There are days when I would want to try anything just to distract the little man from wanting to watch videos on our tablet or laptop. I must admit I introduced it early, thinking that baby videos would make him smart at a young age. It’s not all that bad. I mean, he has learned a lot from watching his videos. The downside is, he likes it so much that when he’s bored or feels he has nothing to do, he would ask me to “watch”. I must also admit that more than once I have given him the tablet, phone, or laptop just to distract him so I could get things done.
I scoured Pinterest for toddler activities and saw this. It was also quite timely because I also wanted Dylan to practice using a spoon for when he eats. He’s getting better at it though but still prefers to eat with his hands. And when you’re feeding your toddler rice, it can get quite messy. Rice gets everywhere. On him. On his clothes. On the chair. On the floor. I grimace at the thought of having to clean up that rice.
So, if you want something for your toddler to do. This would be a good one.
What you need:
- Pasta (any kind)
- Or you can also use beads, buttons, rice, mung beans, etc.
- Spoon, scoops, measuring spoons, etc
- Bowls (for transferring)
What you need to remember:
1. It doesn’t have to be expensive.
Do you remember when you got your kid a toy and you were so excited for him to play with it only to find out that he likes playing with the box it came from instead? It happens.
That’s why the activities you can let your child play with doesn’t have to be expensive. The only thing I bought here was the pasta which cost me less than Php 20.00. He also has a new lunchbox here that came with the mayonnaise I bought from the grocery. The rest of the stuff in this picture are already things we have at home.
2. Relax and let him try.
After I demonstrated to Dylan what to do, he was ready to push me aside to take over. He didn’t actually get it right at the first, second, or third time, though. But, relax. Don’t stress that he’s not following you’re instructions. It’s still his first time to do it. So just let him explore what happens when he does this and that.
Notice he’s also using different scoops and even his hands. It helps him learn what happens when he uses a particular scoop like how many pasta he can get in one scooping. He ended up liking his hands more. He could get more just in one grab.
Don’t end the activity just because your toddler is not following your instructions. They are at a point in their lives when they like to explore and do things their own way. Let them. They also learn from that, too.
You can, from time to time, say “it’s mommy’s turn”, and then demonstrate again what he should be doing.
3. Be ready to improvise.
At one point, Dylan got so excited using his hands that he was flinging the pasta everywhere and then pouring the whole lunchbox of pasta onto the cupcake molds and then back. It was starting to get messy and cleaning up a floor full of scattered pasta is back breaking.
So, I got a funnel and planned to use it to return the pastas into the bottle we keep it in. But the pasta got stuck in the funnel’s neck so I turned it over instead and then let Dylan feed the pasta one at a time. He liked it a lot! He was so serious about getting the job done, too.
4. Let him rest when he’s tired.
I don’t let Dylan finish the activity when he doesn’t want to or when I can clearly see that he’s tired. I just tell him to help me pack up his toys or clean the mess and then we’re done.
He doesn’t like cleaning up all the time but when I make a big fun thing out of it, he would join me.
I keep this bottle of pasta on a shelf in the living room where we usually do our play time. I make sure that it’s within his view so that whenever he wants to play with it, I can just get it for him and then let him play.