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Old 03-01-2012, 11:28 AM
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Default The Two and Under Crowd

What do you do with these little peeps? Besides free play, outside play, etc...

I am finding this little group to be bored with free play and lack of attention span for anything else. Need some new ideas- sorry if this has been brought up before. It just happens to be where I am at right now.

How do you handle not having to be side by side all day with this age? Getting them to play by themselves for more then two minutes. I love to get play going, but feel if I move away from this age group- all is loose-

Love some ideas, favorites etc....
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:48 AM
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Do you have a baby zone set up? Do you have plenty of outdoor time? I do have a younger crowd and between free play, outdoor/walks, naps, food, there really isn't a lot of time left for them to get bored. They do have to learn how to play with toys. They do all go through the "entertain me" stage and follow me around hoping to get carried and such but generally, i just direct them back to the toys.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:21 PM
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I think it depends on the child. One 15 month old child in my care wants to do what the big kids do all the time, so she participates to an extent. The other 15 month old has no interest whatsoever in the big-kid activities and spends his entire day wandering, taking toys out and mouthing them. Occasionally, he will join in, but spends the majority of time wandering.

Last edited by spud912; 03-02-2012 at 07:03 AM. Reason: Fixed typo
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:16 PM
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I currently only have toddlers (two 19 months, & one 22 months). They do get lots of free play. We try coloring (but 1 of them still tries to eat the crayons), coloring on the chalk board (same one still tries to eat the chalk lol), just made a rainbow rice bin for them, have yet to see how that will go. One of the 19 month olds is my daughter and she LOVES the rice bin. She did try to eat one but decided it was pretty gross since it tasted like vinegar. She loves to scoop and pour and push matchbox cars through the rice. The flannel board is also fun for them. My kids love finger plays. Itsy Bisty Spider always gets a huge round of applause from each of them! They like to listen to short stories and I just started a short circle time with them. We sing the days of the week song, I say what day it is and then we look outside the window to check the weather. They don't always sit still for it, it's to be expected and I'm OK with that. We talk about colors, shapes, and ABCs. It's not really structured like a classroom of preschoolers would be, but more child led. If I see one of the kids looking at the posters of the colors or shapes I will go over to them and talk with them about what they see. Like cheerfuldom said, there is not much time left after play time, outside time, eating, diaper changes and naps. We don't get outside much right now because of the weather. Once I bundle them up, they can hardly walk. They remind me of the little brother on A Christmas Story. Once we can play outside I will be adding a water table and am thinking of hanging a large piece of plywood sprayed with chalkboard paint on my fence.

I've found that you can have them try things (within reason) and even if it isn't technically a success (toddler tries to eat crayon instead of coloring with it), it is still good for them. The more they are exposed to different things, the better they will become at them. It really does depend on the ages and maturity levels of the kids. Believe it or not, my oldest one is the one who still tries to eat the crayons and chalk! I think a lot of it has to do with exposure too. I don't think she has access to crayons and chalk at home, whereas my daughter constantly has access to the crayons and chalk here. She LOVES to color and hasn't tried to eat crayons in months. If you are going to try coloring with the under 2 crowd, you may want to have them in their high chairs/booster seats to start with. I know mine won't sit still at the table and before I know it there would be crayon all over the walls. lol
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My3cents View Post
What do you do with these little peeps? Besides free play, outside play, etc...

I am finding this little group to be bored with free play and lack of attention span for anything else. Need some new ideas- sorry if this has been brought up before. It just happens to be where I am at right now.

How do you handle not having to be side by side all day with this age? Getting them to play by themselves for more then two minutes. I love to get play going, but feel if I move away from this age group- all is loose-

Love some ideas, favorites etc....
I don't allow boredom behavior. I have a room full of great toys and a good amount of space for them to free play in. It's within their "boredom" that they learn to be phenomenal players. Don't worry about the boredom phase. Necessity is the mother of invention.

I don't do side by side play with them. I do off to the side supervision of them. I want the adult in the room to supervise their play and do the corrections that are necessesary when kids become bored. They will start breaking the rules of play so we spend our time watching their play and making corrections.

We want them to find their joy and passion with the toys and each other. They will always prefer an adult to play with but once you do that there's no where else to really go in their happiness. We prefer to leave their happiness to themselves and provide careful proximal suprvision.

We have phenomenal players.

We have a lot of toys available to them but these are my current collecting passion. I have a HUGE collection now and we are trying to add to it with some of the bigger multi pronged blocks. They will play for HOURS with these with just a smidge of help building the base. Awesome exercise up and down off the floor and great for the small motor.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI...:B:BCA:US:3160
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:56 AM
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This is a creation my two year old did yesterday. It's a LOT of work to build and even more work to take apart.

Let's just say naptime went beautifully yesterday.

http://www.nanshouse.com/apps/photos...toid=150595950
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:26 AM
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I also have a young crowd. 4 of them are under the age of 2. They LOVE LOVE LOVE my little people collection. We have a play house, train, tractor, family van and a whole lot of accessories. Keeps them busy forever! Even my 12 month old son loves opening the front door to the house and putting the little people in and out of them
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:34 AM
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Bored kids quickly turn into creative, outside the box thinkers! Don't entertain them. Let them use the things around them in different ways.

Also, have a little music on in the background throughout the day. All different kinds. Music speaks to ALL souls. By offering different types you may find that Johnny likes to dance to jazz and Kenny twirls to classical. Little Jessica may have a passion for funk and Kimmy for rock n roll. Even on the most "boring" days, we have kids dancing and moving to the rhythm within!
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:46 AM
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I also have the music on most of the day. The thing about it is that it is perfect for ALL ages. Even my 8 mo dcg bounces to the beat of the music when a good song comes on.

I also find that between naps, food, outside time, going for a walk; we have very little time for them to get bored. And when they start following me around; I direct them to toys and books.

Megablocks and peek-a-blocks are the favorite for the age group. Along with board books. Another activity that they just seem to do naturally is empty a container and put the toys back, over and over again.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:13 AM
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OP what are the ages of your others?

Right now I have 16 mos, 20 mos, 2.5 ys, 3, 3, 4. The 2 youngest, absolutley love playing with the older ones. They dont do any of the "bossing" but they either play right along with them! There communication skills may not be up to par with the 4 year olds, but their receptive language is so they are really good at following directions! The older ones love it to, because they found someone to comply.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:56 AM
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Nan, love that 2 yr old's creation! I'm sure that took a good bit of time to complete!
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:14 PM
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Thank you for all the great ideas! I guess I am where I should be, because I do all of those things. I get into the rut of feeling like I am not doing enough for these kiddo's. I know I am. I also have a parent that ask everyday, "So, what did so and so do today?" I want to scream PLAY. I get caught up in that feeling of not doing enough compared to .............. (fill in the blank) I went from in home care, to a center and back into childcare but separate from my home. Every time I do extra I feel like parents expect more and more. They are all little and by the time we get outside, they are crying to come back in. They are hot from snowsuits, gear is falling off, outside is hard right now, but I still try to go out when possible. Today I brought outside in- snow in the sensory table. Put mittens on and towels on the floor.

Love the peekaboo blocks, but I find they like to throw, or bang. Anything hard they like to throw-

Favorite thing to do is take everything off the toy shelves and climb in them.

I too want, to do just as you said with a piece of board on my fence and using the chalk board paint-? How do you keep the board from warping due to rain,dew and outside elements? If anyone has implemented this and has pictures I would love to see.

Nan- What does your baby zone look like? I do have one. Curious as to what you have available out for them to play with at all times.

My kiddo's are 20mb, 17mb, 13mb, add a 5b year old and a 3g year old once in a while to the mix, and a 14g year old. The under two crowd are all very close in ability and keep up with each other nicely. The 13m is the leader. All boys except the 3 year old. Smart kids- all of them.

I do coloring, markers, paint, playdough, sensory tables-rice sand- anything I can think of- we did snow today, tons of different types of blocks, puzzles, etc..

Music- all the time. I would like to update my collection of the same old same old cd's. What are everyones favorites? Favorite station or other ideas?

The end of the day I feel like all I have said is NO.
Nan, and others- What do you do besides redirect at these ages. I have one that test me over and over. Climbs on everything. 13M is climbing out of pack and play.

Again thank you for all the ideas and words of encouragement. Think its that time of year that we all just want to be outside more and open the windows. Plus the pressure of doing more for early learning. Early learning guidelines etc.. the push to be better then the next daycare,center, etc... or fear of losing kids to the bigger corporations that are showing up on every block. I stand on play at this age, and learn through play, not pound the info in.



If you have made it this far- I sound winey and miserable in this job. I am not. I have just come across a few hiccups along the way. I want to improve my days and be the best provider I can be. I look up to a lot of you here-even when I don't always agree 100%
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:39 PM
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I hear ya! I get in the same rut. It sounds like you are doing plenty. For the climber, one of mine (22months) was starting to climb out of pnp at nap time. I made a sleep sack for her and now she can't climb out. How fun that you brought snow in....I'd love to do that, if only we had some snow out there! Strange winter we are having in PA!
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaNik View Post
I hear ya! I get in the same rut. It sounds like you are doing plenty. For the climber, one of mine (22months) was starting to climb out of pnp at nap time. I made a sleep sack for her and now she can't climb out. How fun that you brought snow in....I'd love to do that, if only we had some snow out there! Strange winter we are having in PA!
sleep sack? What do the parent's think of the sleep sack? Strait jacket comes to my mind- restricting movement, seems to be a no no- I know your not using this that way- but I can see someone complaining or maybe a SIDS concern- Do you tell the parents you are using this and how does it work for summer or warmer weather? How do you make these? For the record- I am not downing this approach but looking for more information on this. What do these look like on?

Thank you, I was just having one of those days and talking out loud- Thank you for the kind words and helps etc....
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My3cents View Post
sleep sack? What do the parent's think of the sleep sack? Strait jacket comes to my mind- restricting movement, seems to be a no no- I know your not using this that way- but I can see someone complaining or maybe a SIDS concern- Do you tell the parents you are using this and how does it work for summer or warmer weather? How do you make these? For the record- I am not downing this approach but looking for more information on this. What do these look like on?

Thank you, I was just having one of those days and talking out loud- Thank you for the kind words and helps etc....
http://www.amazon.com/Sleepsack-Wear...ef=pd_sim_ba_5



Some have long sleeves and are fleece; others are lighter fabrics for summer and warm weather.
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