Today’s post is brought to you by
the letter B and the number… Sorry. I’m wallowing in old-school-TV-nostalgia, over here, after two fluey days of CBeebies OD-ing. They really don’t make them like they used to, do they?
Anyway, let’s start again…
Today’s post is brought to you by Joanna McKenna. In no particular order: heroine, doctor, founder of ace new website Entertaining Babies, and Mama of twin boys with (drum roll please)… another on the way!
Over to you, Jo…
“One of the many joys of having twins is that they will play with each other…keep each other amused…. It will be so much easier once they are old enough to sleep through the night….”
Many people have said this to me. I am sure that not one of them has twins (or not my twins at least).
If I leave my boys to play I’d give them about 5 seconds, on a good day, to find something to hit over each others head, or to find the cat food and start eating it. (Yes – I know we should put it up on a counter but the cat was a rescue cat that doesn’t climb at all well.)
In my sleep deprived state I am not the best at finding inspirational ideas to entertain babies or toddlers for that matter. It is hard when you feel your eye lids closing, when you blink and you keep your eyes closed for that extra few seconds… often the last thing you feel like doing is putting on a happy voice and start running around the house.
In our area (Stoke Newington) we have one of the largest collection of children under 5 in Europe! This means we have an inordinate number of baby classes: baby massage, gymboree, tumble tots, Mr. Sparkeys music, tiny tempo… the list is endless. The times we have tried to go along I also found it nigh on impossible to get to there – it was a logistical nightmare trying to get two babies organised; last minute nappy changes as they timed “mega-poos” to perfection which maximised disruption to the best laid plans, quick clothes changes as they took it in turns to vomit as soon as they were in the buggy! Furthermore with twins the cost is prohibitively expensive.
I remember complaining to my Dad about this and he turned to me in amazement and said “Classes! There was no such thing as baby classes when you were that age”. It dawned on me that this is just another example of baby consumerism. Do we need these groups – no!
I have found I really difficult to think of inspirational games in my sleep deprived state, but I was so shocked at the lack of information out there I have made it my mission to try to find as many as I possibly can and put them on a website for parents / grand parents, anyone at all who is involved in childcare.
I have found that it is the little things that keep children amused, not the expensive ones. The most fun part of an expensive toy is usually the box! A wooden spoon and various saucepans acting as a drum kit can certainly pass away the time, using chopsticks to eat raisins will keep most 3-4 year olds quiet while you get on and make the dinner. There are lots of ideas on the website.
Most toddlers love helping out and trying to help with household chores – folding the washing up, carrying a sock to put in the washing machine, painting the bathroom tiles with water to help clean them…
I have found that you can have much more fun getting a few friends round, (the MOST important thing is making sure that someone always brings cake), and having a lovely cup of tea / coffee in your own home whilst you entertain your children. If you rotate the homes you get a great range of toys, and less chance of getting struck down with colds that seem to occur 2-3 days after an expensive group class.
If you have any ideas for games please have a look at our website and submit them!
Tight rope walking – 2-3 year
This is a great game for improving co-ordination. Most 2-3 year olds find it really difficult to walk in a straight line. If you are inside cut a piece of string about 2 meters long and lay it on the floor in a straight line.
The aim of the game is to imagine that carpet is a dangerous sea with lots of sharks that like to nibble little toes! Your child has to walk in a straight line along the string and gets a HUGE CHEER as he / she does so.
You have to use your imagination in this game but it does cause lots of giggles especially if when they miss the string the tickling hands (yours) come along the floor and tickle (gobble up) little toes!