Intentional Toddler Time {23 months}

{Samuel is currently 23 months}

We are having so much fun this Christmas season. Between our Advent Activities and Truth in the Tinsel, we are able to truly concentrate on what Christmas is all about. It’s exciting to see simple concepts breaking through the surface of my toddler’s understanding, and he’s beginning to form words into sentences. I’m really looking forward to our new year and what I have planned for us to do together during Intentional Toddler Time!

We are continuing our plan of rotating toys. I like to keep three learning toys out for Samuel to play with. I got lazy for a couple of weeks and just left several toys out for him. Let’s just say, there is wisdom in rotating and limiting the number of toys for your toddler to play with. Right now, we have out our Tall Stacker Pegs Building SetStack and Sort Board, and Alphabet Nesting and Stacking Blocks.

Stacking pegs are popular around here. More often than not these become swords, but occasionally I can coax him into playing with them “properly.” He’s totally into counting right now, so the Lauri Toys Number Express train is especially popular.

Toddler Trays continue to be a fantastic way to intentionally foster learning environments for my little boy. I have scaled back from five toddler trays to just four. There are two reason:

1) Five seemed like too many to come up with each week
2) I only have four trays

Toddler Trays are a great opportunity to incorporate fine motor skills, counting, color recognition, and just time for us to interact. Not to mention, Samuel loves sitting in his high chair after breakfast working through his toddler trays. He’s contained, learning, and I’m able to get the kitchen chores done. Win-win.

I found this Christmas themed Tic Tac Toe Peg Board at the Dollar Tree. He loves sticking the pegs in the little holes. This occupied him for a full 30 minutes the first time I introduced it to him. Don’t you love the hat?

This was another Dollar Tree find last year. I used these in my busy bags when he was younger, and they are still popular now that he’s almost two! We used them for counting and color recognition.

This boy loves his stickers. During one of our Truth in the Tinsel activities, the craft wasn’t something he could do, but he was perfectly content listening to Daddy read from Luke and work with his Christmas stickers.

He made this Toddler Tray for himself. I had jingle bells out for an activity. He went and got the glass jar and started putting the bells in, shaking them, and pouring them out. Oh and repeat about a hundred more times.

Samuel continues to enjoy Table Time. He loves drawing, coloring, and painting. He’s totally in love with paper crafts and glue, which makes me happy because those are pretty easy to come up with. 🙂 Not to mention, this makes Truth in the Tinsel a blast with him!

We’ve also taken some time to make our own Christmas cards this year. Clearly, we won’t be sending out a card to everyone we know like we have done in years past, but the ones we do send will be meaningful. The best part? Sam will have helped make every single one of them.

He loves my nativity set. This is where you will find him 80% of the day. I’m not kidding in the slightest. Just like this (and occasionally the salt shaker makes its way into the set). Once I found Baby Jesus completely immersed in salt. I guess Samuel thought he had depleted his mineral stores.

We live in the age of technology. I do my best to not allow the TV, DVDs, or the iPad to become my babysitter for long periods of time. Right now, we only allow videos after nap time. The only exception? Teething. When he doesn’t have the energy to play, I allow a few extra DVDs in our day.

My little monkey loves being outside. We finally got a decent snowfall, and we spent some time out of doors as a family. Sam had his first experience with sledding and boy was he in love!

I love capturing memories. This moment was a freak out for mama and a time of my life moment for the toddler.

I was washing dishes in the kitchen while I thought Sam was stacking blocks in the living room. When I went to check on him, I found the garage door wide open and not a sound. I thought he must have fallen down the stairs, and of course broke his neck, but instead, I found him just like this when I came around the corner. He was “FEEDING MAX!!!” He was so proud of himself. I couldn’t do much but laugh. There was dog food every.where.I.looked.

Even though it’s the Christmas season, we’re still intentionally learning together. Intentional Toddler Time is just so much fun this time of year!

Oh, and you may have noticed, 90% of the pictures came off my Instagram stream. So if you don’t follow me (leighanndutton), you should. 🙂

So what have you been doing with your toddler?

Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum for Toddlers!

The Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum for Toddlers is designed to help you teach early learning skills to your child while instilling God’s truth. One week at a time (for 18 weeks), I will guide you through sharing the Gospel with your child through various Bible stories and learning opportunities. Click here to learn more.

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