Friday, March 13, 2015

Five Toddler Approved Activities...

...that we've had on constant rotation lately because Aria stopped napping and those two hours added back into the day feel more like 27.

I miss naps.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Five Toddler Approved Activities

 Going on treasure/nature hunts:
backyard treasure hunt
Going outside is just one of those things that kids love. Bugs and dirt, what's not to love? Since it is already too hot to stay outside for longer than thirty minutes here, we usually start the morning off outside...preferably before the sun hits the back deck. One of Aria's new favorite outside activities is hunting up treasure. I give her some sort of container and off we go in search of all the different colored flowers we can find, leaves, sticks, rocks, etc. Bonus: Sara from Running from the Law just posted a Nature Scavenger Hunt the other day that is adorable and perfect for an outside activity all summer long.

Another favorite is chasing lizards. We have potted plants around our back deck that lizards love to hang out in. So, I go around and wiggle a pot and lizards drop and flee. Aria laughs her head off running after them as they scamper to the next pot.

Playing Don't Break the Ice:
don't break the ice, toddler games
This is one of Aria's toys that I keep up and out of reach. I think that is a pretty common thing as a parent - rotating toys and keeping the ones that have way too many pieces safely out of the way, etc. Don't forget about those. I also have her button art, play-doh, roll & play dice, and puzzles out of the way. We don't tend to bring them out more than once a week, so they are all still novelty items.
p.s. She just lost in this picture, and loved it.

toddler baking
Aria loves to help me in the kitchen. About thirty seconds after I took this picture she accidentally knocked out a scoop of the flour mixture she is stirring all over her feet and the floor. So, it doesn't tend to make for the cleanest of activities but you generally get something to eat at the end. We were making pie for pi day this particular time. The other day we made brownies. Mostly we make pancakes because we are big pancake fans around here. Pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes the other week, which were particularly delicious. (As soon as summer hits I'm ready for October again...we skip spring) She also helps with the smoothies (by eating all the frozen strawberries), and is one heck of a garlic powder sprinkler.

 Water play:
water play
Did I mention it is hot? I usually turn on the hose for Aria and pull out her water table at least once a day. Usually around the time when it is so hot that you can't walk on the porch barefoot anymore. She gets cooled down, the plants all get watered, mom always ends up soaked.

We tend to do something low energy after this - read a book or if it is 3 she watches Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I was just reading somewhere about alternating activities throughout the day based on energy levels, which seems pretty common sense but I had never thought about breaking her day up like that before. 

Making masterpieces:
finger painting
Aria loves to paint. She isn't into coloring much yet, but we break out her paints every couple of days. I made sidewalk paint for her the other week, and I made the mistake of asking her if she wanted to paint. She assumed I meant paint with a brush in her chair. I had to talk her into just trying the sidewalk paint. She ended up loving it, and it segued right into water play perfectly!

Happy Friday the 13th by the way, and Happy Pi Day Eve!

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  1. Losing that nap can be so very rough. David just gave up his nap but thankfully I have Letty to occupy him sometimes. These are all fantastic ideas! Once it gets warmer of course. ;)

  2. I have to know where that bathing suit came from! Adorable! And boooo to giving up naps. Not cool, Aria, not cool. :P

  3. Yep, we're on day three of no naps. I think this round it's for real. The naps are a thing of the past. Ugh. I miss them too. Those two hours are an ETERNITY!
    I LOVE the treasure hunt idea. We totally need to do that. How do you handle the baking when it's so dang hot? We love to bake, but in the afternoons our kitchen is so hot without turning the oven on. :/

  4. WHAT??!! NO NAPS!! Aria, girl, take a nap for your mama! So jealous that y'all are already enjoying water play! We have water play...cold, wet rain. ha! And I have to know where that suit came from! We're headed to the beach this summer and am on the look for a suit for Stella. Y'all have a good weekend!

  5. No naps at that age can be tough! Looks like you've found some fun things to keep her busy!

  6. We've been riding the no nap train on the weekends for a few weeks now and has just about killed me. The upside has been that M is actually sleeping through the night now but adjusting to not having those few hours for me time has been hard, not gonna lie. You've given me some great ideas though, so thanks for sharing!! XO

  7. I LOVE Don't Break The Ice. Do you think that she would let me come play?! Ha! :)

    Mandie ~

  8. Stop it! That swim suit is precious!!!! Aria is cuter by the minute!!!

  9. Losing nap time is like losing a little bit more of your sanity, sorry for your loss ;)

  10. I almost forgot I have an excuse to eat pie tomorrow. Yay!

    These are great ideas. We don't bring out paint nearly enough over here. Ez loves it, but the mess puts me off. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for you that Aria suddenly likes naps again though ;)

    All of the sudden it's gonna be in the 90s this week...what the heck?? It's definitely time to pull out the hose/sprinkler and let Ez go at it. We tried the park this morning, and I was panting in the shade by 9:30.

  11. I have never heard about doing activities based on energy level. What a great concept. I'm going to have to take notes on Ellie for the next few days and then start planning accordingly. Thank you so much!!

  12. I love these ideas! I need to actually plan some activities on the weekends for Mason to do. We usually get into a funk and watch tv or something. I try to take him to the park because he loves to be outside but its been so hot lately! Can I just tell you that it was 96 when I left work today?? NINETY SIX in March. Yep. Not ok. If that is any indication for the summer, I might need to sit in an ice bucket and let Mason splash around!

  13. These are all great activities, and Aria is just so sweet in her little swimsuit!! I can't believe it's already too hot there to play outside in the afternoons, we should trade places ;)

  14. Stopping by from the linkup. Aria is too cute and those are great ideas. My 3 year old approves of all of those! And, yes, there are many toys I keep out of reach! Enjoy your weekend!

  15. Great ideas. Will keep these in mind for when my son is a bit older!

  16. you are so right about 2 hours feels like 27! Callie is somewhere between napping and not. Quiet time is working for us and seems to be resulting in naps so we're going to keep with this for a bit. Baking and water play are favorite activities of ours to kill time. Callie loves to just "take a bath" to play (as long as I dont wash her hair). It's been warm the last week but about to dip back into the 40s so the water table needs to wait a few more weeks. Thanks for sharing your activities! Because we all always need ideas for these little people!

  17. These are great activities! I especially like the nature hunt one - I'll have to do that this summer. Baking is always a favorite too- I just need to do more of it.

  18. I totally forgot about "Don't break the Ice!!!" Thanks for reminding me!!! All of these are so fun!

  19. I totally forgot about "Don't break the Ice!!!" Thanks for reminding me!!! All of these are so fun!

  20. Such great tidbits! I never thought about the energy level of the activities too. We usually go-go-go. Maybe that's why Lily has such a difficult time settling down. Love that we can practically use the water table year round too. Water definitely helps pass the time relatively quickly!


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