So I go on Pinterest and type in "Toddler Activities" to see if I can find some good ideas for things to do with Big Bro now that he's reached the exciting, curious age of two. Some extra little things I could set up for him to keep things interesting during those days at home together-- especially those times when I'm busy tending to Little Bro.
I found ideas, alright. Pinterest could be otherwise named "1001 Awesome Things You Aren't Doing".
Kids' rooms are supposed to be chic, I see... are ours chic? Not canopy-pirate ship-treehouse-reading loft chic, they aren't. My kids are also totally getting ripped off having to read in chairs instead of in a 'nook', let alone a super awesome reading loft. LOFT!
I also don't know how whimsical I could consider our play area. It's organized, but decidedly lacking in whimsy. Our suburban backyard doesn't even have a tree, let alone a vegetable garden and chickens for my kids to tend. I didn't lovingly restore any furniture, unless by "restore" you mean "put the cushions back on".
Then there are all the photos of excited, engaged children learning and developing skills through open-ended play thanks to busy bags and homemade sensory bins.
For a moment, I have an image of my kids picking their nose and staring at the ceiling fan all day because I'm not on top of my parenting game here. We didn't even do anything for St. Patrick's Day!
But it's not about stressing to do it all anyway, right? It'd be like going to Paris and spending the whole time stressed out because you're trying to fit in all your must-sees, not enjoying the experience.
But then, you wouldn't want to spend the whole visit in the hotel room watching TV either, if you get my analogy.
In reality, it's not that I don't want to do this cool stuff; in theory, the teacher in me and the artist in me would like to try it all ... it's just that I think I'd need to put the kids on 'pause' for a good month to do it. Unlike in teaching, you can't gather ideas gradually over the years for subsequent batches of kids. They're here, and they're growing up just once. It's now or never.
So I came across several quick and easy activity ideas using items in the house and small dollar store items. Yes, this I can do, at least! Cheaply, too! Such activities include:
- Pipe cleaners and a strainer-- he can put them in the holes!
- Pompoms and plastic bottle or yogurt container with a hole in the top-- fill and dump!
- Buttons and a muffin tin or egg carton-- sorting! Throw in plastic eggs and you've got an Easter theme!
- Tearing paper!
(On a related note, I would also caution anyone trying to make a bean bucket not to buy yellow peas, even if they're on sale. You would not believe how far they roll.)
I guess we're getting there with the homemade toddler activities. I'm just not ready for my Pinterest debut yet.