Monday, April 2, 2012

getting inventive with a toddler

Before Xena came into our life, Genghis and I often passed the morning time by going out to the library, museums, gardens, grocery stores, and the like. But now Xena often drops off to sleep in the morning and I feel less keen on packing two kids off on some new adventure.

So once Xena is down for a nap, I put away my list of chores and Genghis and I get creative with stay-at-home activities. This has turned out to be pretty fun, because he is just at the age where imagination, vocabulary, and fine(r) motor skills are all starting to take off.

Here are a few of our recent favorite activities. If I feel ambitious (which I don't, particularly, at the moment) I may try to make this a semi-regular feature on the blog.

Index Card Memory
Recently, my friend Janssen talked about playing Memory with her daughter, who is a smidgen older than Genghis. It had never occurred to me that Genghis might be ready for this level of intellectual activity. I put "Memory" on my list of things to buy, and then realized that if I bought it I'd also have to buy another plastic tub to start a game storage box, and then looked around at how many toys in plastic tubs we already had, and finally decided I didn't want to buy anything more just yet.

Instead, I drew simple shapes on index cards. Genghis quickly insisted that the square was a car and the circle an airplane, so the shapes turned into modes of transportation. He loved flipping the cards over and placing them on the ground again. A few times, he even got the "memory" part of the game (but that may have just been the law of large numbers at work).

Genghis and Xena Ride on the Airplane, Or How I Learned About "Fast" and "Slow"
We finally branched out from ball and snake with playdoh. I made Genghis an airplane, car, and slide out of playdoh and then shaped two little figures to represent Genghis and Xena. They rode on the slide and the airplane. With the airplane, we zoomed it around and practiced going fast and slow. Genghis preferred fast.

Bunny Goes Down the Slide
Abe gets credit for this one. While we were watching General Conference (8 hours of talks from our church in one weekend, streamed over the internet), he constructed a slide out of a shoe rack and a leaf from our table. Genghis rolled a ball, truck, and roll of tape down the slide. But he thought it was most fun to watch Bunny go down.


Janssen said...

I'd LOVE this to be a regular feature!

Sherry said...

Yeah, ditto what Janssen said.

Also, I love the thumb-sucking. It's cute.