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Monday, November 28, 2011

Entertainment for Minutes On End

I've been combing through the book Slow and Steady Get Me Ready to get ideas for toddler activities. It's a book of weekly preschool activities for children from birth to age 5. There are 260 activities total. Someone gave me the book when John was very young. I have not by any means followed the program week by week. I've done probably less than a dozen of the activities with John. For the last several weeks, though, I've been following the schedule more closely because he's becoming much more interested in simple preschool activities. I've been researching things to keep us busy and out of trouble!

Today, I was pleasantly surprised to find that some common household objects provided John with minutes of endless entertainment (bearing in mind that 15 minutes to an 18 month old is like an hour or more to the rest of us) and, I'd like to think, an opportunity to develop cognitive and motor skills:

Spice Containers

This activity isn't directly from Slow and Steady but since I've been looking through the book, some concepts from it were in my mind. Just marvel at all the things that these spice containers can teach us (or, at least, can teach you if you are an 18 month old):

  • The containers can demonstrate the concepts of big and little
  • The tops can demonstrate open and closed
  • You can practice fine motor skills by opening and closing the lids and also attempting to screw them on
  • You can match the correct lid to the correct container
  • You can drop small objects inside, also developing motor skills, while discussing what fits and what doesn't
I mean, really, is there even that much to do at Disney World!?

I started writing this post back on the 18th and since then, he's gone back to these several times to play. I love things like this that are 1) economical, 2) simple, and 3) hopefully developing skills and knowledge.

I feel like a year ago I would have been at a loss to come up with something to do with spice containers to entertain a toddler. And now I'm all, "what can't you do with spice containers?!" It takes a special kind of knowledge to see so many possibilities in a spice container. I don't inherently possess such knowledge but I'm getting better! The best person to be around to develop such an appreciation is John because he's not old and sophisticated enough yet to realize that spice containers aren't spectacular. Maybe he'll never get to that point. Instead I hope he keeps his sense of wonder and curiosity about the world!

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