Activities for Active Toddler Boys
by Rachel Paxton
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My husband and I have been blessed with twin boys. Our boys are
18 months old now, and I often tell my husband that God must have
a sense of humor to give someone twin toddler boys. Some days it
doesn't seem very funny!
Yesterday, during the same 15 minute phone call, one son decided
to crawl up onto a chair and then the dining room table, and I
found the other one in his bedroom where he had pulled out all of
his dresser drawers, climbed up the drawers, and was standing on
top of his dresser looking down into his fish tank. There is
never a dull moment in our home.
During the past few months I have discovered what my boys most
love to do and what keeps them busy for even short periods of
time. I have geared my ideas toward boys because they normally
have higher activity levels, but I'm sure these ideas would work
great for girls too!
It is well known that kids love to play with everything except
their toys, and I have definitely found this to be true with my
boys. Many of their favorite activities are inexpensive or even
Toddlers love music. Many babies will begin to dance to music
before they're even a year old. There are many great CD's out
there for toddlers. A couple of our favorites are Wee Sing Silly
Songs and Veggie Tales. Nursery rhymes are always great too. We
have found many CD's at yard sales or half price at stores that
sell used CD's. My boys enjoy dancing to music during the day,
and like to have it playing softly in the background while they
go to sleep. Make sure to put your CD player up out of their
reach. I have to get a shelf to put mine up on the wall because
my boys can now climb up to anywhere else I have found to put it.
They have become very fascinated with taking CD's in and out of
it and pushing all of the buttons!
My boys love to play with water. I bought them a wading pool
this year but they were hardly interested in it at all. They
much preferred playing in a little sprinkler in the shape of a
turtle. Bath time is also a favorite time. They hardly play
with any of the bath toys I bought them. Their favorite bath
toys are small Tupperware containers and plastic measuring cups.
The store-bought bath toys they do enjoy, however, are little
plastic cups that have holes in the bottom so that the water runs
through them. They also love going to the river and throwing
rocks in the water. Just don't let them out of your sight for a
second, or they will quite suddenly decide to go for a swim.
Swimming lessons seem to have done a great job of eliminating
their fear of water! The boys also spend hours playing in a
small water fountain we have in our back yard.
Books are great for even the most active boys. We bought many
board books for our boys and read to them for months before they
really showed an interest in them. When they were about 15
months old they began to bring us books to read to them. One of
our boys is obsessed with cars, trucks, and tractors, and the
other one loves animals. After seeing these images over and over
in books they now are pointing them out to us when we drive
around town. One of our sons goes nuts every time we drive by an
excavator or back hoe. One word of caution, however. Whoever
said board books are indestructible didn't know what they were
talking about. Our boys have destroyed several of their board
books by ripping the pictures off the cardboard. Most of the
damage is done when they are reading to themselves in bed, so
these books need adult supervision just like any other book.
Make sure you take your boys outside at least once a day. Every
morning I take the boys for a walk around the neighborhood in
their double stroller. If you are a working mom, take your boys
out for some fresh air in the evenings or on the weekend. The
boys enjoy the ride and mom gets some exercise too. One of my
sons points out all the airplanes that fly overhead, and that is
one of the highlights of his day. I also found the boys a play
golf set at Walmart (for about $5). They love to run around the
yard trying to hit the plastic golf balls, and it is great for
improving their coordination.
My boys' favorite toys are their cars, trucks, and tractors.
They love pushing them around on the floor and making motor
noises. You can easily find inexpensive toy cars at yard sales
and thrift stores that will give your toddler boys hours of fun.
To fully interact with and engage your toddler, you have to
figure out their personality. One of my boys loves to help mom
and do whatever I'm doing. Whenever I ask him to help me do
something he gives me a big smile and pitches right in. My other
son has no interest whatsoever in helping me...boring!! He has
too many other exciting things to explore. To get his attention
I ask him to show me what he is doing and participate in whatever
is interesting him at the moment. He loves to point at things
and have me tell him what they are.
Don't forget that your boys love to play with mom and dad and
need lots of love and affection. They love it when you play cars
with them or read to them. Some of our favorite moments have
been spent lying on the floor with two toddlers crawling all over
us giving us lots of big hugs and kisses.
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of
What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick
easy dinner ideas. For more recipes, organizing tips, home
decorating, crafts, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative
Homemaking at http://www.creativehomemaking.com.
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