(Read more of Shanna’s Toddler Diaries)
As a homeschooling mom of eight, I have to admit, I spend a lot of time making sure that my older children are being properly trained. Actually, this is pretty good advice to adhere by because our younger children often simply fall in line. They strive to be like their big brothers and sisters. When I’m teaching the big ones their lessons, I’m always amazed at the amount of information the little ones are absorbing.
Nevertheless, my toddlers still need my time. They need activities that are geared just towards them to learn and play and grow. And sometimes, they just need to be occupied. At my blog, Learning at His Feet, I will occasionally share ideas for engaging toddlers in fun activities. I rate our experience, letting you know if I’ve felt like the project was really worthwhile. I call this blog series The Toddler Diaries.
Today, I’m sharing an easy idea I found online.
You start with a paper towel or toilet paper tube and a pair of scissors. I would suggest 1 paper towel tube or 2 toilet paper tubes per child.
Cut the tubes to make large “beads”.
Let your toddler color or paint his beads. We chose to use markers, but obviously painting the beads would have made them much more colorful. You could even fill several paper plates with a kid-friendly, washable paint and let your little ones roll their beads in each color.
My four year old colored for a bit, and then opted for a stacking game. That was perfectly fine with me! This was certainly a no-pressure craft. The idea was to keep their little hands busy for a bit and amazingly, these little toilet paper tubes were doing it!
Once they tired of coloring their beads, I gave them each a long piece of yarn. A wide ribbon was actually suggested online, which I think would be a great idea for those tots who still struggle with fine motor skills…but all we had was yarn. So I taped one end of the yarn to the table with masking tape and instructed the kids to string on their beads.
My almost-three-year old took this task very seriously!
Finally, his necklace was complete and I tied it on for him to proudly wear…for the rest of the day.
Even my one year old participated, dotting his beads with color, carefully stringing beads as I held the yarn, and chewing on his bead necklace later.
Rating: Excellent project! Simple for mom and kid-approved!
Suggested Age: 2.5 – 5 years. We were doing this project with my friend’s son who is a younger 2. It really didn’t hold his attention for very long. But my son, who is almost 3 definitely enjoyed it, as did my 4 and 5 year old.
Time Commitment for Me: Very little! I had to cut the tubes initially and to generally oversee the project, but I was not very involved. I gave them their beads, walked away, and they colored for 15 minutes. I gave them their yarn, walked away, they stringed their beads for 15 minutes.
Toddler Time: 30-45 minutes! No kidding…this easy activity held their attention that long!
Final Comments: We will definitely be doing this again. I have plenty of toilet paper tubes left and I think I might even brave the mess and get out the paint next time!
Shanna from Learning at His Feet. I am a wife and homeschooling mother of eight children ages 11, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 2, and 1. I have found joy in sharing ideas and encouragement with other homeschool parents through speaking sessions, organizing parent meetings and educational events, creating ebooks and educational games, and writing posts and reviews online. While God has led me to teach my children at home, I am finding that He is teaching me even more. Truly God is going before me preparing my children’s hearts and minds. There have been discouraging days and successful days on our homeschool journey, but the success has never been mine. It belongs solely to my children and the One who created them. I have been blessed and often humbled to be a part of it!
Thank you for joining us in today’s Blogging in the Bluegrass series. For the month of September, Ben and Me is highlighting homeschool moms from around the state of Kentucky. Watch the blog every Wednesday and Friday all month long for these inspirational and informative guest articles!