Thursday, August 14, 2014

Purposeful Play with Your Toddler Part 1

It can be a challenge to keep your little one occupied. Being a teacher, I constantly struggle with wanting my child to be a genius and wanting to be hands-off in her learning. Maria Montessori was one of my favorite teaching pedagogies to read about. I love the idea of kids learning through play.
We all know it's true.
If you have a two year old and a smart phone, you know just how quickly they learn to operate it.

I lean more towards providing experiences for Lil to learn. I'm not as crafty as I'd like to be, but I make up for it in creativity.

I recently decided that I needed to find some purpose with Lil's play. Each day would pass and Veggietales or Pixar seemed to be "her favorite choice." I know how addictive T.V. is (I'm still working out my issues :), but I want her to be entertained through solitary play, or imaginative play, want to read books, or do art projects. I obviously can't force it up on her.

But we slowly began T.V. detox and is reserved for Movie Friday and weekends.

So back to Purposeful Play.

I had the idea of making themed weeks. It's not structured like Preschool or as open as free play, but somewhere in between. This week's focus was Farm Animals.

  • I printed some free coloring pictures and booklets from TeachersPayTeachers and used them as a baseline for activities. 
  • We got books on the library focused on Farm/Animals/ and Old MacDonald
  • We took trips to nearby places that had animals (Duck Pond, Goat Grazing, and our neighbors have donkeys). We briefly stopped by and fed or watched the animals.
  • I got a book called My Heart is a Zoo, which features animals made out of hearts. I chose a few to do and we glued them together on paper.
  • Each Friday, I try to find a movie that matches our theme. Netflix is a great resource/

See nothing fancy, but just more purposeful. So far we have done Colors, Numbers, Shapes, and next week is Back to School.

I can already tell she is picking up some of the exposure. She is able to identify and find colors and shapes and can begin to count to 2. It's the little things. :)

I think for me I need to work on it not being so academic and a race to see how smart my child can be. I just want her to have some exposure and me some structure (sanity) to our days :)

Much Love,

Momma Hurley 

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