Lists for tiny kiddos

I can’t stress enough how much I believe the best thing you can do for your kiddos is to just let them be little. Let them play, let them explore, let them investigate and let them take their time. The less grown ups intervene, the better. Sometimes though, those energetic little bodies need to be gently guided into a more time/place sensitive activity, or maybe they need some help calming themselves back down after a particularly rowdy game. For times like these I love lists or repeated actions/steps. 

Shopping Lists

Need to go grocery shopping with an incredibly energetic toddler? Give them their own list of item(s) they’re responsible for. Make it something that they use, something they’ll value (aids in their ability to remember) and something that’s towards the last aisles you’ll visit (hopefully keeps them engaged longer!). As they get older, increase the list size to two or three things, you can even encourage them to ‘write’ their own list. They can draw the picture of the items they’re responsible for, and older pre school kids might even attempt their own writing. Trust your kiddo with a kid sized trolley? (Let’s be real, sometimes this is a great idea, other times it’s the worst idea you’ve ever had.) Let them push their own trolley of items around. Will it take longer? Absolutely, but hopefully by keeping your kiddo engaged it will pay off in a peaceful shopping trip.

Treasure Hunts

Make a Treasure Hunt in the backyard. In this heat you can do it in their room, in the kitchen, anywhere! Can you find something red? Can you see a circle? Can you bring me a leaf, rock, stick, ball, car?

Helper Hunts

Use this same concept and get them helping around the house, after all, being a member of the family means helping the family. Get them to help you with jobs like putting away the washing. Can you show me were your undies go? Can you put daddy’s clothes on our bed? Can you put the tea towels away in the drawer? You’ll be surprised at how capable they are of helping with these jobs, even when very young.

Packing up

Has their exuberance and energetic play left their room or the lounge room completely covered in toys? While it’s important to encourage them to help clean up the mess they made, no matter how young, if it feels overwhelming for you to look at, imagine how it must feel to a tiny toddler or pre schooler! Turn it into a game. “Let’s find all the blocks and put them in the tub.” “Now let’s get all the cars!” “Can you help me find all the puzzle pieces.” Make it easy and achievable for them and join in to demonstrate what it looks like to pack up, not get distracted by the first 2 things you pick up and start playing again..!

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