Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Clothespins, an egg carton and a toddler...

I'm mainly following The Toddler's Busy Book in planning activities for Jake.  A few weeks ago I started feeling that he needed more challenging / planned or structured / new things to keep him busy and that if I didn't plan them in advance, I would feel even more overwhelmed.  Hence Trish's book, which is brilliant.  When I first skimmed through it, it looked too simplistic.  But then I realised that it was simple, not simplistic, and that's what makes it work.  You don't need anything fancy or expensive and it confirms everything I've come to believe about overpriced, battery operated toys that are so tempting at first glance because of the way they are marketed as educational.  To a toddler, everything is educational, but the best thing is, he sees it all as fun.  And since Jake has had a tendency ever since he could crawl to gravitate towards anything that didn't obviously look like a toy, this book and it's approach is perfect.  No need to spend money on a great many fancy toys.  I wish this was something I'd been told before he was born.  But I suspect that I may not have listened and needed to learn it my own way.

So, onto the clothespins!  This is a game called Clothespin poke and it involves some clothespins and an egg carton.  The idea is that you punch holes into the bottom of the egg carton and your toddler has fun sticking the pins in and pulling them out.  But of course, being a toddler, he will invent numerous variations on the game, which will gravitate into "lets see how many pegs we can throw across the room" to "let's put Dolly into a clothespin bed".  Hurrah.

For older children, you could even use different coloured pegs to play tic-tac-toe.


Anonymous said...

Cool! Snow White would enjoy this game I think. She already helps herself to the peg bag from the porch and the egg boxes in the recycling, so all I have to do is get her to play with both at the same time! Jake certainly seems to have enjoyed it.

Beth said...

Lovely activity, and I'm right there with you about the expensive toys. All our family have bought Jacob bucketfuls of all singing, all dancing toys, which sing every time you walk near them and drive me crazy.

Today, he has mostly enjoyed playing with the wooden letters from his name which stands on the mantlepiece, a big floor cushion, an Amazon box, and the box and instructions for my nebuliser, which is apparently the most exciting thing he's ever seen. He played with it a bit yesterday, and when he got up this morning and spied it on the floor, he gave a shriek of delight and pounced on it again.

I'm sure he'd be perfectly happy if we had no toys at all!