The following post is written by Steady Mom's monthly contributor, Melitsa.
Toddlers love to move, which is great. They've learned that the world is a huge place to explore. I have always had toddler boys that go-go-go, then suddenly keel over and nap. One moment they were running around with the dump truck. The next moment flat out on the floor next to it. No rubbing the eye cues--just silence.
This perpetual motion sure wears them out, but one of my responsibilities as a parent is to teach them how to be still. When we go to the doctor's office, church, or bank they need to know how to sit and wait. It's a part of self control--learning to use the cues our bodies send us.Here is a perfect stillness activity (based on object permanence) to try with your toddler. This version is fun--you can add in tickling and lots of hugs.
- Find an object he (or she) loves. In our case a London double-decker bus that has been the favorite toy three times around.
- Grab a cloth. Ours is textured. My son loves to feel things so we just felt this one in my lap for a bit. No hurry to start our game.
- Hide the toy in
plain sight under the cloth.
- Ask, "Where's the bus?
The great thing about this game is how you can easily change it up with slight variations:
- Where's the (colour) bus?
- Where's the (size) bus?
- Where's the (sound of the bus)?
- Where are the wheels, window or people on the bus?
- wrap the object, round and round
- tuck it inside
- slight of hands (nothing hidden)
- change the texture
- Can you see through the cloth (bubble wrap, netting, stockings) or a solid ( napkin, box, empty flower pot)
We've recently taken this a step further with a doll and a cloth--asking "Where's the nose?" and various other body parts. Watching my son from a distance I see him putting the cloth over his head and pulling it off and pointing to his own nose, in another variation.
Naturally this activity can be
used anywhere. Bring objects with you or use something wherever you
are. Children love the
repetition and predictability of the actions. It's great for their
The language lessons of turn taking, mimicking and increasing vocabulary are easily done in this purposeful way that is fun without "teaching." The cuddles and tickles are just a bonus.
**What stillness activities do you enjoy doing with your toddler?**
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Melitsa is raising three full of fun boys in various countries, as a military wife and mother. She writes at her blog, Play Activities, and also hosts a weekly podcast, Raising Playful Tots, dedicated to making the most of playtime.