across.

F A N T A S T I C!!!!!!

It's on the sidebar too.