What is Intentional Toddler Time?


Before Samuel was born, I knew I was going to be intentional about exposing him to lots of learning opportunities. In part, this mindset is just part of how I am wired. I’m naturally inclined to intentional living because I’m naturally inclined to ceasing the moment, thinking long-term, and creating memories. I’m also naturally inclined to leave the bed unmade, the toothpaste clogged, and clean laundry in the dryer, but that’s beside the point. I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge, exploring, and creating. And I long to impart these traits to Samuel because I think when it comes time to choose faith in Christ {as we pray he will}, he will have had the opportunity to learn to think and choose for himself along the way.

Furthermore, I am convinced that our children are far more capable of doing and choosing, and even learning, than we give them credit for. I am of the mindset that learning doesn’t start when my son puts his bottom in the red, plastic chair with tennis balls on the end in front of a teacher singing, “Good morning” to her waiting pupils. I believe my son’s learning started the minute he made his wailing appearance into this world while I lay exhausted crying and thanking God it was finally finished.

Our children are naturally inclined to seek truth. Just observe any three year old for a few minutes. What are they doing? They’re talking of course! And most likely they are asking you why, how, what, when, and who with! My friend, these are golden opportunities to teach and inspire a love of learning. For it is in this teaching we are setting our children up for a lifetime pursuit of truth. And as a Christian, we know the truth lies in the Gospel of Christ. We are teaching them now how to obtain truth and pursue truth even as we explain to them that socks are not to be flushed down the toilet…ever! Mama, these conversations do matter. I promise!

Riding in the car with my then, five year old nephew, a CD hummed in the background, which I was completely oblivious to. But then it happened. He made a statement that took me a second to gather the context.

I’m not very patient with my sister. That’s not right is it?

Huh? Then it hit me. He was referring to the To Be Like Jesus CD we had playing.

Is this saying Jesus wants me to be patient with her?

Children are learning whether we’re teaching or not! As a parent, as a mom of a toddler, it is my responsibility to ensure that what he’s observing is worth observing whether it’s music, pictures, books, toys, people, whatever it may be … I am responsible for training my son in the way he should go.

So Intentional Toddler Time is nothing more than me intentionally providing my son with activities and experiences worth observing and participating in. Through these created (and some don’t need to be created) learning opportunities, I am exposing him to a variety of skills and building into the relationship that I would like to last his whole life through.

I don’t pretend to have it all figured out, this whole Intentional Toddler Time thing. I’m not an expert on the topic of children, and I certainly don’t have a degree in Education. I’ve already told you my degree was in Business Management. But I am passionate about the education of children, and it is this passion that drives my own personal education for teaching my son.

Therefore, we’ll embark upon this journey together. You and me. We’ll walk this path together, teaching and learning from one another, and trusting that we will certainly learn most by trial and error. Each Friday, I will share with you a re-cap of our previous week’s “lessons.” It will be a glimpse behind the curtains, which are quite honestly rarely drawn at our home anyway, into the life that lies behind them. The real life. The messy floors, the pant-less toddler, and scattered papers everywhere, real life home.

I want to inspire you with Intentional Toddler Time to see your son or daughter as an individual, a personality, a learner of all things amazing and wonderful. I want to give you ideas on how you can cultivate a love for learning and exploring, and I want to encourage you to let your floors get messy every once in a while. I promise you it won’t hurt a bit. Let your hair down, or pull it up in a ponytail, I don’t care, but let’s have fun being kids again … with our kids.

Join me next Friday for our first installment of Intentional Toddler Time. Samuel is currently 19.5 months old so this is about to get really fun!

Until next time, tell me in the comment section what your favorite thing to do with your toddler is!

This post is linked to The Better Mom, Fellowship Friday, Time Warp Wife, Works for Me, Women Living Well.

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16 Comments

    1. Oh yes, snuggling. That’s a must! Mine loves to read. So I try to never turn him down when he asks for it because that means he’s sitting in my lap. ๐Ÿ™‚ Ohhh, and of course I’m teaching him, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  1. I love holding my almost-3-year-old daughter while I read to her. Looking forward to next Friday to see what you have in store for us about intentional toddler time.

    1. You are so wise to gather information now. I try to always stay one step ahead with my little one. It’ has definitely paid off! Hope you start your journey soon. ๐Ÿ˜‰