August 14, 2012

It’s Learning Time!

The girls seem to be bored lately. I blame the heat. It’s just too hot to go outside…or anywhere really. Just getting the 3 of us in and out of the car makes me a hot & sweaty mess.

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We have this area gated off for them. It’s their entire play area (full of toys) and it comes into the living room where we have their bean bag chairs where they watch TV sometimes. It’s just easier for us. Chasing 2 babies when I’m alone is too much…especially when they tend to get into something they’re not supposed to in different parts of the house at the same time.

Every day I get in their little space and try to play with them or read books. It may last for a couple of minutes but then they just start to fight over me and if I can’t resolve it, I leave and they usually go back to playing.

When I play with them I talk about what I’m doing and say the names of the objects. Reading to them is nearly impossible because one or both of them will snatch the book away and take off before I can even read the first page but I keep trying.

I’ve been worrying lately that they have not reached some of the milestones they probably should. They don’t seem to be saying too many words. They’re not really saying momma or dada. They babble plenty but I have not noticed many (if any) words.

In discussing my concerns with James, I remembered pinning a couple of sites that had learning activities for children of all ages so I went in search of some inspiration.

After researching and going through the girls toys and books, I decided that we would work on colors this week. The girls love this little alligator bouncy ball thing so I started with that and then I grabbed all of their books that were about colors.

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The little alligator, or whatever it is, when turned on bounces the balls and plays music.

I started by lining up the balls in front of the alligator and then picked up each ball, said what color it was and then put it in the alligator. When I had gone through all of the balls, I turned it on for a little reward of sorts. As the balls bounced and came out through his mouth, I would say the color of the ball as the girls picked them up. After we did this a couple of times I moved on to the books.

A couple of those books are simple. They will have one page where the entire page is a color with the name of the color and then the page next to it is a page of items that are that color. I would hold up the page so both could see and then asked them to pick up the ball that matched the color on the page.

I did these two things 3 times; during their first play time, after their morning nap and then after dinner. The first day of their color lessons didn’t go quite as expected (they would grab the balls and throw them or walk off and start to play with something else) but they did show a little interest in what I was doing by the third time. I plan on working on this for a week so hopefully, they will make some progress by the end of the week.

For something a little more fun, I got the idea of taking them on a house tour of our house. The instructions I found suggested setting them on a blanket and pull them around on that but I wasn’t sure it would work since I have two toddlers. I could just see them falling over on each other with each turn and then the drama that would ensue. Instead, I used a large laundry basket, looped a blanket through one of the handles and used that as a way to pull them around the house (so I wouldn’t break my back bending over pushing them around). They “boarded” the basket just outside their bean bag area and then I pulled them around from room to room telling them what room we were in and the purpose of the room. They. Loved. It!
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Since I’m just starting this, I’m gathering all the ideas I can so if you have any activities that you do/did with your kids (around age 13-14 months), I'd love to hear!

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  1. Hello, new to reading your blog your girls are so cute. With our daughter one game we played was pointing at body parts, seeing if she would point to our's and then point to her's simple things like head, ears, eyes, nose, and mouth then worked up to tummy, feet, and hands

  2. Love the house tour idea! My boys always love a good ride in the laundry basket. I have a few easy learning activities that we've done recently (sorted by age), including one with colors using our shape sorter. Hope you find something you can use with your girls!


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