Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Mom to Mom Mom to Mom

help with toddlers

Posted by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 8:20 AM
  • 7 Replies
I'm super excited that Wednesday night I start babysitting my niece! I don't know her we'll so I think I got myself in a bit of a bind. She's 16 months and my DD is 2 1/2 years old. It'll be awesome for them both to have someone to play with, but I have no clue what to do with them. We're still settling into our apartment so it's a little crazy here, plus the hours will be bouncing back and forth between about 9:30am - 4pm and 4:30pm - 10:30 or 11:30 pm. Thanks in advance to anyone with suggestions.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 8:20 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-7):
suetoo
by Bronze Member on Mar. 17, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Set a strict routine as soon as you can. My 6 month old dgd, 1 yr old dgs, and 4 1/2 dgd are here with us @ 4 days per week. The littlest already play and relate to each other. We eat, (snack), sleep, play, eat, (lunch), sleep, play with a strict nap time, 9am and 1:30 pm "ish". I have a play corner with crates for climbing and toys, a changing table station with a basket for each child's stuff, (my daughters provide toys, dipes, wipes, food, drinks, extra clothes and creams), safety gates, a mat on porch for shoes and a coat hook for each. Even the 1 yr old is learning to help. And finally, two pack n plays and a daybed so each child has their own sleep/rest spot. It could be as simple as a nap mat and sleeping bag n pillow. Set rules. I have 2 highchairs and a booster seat at my table and do not let anybody walk around snacking. Weather permitting, we try to get them outside every day, even if its just on the porch watching for parents. I'm the diaper committee, DH is the entertainment committee. Good luck n have fun.

ps our naughty spot is a stair step. Time out is timed on microwave timer.

goddess99
by Michelle on Mar. 17, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Having some sort of schedule and meal plan will be helpful. Try not to worry. Sounds like it will be fun.

MamaMoopsie
by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 4:29 PM

The same things you do with your daughter. Coloring, playing with toys, take them to the park if the weather is nice during the day, paint their nails! Bath time is awesome too.

dreamalong
by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Toddlers like to play with simple things.  I have a friend with a toddler and he likes opening and closing things, like my kitchen cabinets.  I have a tupperware set of nesting bowls (graduated sizes that fit into each other.)  Tupperware is a durable plastic that is almost unbreakable, so something similar is fine.  they can pretend to cook, stir, (add a safe spoon), and they'll have hours of fun!  there are also empty boxes, which they will open and close, put stuff in and take stuff out!  large durable stuffed toys.  NOTHING small enough to put in their mouths, that might be swallowed!  Pull toys, toys to drag around, put into other toys, carry, roll, move, etc.,

rory10
by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 5:47 PM
Unfortunately where we lived before we we're very restricted with what we could do, but we moved into our own apartment. I just feel like I need to do all sorts of crafts and educational stuff. She used to go to daycare, so I almost feel like I need to duplicate something I know nothing about.


Quoting MamaMoopsie:

The same things you do with your daughter. Coloring, playing with toys, take them to the park if the weather is nice during the day, paint their nails! Bath time is awesome too.


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
MamaMoopsie
by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 7:51 PM

 Let her lead the way a bit. At this age free play is very important versus structured play where you have to keep her entertained. However, at the same time it's easy to implement fun/educational activities throughout your day. I highly recommend doing a weekly trip to the library. My girls LOVE books, especially anything about letters, numbers, or that have textured pages. My youngest is 15 months old so I can somewhat relate to your niece's age, and she loves books. When she's getting fussy, I just set her on the couch with a little cardboard book and she'll be entertained for ten minutes easy. She also loves to draw me pictures. I'll set her up in her high chair with a piece of paper and a crayon, then I set her big sisters (who are going to turn 3 and 4 next month) with paper and crayons and I will fold laundry while they draw and color.

It's important that you find out what her schedule is and try to mesh it with yours. What are her nap times? How often does she need a snack throughout the day?

A lot of people think they have to have certain tools to help a very young toddler learn. It's not true. Just about everything can be a learning opportunity. When my almost 4 year old was two she loved to have me get a cookie sheet out and sprinkle flour on it so she could use her fingers to draw designs in it--she learned about textures, taste (you can mix in a little sugar too), and her fine motor skills improved.

Your niece is a little too young for major crafty stuff, but you can always invest in a role of butcher paper (you can find these at any teaching store) and set the kids up on the kitchen floor with finger paints (then give them a bath afterwards, which lets their paintings dry). If your niece will hold still and actually let you paint her nails (it really depends on the child at this age) you can teach her her colors that way. That's one of the techniques I've used to teach my girls their colors.

Sorry, I tend to go on and on about things you can do, because I've had a lot of great results so I love passing on ideas.


Quoting rory10:

Unfortunately where we lived before we we're very restricted with what we could do, but we moved into our own apartment. I just feel like I need to do all sorts of crafts and educational stuff. She used to go to daycare, so I almost feel like I need to duplicate something I know nothing about.


Quoting MamaMoopsie:

The same things you do with your daughter. Coloring, playing with toys, take them to the park if the weather is nice during the day, paint their nails! Bath time is awesome too.



 

Janet
by Ruby Member on Mar. 17, 2013 at 8:47 PM
I agree.

Quoting goddess99:

Having some sort of schedule and meal plan will be helpful. Try not to worry. Sounds like it will be fun.

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN