So with my boys being in what I can only call a difficult stage, I have been racking my brains trying to think of things to keep them occupied that will reduce their frustrations. They are in this very in between stage of not quite independently walking and not quite talking and everything ends up frustrating them, as they can’t quite do everything they wish to do. Which leads to complaining, screaming and crying; which leads to this mummy wanting to tear her hair out!
A lot of the activities I find are aimed at 3+, so are toys for that matter – it seems anything that has a small part is labelled aged 3 and up. But I am slowly finding things that I can use and feel safe leaving the boys with that can keep them entertained. Today I decided to put together a simple activity of my own to keep the boys entertained after they kept fighting over toys.
I just grabbed a few things from around the house – we don’t own one of those water tables, even though I would like one they are out of our price range, so a few weeks ago I bought a couple of kitty litter trays from Kmart for a few dollars each. I grabbed them, a couple of shape blocks from one of the boys toys, a couple of little people animals and a couple of rubber duckies. I filled the trays with a couple of centimetres of water which I put on our dining table under a towel. The boys sat or stood on a dining chair each and began their play. In hindsight I should have got a lot more towels before we started!
The boys had an absolute ball! Splashing the water everywhere, putting the small toys in and out and just generally having fun. The reason I liked this activity and will do it again was because it also taught them something. They splash in the bath tub and nothing happens. But when they spill water out of these tubs they see it go over the table, the floor and themselves. They are getting more use to the idea of cause and effect and learning more about water in general. I also ended up giving them a baby face washer each, but only one of the boys was interested. The one who was interested learnt even more as he watched his dry face washer soak up the water when he put it in the tub. He then picked it up and watched the water drip out of the face washer. He took great pleasure in it all.
This activity kept them amused for about half an hour which was long enough to get them through to the next meal time without any further tantrums or fights. They were happy, I was happy and they managed to both play and learn something.