Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Shelf at 23 Months

I'm deep into my 1st trimester with 3.0 and days are feeling long and slow and hard. Nora has been feeling it too as the usual flurry of activity has ground to a halt. Non-essentials have fallen to the side as I struggle to find the energy to just do the basics. 


But, the end is in sight, because some days I feel alright, even a little more than alright. Tired, but not nauseous, sleepy but not pure exhaustion. And, today I took advantage of that and switched over one of Nora's shelves. She has three main shelves in our home for her to use each with three or four toys just for her -- one in our kitchen play area, one in her bedroom and this one. So, even a few changes have been a welcomed sight! 


The new offerings called to her immediately as she examined them. When I watch her play, I'm always so shocked by how big she is becoming, how mature her movements are, how gentle she can be. 

Shelf holds:  Vintage Small Knobbed Vehicle Puzzle {similar to this or this}; 4 piece shape sorter {similar}; Animal Finger Puppets 


A tower that would have fallen over a few short months ago, stands tall. And, just a small smile crawls across her face as she completes a new puzzle. Work is returned to the shelf when completed. She still has some signs of baby in her. Lots of wandering and seeking opportunities for reaching maximum effort. Her favorite thing to do still seems to be just crawl all over me and getting cuddles. And of course, the marker marks she scribbled on her feet. 

Nora plays with this stacking pyramid


Its hard to believe that in just a few short weeks, Nora will be 2. And in a few months, she will be the big sister. I'll enjoy the small glimpses of babyhood and the amazing changes that independence, skill and maturity of 2 bring.

What does your older 1-year-old enjoy? Have you seen an increase in interest in toys/work or is it all gross motor? 

If you liked this post, don't miss: Let's Stop Rushing Toddlers; 5 Trays for Toddlers that Love to Peel

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

20 Ways For Toddlers to Reach Maximum Effort

Over and over again, I have seen parents complain about their toddlers not wanting to sit still or play with toys. Many lament the fact that they seem too busy to focus on much of anything. And, over and over again I remind them that toddlers are meant to move! 

We cannot underestimate the need to exert maximum effort for toddlers. They are working so hard to develop all their muscles that they often can't stop. Their inner drive to move just overpowers them. I still see this with Nora now, even though she's rapidly closing in on 2-years-old. She still needs opportunities to reach maximum effort and just do heavy work in general.



So, what are some ways that toddlers can exert maximum effort? Here are a few easy ones -- 
  1. Carrying around large purse or backpack
  2. Using large foam blocks
  3. Walking over pillows 
  4. Move a bucket of water 
  5. Pushing a loaded laundry basket 
  6. Small weights 
  7. Carrying couch cushions or large pillows 
  8. Catch with a super large ball 
  9. Pushing/Pulling a weighted wagon 
  10. Dumping a bucket of sand
  11. Scooping gravel 
  12. Carrying a cardboard box 
  13. Climbing a slide 
  14. Weighted Jugs
  15. Loading books in and out of basket or box 
  16. Over-sized Pouring -- large watering can or ball drop 
  17. Climbing a Pickler Triangle 
  18. Carrying objects up stairs 
  19. Using a pulley 
  20. Loading larger rocks into container -- dump truck, bucket, wagon or wheel barrow 

Have you noticed that your toddler just has to have this kind of work? What types of work to do you have so your child can reach maximum effort? 

If you liked this post, don't miss: Montessori Toddlers and Maximum Effort

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

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