Friday mornings Sydney and I go to "Sydney's School." It is Sydney's turn to love her Miss Shari time and for one hour during our 2 hour class we separate and I get to talk mommy stuff with a fun variety of moms. I have loved being part of these classes and now it is just Syd and I.
This past week we were chatting about our kiddos particularly how much our littler ones eat and those of us "veteran" moms assured some of the new-er moms that one month they will eat a ton and the next they might not, or your first will be a great eater and your second a picky rascal. Our wise discussion leader reminded us that we need to watch for cues as to when our children are hungry and when they are full so that we don't resort to food as entertainment...meaning, while we make dinner we let our little ones sit content in their high chair eating random snacks...when they are possibly not even hungry. Such a wise reminder.
So after class I pondered the ways that I keep Miss Sydney busy when I am trying to get something done...usually in the kitchen. Recently, she has come to really enjoy the idea of "helping." So I pull a chair right up to where I am working and try to involve her. A child's butter knife and a mushroom kept her busy for a good 20 minutes one evening. And today while I was assembling chicken wild rice soup she stood and puttered with a large mixing bowl with a small amount of water in it. She mixed it, touched it, and mostly scooped it with a teaspoon and drank it.
Another activity that keeps her busy for GOOD chunks of time is putting money into a piggy bank.
She sits or stands and is so proud to do this task. (Note: you have to know your child ...if they are into putting things in their mouth this is not a safe activity).
As I verge on having another two year old in my midst I know that this is a stage and age when they want to do the "big kid stuff" and they want to be around and engaged in what you are doing. She wants to sit in the big kid chairs and even drink from a big kid cup at times.
When I announce that the dishwasher needs unloading, Miss Sydney squeals with excitement and is the first to arrive at the scene.
When I unload the washing machine into the dryer, she is right there helping.
As I fold towels she is right there (sending her with one towel at a time allows her to help without slowing me down too much).
While I am making dinner she likes to help take what I have chopped and put it in the bowl, or she will set the table. If I am making pizza dough...giving her a small piece to play with keeps her occupied.
Keeping your little one nearby and engaged in the task you are trying to accomplish is a win win for the two of us. She is happy, learning, and busy. And I can cross off a few things off my list.
How to you get things done with a busy toddler on the loose?
What other ways can you have them "help?"