Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday: Backwards Edition

So, I have a baby on the way. Really soon. Sooner than I'd care to admit, judging from the nothing I have done to prepare for her arrival. And I also have a toddler. A delightful, busy, and highly energetic eighteen-month-old.

Isn't she cute?

Anyway, one of the things I've at least thought about is Phoebe's transition to big sister. And y'all. I need help.

Here's what I need:
I need some fun activities that would be entertaining enough to keep Phoebe still and engaged for an extended period of time (15 minutes?). They've got to be easy to put together, easy to clean up, and independent enough for Phoebe to do while I tend to the baby. Please, leave me your tried and true tips! In a perfect world, I'd have several at my fingertips by the time Nora makes her debut!

If you feel like helping other folks out with your sage wisdom, check out Works for Me Wednesday: Backwards Edition at Rocks in My Dryer!


Melissa said...

On rainy days, or in the winter, my mom would pull out the "indoor sand box". This was basically uncooked non-minute rice in a plastic container. The container was like one you would soak your feet in. In it, there would be cars, slotted spoons, funnels, cups with holes at the bottom, measuring cups, etc. She would put a vinyl tablecloth underneath. It was fun, and was pretty easy to clean up. My friend and I do it with our kids now. She even mixes in some dry beans to make it more interesting.

Julie said...

I have some ideas on my blog - but I'm not sure that a toddler will ever be occupied for longer than 15 minutes. :) Or, at least, with my best efforts my PRESCHOOLER is hardly ever occupied for longer than 15 minutes. :)

check out the labels: preschool & Montessori on the right column.

mamatutwo said...

I know that this seems simple, but I use things like this when I need a couple of minutes to work with my older daughter on school work. He loves to string beads on a shoe lace. Large beads. The first time or two we did it together so he'd know exactly how and all. He also loves to sort colors in color cups...those little bears, but you could use anything. And any kind of stacking activity.

One of the things I found the most helpful was having a maya wrap because I could carry the baby and still do other things with the kiddos. He'd usually fall asleep in it, and I'd have time with the others.

It's a balancing act, but all worth it.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness Sarah, I have a picture of our Kel with 8 kazillion necklaces on just like Phoebe! Back then, MrStev, would refer to his precious child as "Mr. T!" She never seemed to have enough necklaces and always wore them out and about. Usually with a "fountain" of ponytail spurting from the top of her head and always with a pink satin bow. Ah, memories...but I digress.

I remember when we brought Kelly home from the hospital...Allison was 2 and 1/2, but I would usually have her right there in the same room with me and she would either "read" books to us while I fed Kel or she had this little plastic doll. I think I had bought it at target...not much to look at, plastic hair and all and sort of small, like 8 to 10 inches in length...anyways, she would feed her baby while I fed Kel and I would have a washcloth (or today..wipes) next to her, so she could "wash" her baby and clean her up after she feed her. I needed something that would not require my help, but so I could keep my eye on her, while tending to Kel. Oh, by the by...have you located that extra pair of eyes in the back of your head?! If not...hunt for'll need them! Speck so!

Well, you will do a marvelous job of course! Just enjoy! It goes way to fast, so don't be in a hurry to rush through it all. Take out dinner works for the days that didn't and the dust is the same color and still there next week as it is today. :D Well, I love the picture for it took me back twenty some years! Love to all, still here and crazy as ever at the Resort! Love, Ann

Andy and Kelly said...

I love this picture of Miss Pheobs! As mom already pointed out, this picture brings me back to my highly accessorized days! From what I hear, I was quite the hit, what with all of my jewelry and my ability to talk to anyone and anyone! Phoebe seems to take after her Aunt Kel in that area :)

As for the keeping busy activities, I don't have much experience. A baby gate creating an enclosed area seems to work well for my sister-in-law, Tara. The girls love to play and watch Veggie Tales, and don't seem to notice too much if one "disappears" to get changed! :) I like mom's idea, though, of letting her take care of her doll, so that when she gets a little older, she will be a natural nuturing Big Sister to Nora.
I can't wait for her to get here! You're such a great mom, and I know it will all just work out in time and with practice! I miss you, and I'm glad Michael is doing better! Send him our love as well!

Munchkins and Music said...

Breakfast, snacktime, and more snacktimes only work for us for 15 minutes at a time.

The Sinks said...

In desperate times, give her a tissue box and let her have at it! Of a box of cheap bandaids (or a box of anything, really) is fun to empty and stick places. I also like the idea of doing "real" things with the doll. Kathryn already loves pretending to feed, change, and bathe her doll. I'm definitely interested in what other people will say, and hope you get lots more advice that I can "borrow", as I'll be needing it any day now!

Anonymous said...

I've not been in this situation yet. I hope you get some good advice. I wanted to say thanks for the CD recommendation. I hadn't thought of Praise Baby.

Superchikk said...

Thanks for the advice on milk drinking. I might try offering only milk and see what he does.

I've not personally been in the situation you're facing, but is she old enough for play-doh yet? Or crayons? The indoor sandbox sounds like a great idea!

I saw something fun the other day - a ziploc baggie with some foam shaving cream inside. It allows them to "finger paint" without the mess. You could try adding some food coloring to make it pretty.

teachingtinytots said...

i have a teaching blog that has lots of fast easy ideas if your interested check it out!

Alicia said...

I have some lists of easy toddler activities on my site. I wrote Lazy Mama Crafts I and II when I was juggling my toddler and baby (the second one has better stuff!). There's lots of toddler ideas in the craft section or you can do a search for toddler and find some of the newsletter suggestions.

Here's an easy one we did today to buy time for me to do crafts with my 3 bigger kids-- put a big squirt of mustard in a sandwich bag and then in the other side put a big squirt of ketchup. Seal well. Let your little one mush, mix through the bag and "write" designs through the goop with her finger. Toss when done. Everybody has ketchup and mustard around and it's non-toxic if the bag breaks. Cost=pennies. 10 minutes to do something else=priceless. :) Good luck!

Katie @ 3 Blondes and a Redhead said...

I haven't read the comments, but here are a few:

Take a little ball of play dough, roll it up, stick a piece of spaghetti in it and have her put Cheerios on it. It's a great motor skill exercise and eating the "project" won't hurt her!

You can also have her put dry beans in a cleaned out water bottle, then superglue the top on and she'll have a maraca (sp?)

Make some pudding (or buy some of the pre-made cups) and let her finger paint with pudding on a baking sheet (preferably with the lip around the edge - like a jelly roll pan)

She can make a pasta collage with dry pasta and a piece of construction paper - put some glue and a Q-tip in a Dixie cup and sit nearby to reduce messes

Blow up a couple of balloons and have her try to hit them so they don't touch the floor or kick them around like a soccer ball