Inspired in part by Ladyscott, MommyLife, and a recent article on the benefits of a routine for toddlers in Parent's magazine, I have begun to jot down a few skills and activities to work on with our little girl each week.
Once our little one turned one a few weeks ago, I realized that she was beginning to become more interested in things like the music, outside play, books, toys, prayer time, etc. She would often imitate me while I was going about my daily tasks and because of this, it seemed like a good time to organize myself more in order to expose her to new and interesting things.
After reading some different things on the subject, I came up with six different "subjects" to expose her to during our time together: Playtime (with mama and by herself), Religion, Arts and Crafts, Music, Outside Time, and Responsibility.
Here are some of the things that I am thinking of doing with our little one or have a;ready begun to do:
Playtime: I am going to pick a toy or toys every few days or once a week to play with while we are sitting together. Some of the toys she got for her birthday are a little more tricky than others (the little animal pull toy is a puzzle and a pull toy) and she will learn a lot from interacting with Mama... especially since she has no other children to learn from right now. In addition, I would like to work on imaginative play with her - making up different voices for stuffed animals, dolls, pretend telephone conversations, etc.
Religion: We were recently given several children's Bible picture books and we will be getting the series on the Twelve Great Feasts. During this time, I would like to read to her and sing some simple songs and hymns to her. So far, this has been done during our nursing time.
Arts and Crafts: Eventually, I would like to do real arts and crafts with her, but after an interesting session at story hour involving a crayon and her mouth, we aren't quite ready. Instead, I have been spending time doing things like blowing bubbles, planting seeds or plants, picking flowers, or crumbling bread for the birds. Not very crafty, but you get the point.
Music: I try to play at least one cd during the day. Some of our favorites this week have been Wee Sing America, Classical Music for Reading (a compilation cd from Walmart) and Philadelphia Chickens (thanks Courtney!!). I am also going to see if we can get a set of musical instruments. We already use our little toy piano and we are always singing!
Outside Time: Since the weather has been so nice we have been taking many walks around our neighborhood. I am hoping that it will begin to get a bit hotter here so that we can take advantage of our local pool. The baby LOVED the YMCA's pool in Texas that we visited!
Responsibility: Several months ago, I came across this website that explains the sort of things that children can to to help out at home and learn responsibility. Though our little one is not quite ready for many of the things listed for her age group, we have been working on coming when her father or I say her name.
If any seasoned mothers or teachers have any comments to make on this or suggestions for me, I would greatly appreciate it!