Organising for a Toddler

Adapted from our May Book Club reading – The Toddler’s Busy Book

Having various boxes in strategic places all over the house will help keep your toddler entertained while you perform your daily tasks.

A Bakers Box
Performing kitchen tasks can be difficult when combined with keeping an eye on an energetic toddler. Kitchen cupboards and drawers are full of interesting things that may prove irresistable to your child. Why not provide your child with his/her very own bakers box? Put together a collection of unbreakable kitchen tools in a plastic crate or storage box. Store it in a spare cupboard that is low enough for your child to reach. My daughter loves this idea and it has created more peaceful moments while mommy is trying to cook and clean!

A Busy Box
Put this in a place where you spend most of your time. For older toddlers you can include crayons, markers, colouring books, paper, tape, stickers, playdough, etc. For younger children you may include stackable items, empty boxes, containers (with lids big enough to pass the choke test), individually wrapped rolls of toilet paper, shaker bottles (plastic bottles with rice or beads in – you may want to glue on the lid!).

A Tickle Trunk
A trunk or box filled with dress up clothes and props will not only foster your childs imaginative play but will keep him occupied with all the wonders it contains. You can include:

  • adult clothes
  • shoes
  • hats
  • gloves
  • wigs
  • slippers
  • purses

A Rainy Day Box
One rainy day you might be able to survive but after the third or fourth day you will be grateful that you created this magical box. Good things to put in your rainy day box are:

  • Fresh, new art supplies
  • A new toy
  • A new book, music tape or video
  • Special dress up items
  • Cookie Cutters and a new recipe
  • Supplies and directions for a new game or craft. (Preassemble in Ziploc bags until ready to use)

Make a Job Jar
Even toddlers like to feel that they are helping! You can make a job jar out of an clean and empty jar/can. Cut strips of paper and print a small job that needs to be done on each one. Very young toddlers will enjoy wiping the floor/refrigerator, picking up toys or stacking things.

Rotate your toys
Pack away a few toys and rotate them every 6 weeks. When your toddler sees the toy again it will seem like new to him. If you have friends who have children the same age, try a toy exchange.

Make a Crazy Can
Dinner time can be crazy! This is usually the time when you are at your busiest and toddlers are at their crankiest. A pre-prepared Crazy Can will help distract your toddler. Make a list of on-the-spot activities that require no special materials, no time-consuming preparation or cleanup and no serious adult participation. Write these down on index cards or small pieces of paper and put them into an empty can. When things start to get crazy, choose a card for an instant remedy!

Take along a Busy Bag
A Busy Bag will help you be prepared for those times when you have to wait at the doctor’s office, hairdressers or restaurant. Turn a drawstring bag or backpack into a take-along Busy Bag that can be filled with special goodies to keep your child amused. You can take items such as:

  • Dolls and their associated clothing, blankets, bottles and accessories
  • An edible necklace (eg. cheerios strung onto licorice)
  • A favourite toy, stuffed animal or blanket
  • Magnets and a small metal cake pan (also good for your baker’s box)
  • Simple wooden puzzles
  • Special snacks
  • Stickers and a sticker book or notebook

While children need free time for creative play and unstructured time in which to explore the world around them, they also rely on you to introduce them to new projects, activities and adventures.

To purchase the book, visit kalahari.net

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