January has been cold. Fortunately, we haven't had quite the bitter, dangerous weather that the poor Midwest has suffered through. Nevertheless, the wind chill is a bit much for our little fellas on most days. So instead, we've been making our own fun indoors.
I signed the boys and myself up for a class at the Y called "Mommy & Me." This twice-a-week fitness class ran all through January and was for moms and their children of any age. I was pleasantly surprised with the class, as I got much more of a workout than I thought I'd be able to get. The boys were generally happy during the class and enjoyed the change of pace.
Some of our activities included walking/crawling/jumping like different animals across the room, stretching resistance bands (for the moms) while singing various kids' songs, forming a "London Bridge" with the moms holding their legs up for the kids to crawl under, or playing games like "Red Light, Green Light" and Ring Around the Rosy (with moms doing lunges or squats). The boys' very favorite activity was walking or jumping along this ladder.
At times during this class, Jaden and Cody were more interested in scattering floor mats around the room, finding treasures in other moms' diaper bags, climbing inside other people's strollers, or making faces at the older ladies trying to have a book club in the next-door room. Overall, though, they were smiley, full of energy, and (mostly) good listeners. :) It was a good new experience for us!
At home, we've been experimenting with various new toys & activities. Some ideas have worked better than others. Having races by sliding various cars down a plastic ramp-- definitely a big hit! Digging for hidden toys in a container of rice-- not so much. (Maybe Mommy was getting a bit too adventurous out of desperation on that particular day!) Here are some other examples of our January play:
Practicing our Pouring-- Cody especially loves pretending to pour water from his sippy cups into bowls or onto various toys. So, I gave the boys something they could actually pour-- poker chips.
Both boys were actually entertained for quite a while, transferring the poker chips from one container to another. Oh, the joys of being one and a half!
Sorting Cotton Balls-- This activity is designed to give good practice with fine motor skills. The idea is to place each cotton ball in an ice cube compartment of its own.
The boys seemed to understand right away what to do and concentrated hard...
...at least at first. :) Eventually the fine motor skill practice transitioned to "How do I pull these funny cotton ball strands out of my mouth?" Oh, dear. Perhaps this Mommy needs to invest in some pom-poms if we plan on repeating this activity. Thankfully, no one was any worse off for the wear. We'll keep refining. :)
Next activity-- Balloon Games
Mommy tried to initiate a few catching/hitting activities with the balloons, but Jaden and Cody were perfectly content holding their balloons,
whacking their balloons,
and chasing after the runaway balloons. Hey, whatever works!
And finally-- Book Adventures
Yes, these two are boys after my own heart! :) With toddlers around, people often say that when it gets quiet-- that's when it's time to worry. In our household, though, it typically just means that our boys are engrossed in a book. The picture below is a very common sight for the boys these days. Flipping through the pages of various books will often entertain them for quite some time!
Other days, the boys just like to relocate ALL of the books from their shelf to other places in the house-- on the fireplace, into the bathroom, on the kitchen floor (especially when Mommy is trying to cook), or on the piano bench. Because they carry the books out one at a time, this activity is often very time-consuming!
Recently, Cody has been interested in lining up his toys. He'll often take our two Cozy Coupe vehicles, his dump truck, his push rider, and his bulldozer, and place them front-to-back all across the room. He enjoys doing the same with his books.
Many of the previous activities listed were Mommy-initiated. Most of the time, however, the boys have no problem at all coming up with their own fun. The following video gives a great example of how Jaden & Cody chose to entertain themselves after church one Sunday morning.
We will certainly appreciate some more outdoor-friendly weather coming (hopefully soon!) in the months ahead. For the time being, though, we've enjoyed thinking a bit outside of the box for our playtime fun.