My child is now 20 months old. Is it okay to still calculate his age in months?? It makes me feel like he’s still a baby, so I think I’ll continue to refer to his age in months (how will he like that when he’s 168 months?? I don’t care ) 🙂
This age between 18 months and 2 years has proven the most difficult for me by way of entertaining him. He’s too old for baby toys, but not yet old enough to pretend on his own. If left to his own devices, he’d watch Charlie and Lola or old Sesame Street episodes (we’ll discuss why I despise newer Sesame Street episodes at a later date…) all day, while working shape sorters, playing memory match games and Monkey Preschool Lunchbox on his my iPad. He’s a smart cookie, so I’ve struggled to find new ways to pique his interest.
After scouring Pinterest, blogs, and toy shelves, I found some success – mostly without new toys!
Here are some ways I’ve discovered to keep him entertained and out of my cupboards (and the dog bowl) 😉 :
|No dog food was eaten during this picture 😉|
1.) Melissa and Doug toys. I mean, where have these been all my life?? They make the classic wooden toys without the annoying flashy lights and crazy music (mostly). His favorites? The sound puzzles, shape sorters, ice cream cone set, and a magnetic “fishing” puzzle.
All of these work on hand-eye coordination! We work on shape and color recognition and problem solving with them, as well. We also use them for pretend play 🙂
2.) Rice. Rice, bowls, cups, and spoons. My little man LOVES “wice,” so he jumps at the chance to play with it. I sit him in his high chair with it while I’m prepping dinner, and he plays quietly, sneaking mouthfuls of uncooked rice while I’m not looking 😉 ha. But best of all, it can be easily vacuumed and put away.
3.) Water. Just like rice, he’ll play with water and two coffee cups for a long time. Of course, this always necessitates towels and, in the beginning, a change of clothing, but I’ve learned to only give small amounts of water and refill it only when he spills or drinks it all. The more often he’s practiced, the better he’s become at keeping the water in the cups, stirring and pouring, so there’s little clean up now.
4.) Flour and a colored plate. We work on drawing our letters in the little scoop of flour spread on a colored plate. My man doesn’t like anything on his hands, so I gave him a plastic baby knife – he loved it. He drew letters for quite awhile. This, though, is messier to clean up, but it bought me 5 minutes to unload and load the dishwasher without my “helper” touching every dirty dish and grabbing every sharp utensil I loaded 🙂
5.) Crayola Color Wonder products. This is something to buy, but my guy loves them. Since he doesn’t like anything on his hands we’ve put away the finger paints and pulled out the paintbrush. We focus mainly on the color and his coordination now. We have such fun! He’s a fan of purple, so I have lots of “abstract” purple pictures for my walls 🙂 These can be messy, but only sticky, not stains. He uses LOTS of the paint, so I may need to invest in plenty of refills 🙂 His favorite right now is the Paint Palette: