At two years old, my youngest has given us quite the adventure during homeschool (or any other) hours. Last year, any old toy entertained Gabriel happily, but these past few months he has become a whirlwind of mischief and destruction. And there’s no shame in his game – when it comes to correction, my littlest one is all “YOLO!” and “No Regrets!”
I kid you not, just a couple of hours after writing the words above, I discovered the playroom TV looking like this:
Which is leaving me feeling like this:
Nobody took the blame for the state of our soon-to-be-trashed TV, but if I were a betting woman, I’d say the curly-haired cherub is at fault. Even before the TV was destroyed, I knew I would need to up my Toddler Entertainment game. So I did a few things:
- I divested the schoolroom of random toys and tried to replace them with toys and activities with some educational merit. We already had educational toys/activities that I used with my preschooler, but I also browsed Timberdoodle, Mardel, and Amazon for ideas for toddler-specific items.
- I purposed to do an educational activity in the schoolroom with Gabe most days. Besides the joy of having some one-on-one time together and filling up his love tank, he might actually learn something! And he is eager to do “schoolwork” just like his brothers, so who am I to hold him back? I don’t usually have planned activities for him, but instead let him take the lead and tell me what he wants to play with.
- I made a short list of focus areas for Gabriel for this school year, just like I did for his older brothers. The list includes identifying colors, one-to-one correspondence (he could already count), maintaining his ability to identify letters, and strengthening fine motor skills. So if Gabe chooses to play with blocks, for example, I’ll ask him to identify colors or set aside a few and ask him to count them. He then practices building towers (strengthening those fine motor skills). We spend probably less than two minutes doing that kind of thing each day, but it adds up and he’s already learned a lot this year.
I feel like this little plan has helped out, but I’m not gonna lie, Gabriel is still Two and feeling all of his Two-Year-Oldness. But I can’t imagine what it would be like if I didn’t have any plan for directing his abundant energy.
In the video below, I’ve shared some of our favorite educational toys and activities so far. In an ironic twist, I mention in the video (which I filmed days ago) the possibility that my little angel will throw a toy and break a TV. Oh irony, thy name is Gabriel.
I hope that you find this video helpful, and please share in the comments if you have any suggestions for productive ways to keep my little hurricane busy! 🙂
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Poke-a-Dot Old MacDonald’s Farm
HABA Motor Skill Board On the Farm
Barrel of Monkeys
Link ‘n Learn Links (similar to what I show in video)
Mini Muffin Match-up
BeginAgain Penny Blocks