Step 11: Books

For toddlers stick with simple board books. Some libraries also loan out books that include a puppet. Another thing that can really help get tots interested in books is to make your own customized books for them using photos of people, animals and toys that they will recognize. If you want a little more advanced project check out my Instructable on how to make a lift-the-flap book for a toddler.
Is that playground in Vermont?
I'm a first time, new dad. I can't wait till he's a little older and the weather a little warmer to do these things with him. Thanks!
Great ideas! <br>Also, these kiddos are adorable!!! <br>My baby brother (2) LOVES playing dress up, his hats are his favorite! :0)
That's really good idea and a great fun for our toddlers. I will definitely try it out.<br><a href="http://www.journeytothejungle.com/animalsarafi/animalsafari.html" rel="nofollow">Animals Safari</a>
You are a creative caring genius. Thanks so much for sharing!!! xxxooo
a cpl hrs play in the pool &amp; this is there chill out hour...... lol just kiddin
i can understand that STRESS !!!
Another realy good music toy for kids is Boom Whackers. They are essentualy tuned plastic tubes by hitting one you make a note. my nephew who is almost 6 now has had them since he was a baby. At first he would just bangh them arouund. Then as he got older he made beats and my brother taught him about harmony and chords with them. He uses mallets or drum sticks sometimes to play the notes. One of his favorte games is drum circle where every one gets a tube or two and makes a beat and then you go in a cirlcle and start making up a beat trying to harmonize with the rest of the group. It might be that my brother is a musician or that my nephew is naturaly tallented but i recon that most of my nephews love and tallent came from being exposed to instruments at a very young age. he plays the piano and the guitar not brilliantly but its a start. <br> BoomWhatkers: http://www.westmusic.com/1002405-kids/k5010-boomwhackers?gclid=CKqWrdG8s6cCFZNd7AodJm75_w
At our house, the kids make muesli. We use separate containers for each ingredient- oats, dried cranberries, raisins, sliced almonds, a little brown sugar, and in a small restaurant-size syrup &quot;pitcher&quot; we have the milk. They love mixing and tasting and it doubles as a snack. It's also really cheap if you have a grocery store near you with a &quot;bulk&quot; section- just get the amount you need. We place an old sheet under their child-size table to catch the mess.
Oh wow! I think these are all such great ideas! A lot of them I do with our kiddos too but there were some new ones on here that I loved! Thanks for posting ;)
im 13 years old and in 8th grade... I brought duck tape to school and i came home with cat ears cat tail and every thing all of my friends were drenched in it we love tape. it was ;ole 5 inches thick and it was gone in a 35 minute period<br />
o_o you could be my best friend. =P
most likely im friends with every one
also, this calls to mind my toddler sister getting her hair tangled in the kitchen-aid mixer.
;____;<br />
even though hammers do not have sharp edges, they are a bad idea too.
My 3yr old and 1yr old sons LOVE hammers! You just have to make sure they have appropriate objects to USE them on, or they will bash anything. But supervised hammer and drill play is great for wee kids, and is a good environment to teach them about safety (better than playing with matches to learn about fire!)<br /> <br /> If you never introduce your child to (controlled) danger, they won't learn to recognise it or protect themselves from it.<br />
i suppose you are right, but i learned the hard way from a lot of things.
My son is 25 yrs. old. There was a small work bench with tools in his kindergarden class.&nbsp; It was a wonderful experience for him. He still has all his appendages and is a happy and creative young man.&nbsp; The kids at the kindergarden knew the rules. Wood was often slightly pre-drilled to make hammering nails in easier.
that is good, and i had something like that but in second grade, (no saws though.)
Great ideas!&nbsp;I&nbsp;have a two year old daughter and 8 month old twins so these are some great ideas. &nbsp;Yes some require a lot of supervision but they would get that anyway!&nbsp;<br /> <br /> I'm always looking for something new to do with my kids, many of these are already things I would do, but some are ones I&nbsp;might not think of right away.<br /> <br /> Another cool idea is to take empty yogurt cups and poke small holes in the lids, and put &quot;smelly&quot;&nbsp;things inside. &nbsp;&nbsp;It's my experience that toddlers love to use their senses, and smell is one of them!&nbsp;Have them sniff the tub with the lid on and have them guess what is inside.&nbsp; Like put banana in one, cinnamon in another, garlic in another, a flower in one, etc etc (things that are all safe to sniff obviously) <br /> <br /> Can also do the same idea but dip tooth pics (the round ones not the sharp ones) and dip them in different safe flavors and have them taste the flavors.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> Get a big bowl or plastic tub, and fill it with uncooked rice, and uncooked dried beans.&nbsp; Add in some large wooden beads and have kids play in that.&nbsp; They will love the tactile aspect and finding the &quot;hidden&quot; beans.&nbsp; Give them some measuring cups, and funnels and watch them have fun!&nbsp;<br /> <br />
people are always giving away moving boxes on craigslist for free.
toddlers+coins=choking hazard, most mothers do not like their young ones playing with coins, especially shiny ones.<br/>
toothpicks=bad idea, toddlers are not known for their attention spans, many toddlers would just leave that little spike ball laying around for someone to step/sit on, (that has happened that i know of.)<br/>
this calls to mind the class bully taping little children up, tape is not a good idea, but good idea.
fantastic ideas. I'd like to add that all sand boxes should have a cat proof lid s the toddlers don't end up playing in a cat toilet! :)
I would not be put off by the fact that you are a man running a childcare. What's important to me is that the children are safe, happy and have lots of creative opportunities. Wish you were here; my grandson will enter child care when he is eight months old. Hey! forget sending the kids. I want to go.
Thanks for the positive feedback! Eight month old babies are amazing! They are wide awake to everything around them and want to take it all in and pick everything up and learn, learn, learn. They are beginning to understand words but usually don't speak their first clear word until around 12 months.
our little Jackson is 4 months old and of course, grandmother (me lol) thinks he is the most handsome and brilliant baby in the world. I hope to teach him basic sign language before he is verbal. I did that with my grandaughter and it reduced frustration for all concerned. I highly recommend it for all people that interact with kids. It makes life much happier when communication can be understood by all.
We have an indoor ´ricebox´ It´s awesome and my daughter has been busy for hours since we set it up yesterday for our toddler group. we just got a really large plastic storage tub from Ikea or the like and filled it with about 14Kilos of rice. Much easier to clean up and it feels really cool. Great to bury items in and hunt for them. We also use our beach toys in it like the water wheel (where you pour water in the top and it makes the wheels spin) great with rice. Good to get a box with a lid so it´s easy to store.
This gives new definition to playing with one's food. I gotta say, I like that idea, the texture would be really neat, and it's prolly cheaper than sand! *goes to play with rice in the kitchen*
These are really great ideas! Thanks for posting!
Hi, here is just another option: I make my own photo fridge magnets using small photos (or pictures, or pressed dried flowers, or letters, or anything that is flat....) and laminating them. You can stick the self adhesive magnet strips directly onto the back (or re-cycle cut-up pieces of the free 'advertising' fridge magnets that I seem to accumulate, and glue them on) . It protects the photo and they last longer, if little sticky fingers play with them, they just wipe clean. My 3 year old loves them, and we write the names of friends and family with letter magnets beside the photos and he can recognise quite a few names now. They are also a great present for grandparents, family and big and little friends, especially those who live a bit further away and can't see you as often. Enjoy! XXX
So well done. You've reminded me of some of the things i can do with my two year old grandaughter. 5*****!
Steve, you're a genius. Naturally I thought you were a female genius when I started reading this, but then I saw your name. A collection of small cardboard boxes, though bulky to store, is a great toy for kids who like to stack and build. You can buy a set cheaply, but I work in an office and kept my eyes peeled, and in a couple of months had plenty, for free. Which reminds me -- kids of all ages go through forests' worth of paper. I kept a box in my office for scrap paper that was blank on one side (making sure there was nothing not-safe-for-public-viewing on the printed side). When I had a shopping bag full, I'd bring it home let my son have at it. In fact, I still bring home scrap paper and use it for printing personal correspondence or things I don't need spanky-clean copies of.
The paper thing reminded me of something my dad used to do a lot. He used to work for a font company, and he'd bring home test papers in bulk. One of the things I used to do was find all of the Chinese and Japanese lettering and he'd help me cut them out and paste them into a collage. I'd always have forests of kanji, a symbol for a house, and a bunch of symbols for people standing around. He'd never see it, so he had me write a story underneath it. For parents that don't have kanji fonts on their computer, even just printing out the alphabet in caps and lowercase in a large size can be fun. They can cut them out and turn Qs into balloons and Bs into teacups.
Nice idea. I've been sitting here trying to turn a 'B'into a tea cup. I just tried a lower case'b' and i see what you mean. Cool!
Dude.. "naturally" you thought someone who looked after kids was a woman? that's not nature. that's social conditioning.
No, it's nature. Hence breasts. That doesn't mean guys can't do it anyway, but it's not just social conditioning.
Ain't that the truth!
Those recorders that all fifth graders everywhere seem to get from school are good, as are harmonics. Of course, by "Good" I mean, easy to blow on, not easy to listen to:)
So cute! I always suspected that more than one toddler could fit in those...<br/><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.myhouseboutique.typepad.com">My House Boutique, &quot;where life is handmade and heart-loved.&quot;</a><br/>
i forgot to mention, if it bothers you, you can always wash the money before they play with it.
when my kids are playing with round objects, i ask them to put a blanket down. it muffles the sound and helps prevent items from rolling away. =o) <br/>
grocery stores will usually let you have boxes too if you come before they break them down. find out when they receive deliveries and ask when boxes might be available
Full of great ideas! I'd just suggest that an outdoor sandbox needs to be well covered at night, as many friendly felines will declare it their own.
Wonderful Instructable, it makes me wish that my own little one (now much bigger than I am, and off to college) was still at the age where these things were such fun. There were a few more that were _huge_ hits that you don't have on your list, so I might add:<br/><br/>1. <strong>juice cartons</strong>. (Milk cartons tend to smell, no matter how much they are washed) We had dozens of half gallon juice cartons with the ends taped shut for building with. They make large and satisfying walls to crouch behind and later to knock over. A friend had a spare basement room with hundreds of cartons, and her home was always a popular stop.<br/><br/>2. <strong>Packing Peanuts</strong>. Either the plastic or cornstarch kind are worth their weight in gold. The plastic ones get dumped into the empty kiddie pool (buy a couple at the end of the season for $1 at a large Mart stort), and the kids go in for a &quot;swim&quot; with their clothes on. The play is much like water play, although I don't see the attraction. It's an easy clean up too, as long as the air isn't too dry. A rainy day is perfect. <br/><br/>The cornstarch ones are good for small scale building. Hold a surface of the peanut against a wet sponge (so no one gets the idea this is food or that the moisture is drinkable), and push the damp peanut against a dry one. They will immediately join together, and pretty good sized creations can be made this way. Let them dry afterward and they'll stay together permanently. Add the kiddo's name with a marker and the child has a &quot;castle&quot; to take home.<br/><br/>3.<strong>Pretty Pretty Princess</strong>. Both girls and boys _adore_ this game, although to be fair, they don't care about the game as much as the props. Your jewelry idea is similar, but it doesn't include the all-important crown, which needs to be purchased in large quantities, as it seems to disappear quite frequently. (you can buy replacement game parts for very little money). Try to reassure panicked fathers that is means nothing when their sons are draped in jewelry, wearing a crown.<br/><br/>4. <strong>Shaving cream</strong>. Every toddler/preschooler I know loves the tactile feel of shaving cream. I just squirt a bit onto a table and let 'er rip. A huge bonus is that the surface ends up in pristine condition when playtime is over and the leftover shaving cream is rinsed away. I like to use a big microfiber cloth to remove shaving cream from little hands after this one, then send the kids to &quot;wash.&quot; (their rinsing removes any remaining traces).<br/><hr/>When I was home with the sprout, I pretended that there was no such thing as television, and I looked for a day care that felt as I did. As a result, my kid was happy, slept well, and woke up asking &quot;what are we going to do for fun today?!&quot;<br/><br/>Thanks again for the incredible Instructable!<br/>

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