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Thread: Toddler Tips

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    Toddler Tips

    I love hearing clever things other moms and dads do with their kids to make life more fun and even easier, imagine that!

    It's such a broad topic but I thought I'd get the ball rolling with some arts and crafts tips:

    -I cut up the paper bags from the grocery store into big sheets of paper for painting. Free craft paper!!

    -I buy up muffin tins at rummage sales and use those to put the paint in. Leaving some empty for color mixing.

    -I also use the muffin tins for sorting activities. If I'm busy in the kitchen I might give my son a handful of assorted dried beans or various bottle caps I save to sort.

    -Now that the weather is nice we do lots of art outside. I water down paint and put it in spray bottles for my son to squirt on mural paper (paper bags cut into one long strip and taped together) or we do tire track painting using his little metal cars. He "drives" them through the paint and makes tracks across the paper.

    -We do a lot of painting with water. On the chalk board or outside. I give my son a huge paint brush for painting walls and let him get to it.

    I could keep going because I think I was having a "Martha" moment, pretending I was a presenter of a crafty kids show or something. :)

    Looking forward to scooping up your tips!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    My daughter loves the tire tracks painting idea. I don't know how old your son is; my daughter is going to be three soon. My biggest challenge was to find ways to entertain her while I'm trying to clean without turning on the tv all day or enabling her to make a bigger mess!

    * Doing laundry, she helps me bring the dry clothes into the bedroom and switch the wet ones into the dryer. I toss her all the socks and she divides them into mommy, daddy and angelface piles while I fold the rest. (yes, I call her angelface)

    * She is in charge of putting away the plastic containers and silverware out of the dishwasher (it really goes without saying, but I put away the knives).

    * While I cook, she sets the table one piece at a time. It seems time consuming, which it purposefully is, but it also cuts down on accidents. We have a telephone table on the opposite side of the kitchen counter that she stands on and sometimes I'll let her mix things.

    * I bought her a little cleaning set last year that she took to right away. If I'm sweeping, I let her do the floor heaters and baseboards with her little broom. If I'm wiping down the bathroom, I let her do the cabinets, doors, washer and dryer with baby wipes.

    * We bought her a rolling cart with a bunch of drawers to separate her toys. I wrote the words and drew a picture of the type of toy on an index card and taped it to the drawers and she's learning to put her own toys away.

    At first, I gave her stuff to do to get her out of my way, but she got to be so proud of herself. She likes to tell her daddy what she did to help me during the day, so I started regularly involving her in my routines. I found that it made making routines easier and she knows her responsibilities and is quite eager to do stuff for me. I hope it lasts!

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    yay area
    myh 32 month old son has tired of coloring in his coloring books. so he paints in them but usually does collages with them - glues pieces of paper from the shredder, beans, macaroni, salt, and rice that i dye (really easy. i've posted it a couple times. lemme know if you want the details on that.)

    he's really into "cooking" with play dough. has special pans, spatulas, colored salt that he sprinkles on it.

    we color on any BIG paper, box, whatever. he likes to have his whole body traced and he colors it in.

    small shovel/trowel and magnifying glass when we're outside and he digs for bugs and checks them out.

    he's also a big helper with the laundry, too. and a great way to get him to help clean up the house, i've learned, is instead of telling him to put away all the animals or blocks (WAY too big of a task for him) is to have him put things away one by one. really keeps him busy for a LONG time!


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