Hey Hey lovelies.
Middle of the week over here and a snow storm is brewing (which of course I knew nothing about because we don't turn on the tv most days....) and I made the hubby stop for breakfast supplies and seriously I am looking forward to it. Maybe it's this whole being quarantined this winter but I'm ok with being snowed in! Well let me clarify, I'm ok just as long as the hubby is home!
I have been sharing some of the day to day "tot school" activities I do with Zoe and have had so much interest from all of you about how I plan it all out. And I am excited to share all of this because it is totally my jamn.
My main reason for "tot school" was keeping my sassy pants off of the screen time. NOTHING wrong with screen time guys, it's a game of survival and you gotta do what you gotta do but with a little preparation there is lots you can do to keep your littles entertained and learning. I promise to make this easy and painless.
First let's start with my 5 sure ways to keep Zoe from asking for Peppa.
1. Create a schedule! We don't really stick to this 100% but having a schedule/routine REALLY helps us both stay on track. We even try and get dressed before starting "school". And guess what, outdoor play or free play can be included in the schedule!
2. Pick some themes!! Make it fun. I love this site, this list and this one has a great list of what your should keep in mind when planning out activities. Insert some crafts, some time to paint, some time to gather things around the house that are a part of your theme. Play dress up, tell stories. We also love to bake something weekly, usually on Thursday or Friday so we can enjoy it during the weekend. ENJOY THE TIME LEARNING AND THEY WILL ALWAYS LOVE LEARNING. This whole month our theme is love. Showing people we love and appreciate them and that we are thankful for them. Loving differences and that your heart is what makes you beautiful. Corny, yes but so necessary in this day and age. Plus it is Valentine's Day!!
3. Start out a with a letter of the day for our school days. But when Zoe was younger we started with just one letter, a color and a number of the week. Now we have our theme for the week and a number/letter every day. Do as much or as little as you can.
3. Get ACTIVE. Cosmic Yoga - gets us moving a couple times a day. So many choices for every mood. And chasing the baby while doing these moves literally gets me sweating. I don't consider this screen time because it's a little mix of active play and imagination.
4. Use videos! Jamie's videos on Howcast are also some we watch often. We have a Sesame Street episode DVR'd and every day we watch when they practice the spanish alphabet. I also love to look up other spanish videos (we Love this guy!! They have a lot of really great fun videos) . If screen time is a little learning then mama doesn't feel as guilty. And I will also google videos on whatever our theme is (Youtube is your friend! ) I save the link in an email with that week's activities and I work them into our routine to break up the activities.
5. Audible books playing while we color, play with blocks or magnets, eat lunch, or even while they have a snack so I can start dinner. They both love it so much and I feel like it REALLY has helped with a little toddler concentration. We always talk about the stories after.
Favorites this week have been, Llama Llama series, Pinkalicious Storybook Collection and On The Road With Peppa, Kids Learn Spanish: Hooray! It's Saturday (cute collection of spanish/english stories) and for younger ones (even Ami laughs and moo's along) I like The Animal Fair and Other Stories.
My question to you, would you be interested in a weekly newsletter series that helps you understand how I plan my month out, some activities we have planned out and themes we have in the works? And maybe even a supply list so you can be prepared and join in on as much or as little as you'd like. Or is this enough? Email me, DM me, heck comment on my last IG post and tell me if you would want to subscribe to a tot-school newsletter and if you do, what would you like to make sure I cover... Or should I go ahead and scratch it all.
I will also note a few points:
Zoe takes a quiet time break while Ami naps every day, usually around 1:30 or 2pm until about 4pm. Some days she plays with her doll house (in her room), watches a movie on her iPad or has time with Playdoh. She has to be quiet and has to stay in her room. Your toddler not napping? Start this now, GAME CHANGER.
This allows me to get work done and start dinner, but also lets us all recharge. SO IMPORTANT. Seriously do me a favor and don't ever feel crappy for saying you need a break from these tiny humans, because it's normal and mama needs a break.
And remember consistency is key. It takes about two weeks to make a habit so give yourself at least that much time. Kid's thrive on routine and if you implement it and make it fun they will eventually be even more into it than you!
You can also leave these activities or ideas to a baby sitter or nanny. We have an entire container of crafts and activities for our sitter to do with Zoe, I also usually text her with something we are working on that day.
Here are a few things we use and love!
Happy hump day my friends!