Best Activities for 2 Year Olds | Stories from REAL Mummies

Well, this is my last post in my "Stories from Real Mummies" series. The wonderful March Mummies have assisted me to compile our ultimate list of activity ideas for two year olds. There were so many great suggestions, and a few recurring ones - clear winners in our children's eyes!


Art & Craft


Painting
Drawing
Pasting
Stickers


Sensory


Playdough
Sand pit
Kinetic sand (with dump trucks, diggers & duplo)


Physical Activity

Dancing
Ball play (all types of balls) - kicking, bouncing, ten pin bowling, down the slide at the local park.
Bikes & scooters
Rolling, jumping, running down hills
Yoga

Here's a great link to Yoga for kids from Childhood 101.


Toys

Duplo
Coloured blocks
Trucks
Animals
Dolls


Imaginative Play

Doctor play with medicine kit
Kitchen play
Helping mummy with jobs (cleaning, helping prepare dinner, wiping tables, dusting, unloading dishwasher, sorting cutlery)
Shop or cafe play
Tea parties


Random

Typing on an unplugged keyboard
Stacking cups
Cooking activities in the kitchen
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If you missed them, here are my previous three posts in this series.

And just a final note to any of the March Mummies reading. We really are lucky to be part of such a wonderful online community. Everyone is caring, considerate, respectful, supportive, encouraging and just down right nice. More internet groups and communities should take a leaf out of our book (especially when it comes to raising children!). Thank you all for being part of my parenting journey with Miss M for the past two years. It's been lovely to make some virtual friends (and real life ones too - you know who you are). 

Big things behind the scenes at teacher types!

Eeep!

Lauren x
0

An Under the Sea First Birthday

Remember this Baby Shower Post? Well that baby boy (my darling nephew) has recently turned one! My sister in law (and loyal teacher types follower) did such a fabulous job planning and throwing him a Fishy/Under the Sea party that I couldn't help but share some pics on the blog.




Fishy Cake - made by my sister in law herself :)
(It was a humming bird cake)


Another one of the cake - and in the background a hand made sign made by Nanna :)


A onsie in every size - my how he's grown!



Some of the lovely decorations. I loved the colour theme (the plates, cutlery, tablecloths & serviettes matched of course). 


And finally a gorgeous little display of footprints - one for each month.

It was such a fantastic party. What party themes have you had before?

Lauren x
2

Funny Things our Two Year Olds Say | Stories from REAL Mummies

This week I once again asked my March Mummies to help me out with a blog post and share the funny things their two year old says. I must say I giggled through this whole list when I read it on Facebook. Enjoy!


"Of course Mummy!"
"Good choice" (when mum has picked out an outfit)
"Thomas' boobies" (when putting on Mum's breastpads)
"No more poos!"
"Good job Mummy"
"You're welcome Mummy"
"No facebook!"
"Bob the bugger" (aka Bob the Builder)
Mummy: "Watch out for the dog poo" Two year old: "No dog shit!"
"Come on my love"
Regardless of what she did that day, Miss 2 will always say she "went to the park" when asked.
To her toys "Hello! How was your day? Good?"
Nana points to picture: "That's a guinea pig", Miss 2: "It's a hampster actually Nana"
Can you day D? "D!" Can you say O? "O!" Can you say G? "G!" Can you say dog? "Woof!"
"No Mila's not having a shower. Mila had a shower yesterday."
"Mummy go get it. Mummy's got legs."
"My (I've) got a black daddy" (daddy has dark hair)
Mummy: "I love you". Miss 2: "I knoooooow"
Dead bug in the toilet': "Bug doing wee wees in the big toilet! Good boy bug!"
"Thank you very much, it's delish" (when food is served)
"Mum I'm 3 silly"
"What happened?" Complete with shrugged shoulders.
"No bed now mummy, cuddles then nigh nights, I'll tell you"
"Daddy up plane sky work" (Daddy works FIFO)
(Saying goodbye to house, car, playground etc) "Bye, have a lovely day"
"Birdies stop fighting, play nice"
"Pick up please darlin", "go outside darlin"
"Sorry mummy... mummy pretty!"
"C'mon!" Lleyton Hewwit style when wanting cars/people/toys to follow him.
"Nice chopping" (when daddy doing gardening)
Lewis has two dogs; Nero and Luna. He calls her "Luney" and calls Nero "Doggy". Mum tells him his name is Nero. "Ok, bye Luney, bye Doggy". No it's Nero. "Ok doggy"
"Mummy, Daddy look, there's an elephnat" (in the pantry - his excuse to get tiny teddies) 
Mum told Emma to have a big sleep for her Grandma, now every time Grandma is mentioned Emma says "have a biiiiig biiiiig looooong sleep"
Mummy: "Who made this mess?". Miss 2: "Grandma - seriously"
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Seriously, some of these need to be written in baby books or recorded to come out at 18th and 21st birthday celebrations. 

Collecting these cute little quotes reminded me of a You Tube series that I love; Convos with my two year old. If you haven't seen them you must check them out - hilarious! And now there are four seasons. 




Convos with my two year old - Season 1

Thanks again to the wonderful March Mummies for helping out and sharing their stories. I have one more post in this series - so stay tuned.

Lauren x
6

My Chat With Cindy | Your Kids OT

Guess what?!? This is my 100th post! Yay! (Do you think it's a little OCD of me to have timed this post to coincide with my 200th Instagram post as well??). By the way do you follow me on Instagram? I'd love to have you :)

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Today's the day I share another interview with a fellow blogger - Cindy from Your Kids OT. Her fantastic blog has a bit of everything; sensory play ideas, recipes, printables, advice, a shop and much more. One of my favourite posts of Cindy's was about Re-purposing the Tupperware Shape O (how many of us grew up playing with these and have kids who still love them?).

I really love these interview posts. We love to share the love in the blogging world. Read my previous ones here;

Please enjoy my chat with Cindy :)

1. For our readers who may not be aware – what is an OT?


Occupational Therapy (OT) is a health profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. The primary goal of OT is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. As a paediatric OT, I help babies and children to achieve developmental milestones through play or find ways to compensate for not being able to achieve some of these milestones.

2. You started your blog in Jan 2014 just like I did! Please share one of your favourite or most popular posts with us.


I have loved sharing my ideas and experiences through blogging! One of my most popular posts has been a comparison between kinetic sand and homemade cloud dough.  Kinetic sand is this incredible sensory experience that feels like sand but less grainy.  It is so fluid and yet can be moulded and shaped. Cloud dough is so simple to make with two ingredients and kids love feeling this in their fingers too – but it can get very messy!  You can read this post here.

Image used with permission from Cindy - Your Kids OT

Image used with permission from Cindy - Your Kids OT

Image used with permission from Cindy - Your Kids OT

3. Tell us about your family. And perhaps an activity your children are loving at the moment?


I am married and have two delightful (yet very energetic) children aged 8 and almost-5years.  My kids are often my hand models on the blog.  Mr almost-5years loves making paper planes. I think he is addicted and we have so many around the house. Miss 8 loves to get one of my recipes and cook by herself!  She made her first cake last week and was so proud of her efforts.  We love getting together around a board game or uno altogether too!

4. I absolutely love doing sensory play activities with my two year old daughter and class of five year old students. What are the benefits of sensory play?


Sensory play has the ability to excite and alert us or also helps to calm us down.  It can be exploratory (especially for babies and toddlers) and it can help children learn about their bodies and how they interact with their environment.  Sensory play can also be a great medium for learning concepts such as shapes, numbers, handwriting, drawing, left and right direction, etc.  I love using a multi-sensory approach to learning!

5. I like how you have recipes on your blog too! Care to share a favourite with us?


Kids in the kitchen is where you can find my recipes as I am encouraging kids to get into the kitchen and involved with cooking.  Most of the recipes on the blog are super easy and many of them can be done in one bowl.  My “go to” slice recipe is Anzac slice but if I didn’t have to worry about calories then it would be my super easy chocolate fudge.


6. There’s a few ‘sensory issues’ that my two year old seems to have... 


(eg doesn’t like certain clothes, insists that the tags be cut off, enjoys rice play and playdough but not ‘messy’ sensory play, likes bare feet and doesn’t like hats, prefers to be cool instead of warm, pushes other children…etc)

How do I know what’s normal and what to be concerned about?


Many of us have “sensory issues” and find ways to adjust or cope with it.  As adults we might chew our pencil, have a glass of wine or go for a jog.  I don’t like tags either!  For kids, some of these “sensory issues” can be outgrown as they adapt or learn to adjust to the sensations.  For other kids, they can’t find ways to adapt or coping mechanisms and these “sensory issues” impact their lives.  An occupational therapist can help when you find the sensory issues are impacting your child’s ability to carry out their everyday activities.

Some of the questions you could ask yourself are…
Does my child’s intolerance to tags and clothes mean that they won’t wear their uniform to school?
Does my child’s sensitivities to noise (eg. Hand dryers, lawn mowers, vacuum cleaners) mean they won’t leave their bedroom or scream every time they hear it?
Does my child’s sensitivity to touch mean they can’t stand in a line with other kids without getting upset if another child bumps into them?
Does my child’s intolerance to textures mean they struggle to eat meals?
Does my child’s intolerance to touch mean they won’t brush their hair, have hair cuts, shampoo their hair?

These are just some examples and usually if there are concerns in more than one area, then it is a good idea to contact an OT.

7. What is your best selling product in the Your Kids OT shop?


My best selling product is the Pencil Grasp Reference Sheet which appeals to the teachers and OTs who follow my site. They use it to figure out a child’s grip or to explain to parents what the different pencil grips might mean. I have lots of freebies (including games, school readiness checklist and a playdough recipe) which I’m always adding too!

8. On your ‘About’ page, I loved the example of a walk around the block to allow for incidental learning. What other incidental learning have your children been doing lately?


We do lots of incidental learning in the car.  There are road signs where we notice shapes (eg. Circle for speed limit signs, octagon for stop signs), letters and numbers to identify on number plates.  We also love playing “colour I spy” as Mr almost-5yrs can’t spell yet…”I spy with my little eye something that is green”.

9. What are you plans for the rest of 2015?


I’m working as an OT 2 days a week and this keeps me very busy.  I love blogging and want to continue to bring resources to the blog.  I’m working on turning some of my blog articles into handouts that I can give to families and teachers.  I want to keep making learning fun for the kids I see (at work and home) as well as sharing this with my readers!

10. And finally, do you have a favourite quote you’d care to share?


Image used with permission from Cindy - Your Kids OT

Thank you so much for sharing your words of widsom Cindy!
I hope you all enjoyed reading this interview :)

Apart from her blog, you can also find Cindy here...





And if you've been a loyal reader from the beginning - thanks for sticking around for 100 posts!

Lauren x
6

Lynley Dodd Exhibition | PLUS Lesson Plans

Yesterday Miss M and travelled by train to the city to meet a lovely colleague of mine. We visited the Lynley Dodd exhibition at the SA State Library in preparation for our school excursion next term. It's a beautiful representation of New Zealand author Lynley Dodd's early art work of the character development from this well loved classic. Young children are encouraged to slow down, stop and take a closer look at the illustrations. Activity packs are assigned for school group visits (and activity books are available to all from the Hairy Maclary shop where books, games and fridge magnets are also available for purchase). The education officers have set up an introduction video for children to watch, giving them some more information and guidance when looking through the exhibition. Various Lynley Dodd books are scattered around, and there's even a few bean bags to sit comfortably and share a story.

Here's the website if you're after more info. It's still on until the 4th of June so if you have a little Hairy Maclary fan it's worth your while going!
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Lynley Dodd's books have a beautiful 'sing song' rhyme about them and are simply a delight to listen to (and read for that matter). She's written 32 books! Many more than just the Hairy Maclary series, some of which you may not have heard of. Here's a link to my previous post, where I talked about our Lynley Dodd author study from last year.

I thought today I'd also share a few worksheet resources that I made to support this author study. Please let me know in the comments if you'd like me to email you a copy of the set :)

The Nickle Nackle Tree


Hairy Maclary and Zachary Quack



Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy



Simpler version of this worksheet is available on request

The Smallest Turtle
(my personal childhood favourite)


Simpler version of this worksheet is available on request

Well we're half way through school holidays here in SA. Hope the SA teacher's are enjoying them!

Lauren
4

Managing Toddler Behaviour | Stories from REAL Mummies

Hello again! Today I bring you a collection of tips, strategies and advice from REAL mummies of two year olds who are living it right now. Some call it the terrible twos, some call it the magic of childhood but I'm sure we all find it challenging from time to time.

If you missed the last one - click here - Ridiculous (and hilarious) reasons for toddler tantrums

I asked the mummies in my online mother group for their top tips and strategies for managing their toddler's difficult behaviour, and how to deal with the tantrums. Something that really hit home for me is that we were ALL experiencing very similar behaviour with our toddlers, and it was reassuring to know I wasn't alone.


We use 3 main strategies:
1. Our most frequent strategy is offering choices which both achieve what I want e.g. "Do you want to walk or be carried to your change mat?" Most of the time she's happy to comply because she gets some say in the situation.
2. Logical consequences for behaviour where possible/appropriate. This involves a reminder of what is required and an explanation of what will happen if the behaviour continues i.e. "Pencils are for drawing not for throwing if you don't use the pencils properly and throw the pencils again I will take them away". If she throws them again I will take them away for 2 minutes then remind her of what they should be used for.
3. Timeout. We use 2 different types of timeout;

  • One is used as a logical consequence mentioned above (not playing nicely with others = not being able to play for awhile). This is 2 minutes on her bed. I explain what the timeout is for leave, come back remind her what it was for then she apologises to me or whoever needs the apology I tell her I love her and we have a cuddle. 
  • The other is 'calm down time' this is generally if she is angry/disappointed/frustrated about something (usually something she can't have) and is getting into crazy mode. She goes on her bed again but this time has books and a glitter sensory bottle and has time to settle herself.
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Triple P has some good resources, however this program would say that our March bubs are too young for strategies like 'time out' as they won't quite get it. I still do it sometimes though, but more like quiet time. Instead of being removed from an activity, she has to sit down to the side of what we're doing and I explain calmly what she did and why its not OK. Another good program for their age is called Tuning into Kids, it helps with emotional regulation.

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We have a couple of strategies that work for us and depending on the misbehaviour. Our most used strategy is 'Three warnings'. I let him know what he is doing, then give him a few seconds to correct the behaviour, if he chooses to continue then I say his name and count slowly to 3. (We never go past this point anymore, he actually stops and says "no three") but if he was to continue then I would remove him to a quiet spot together and chat about why I didn't want him to continue with the behaviour, let him know I'm going to give him time to think and then I walk away and give him a moment to calm and comeback with no set time.

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When Miss A is having a tantrum, I try to ignore it as best as possible to avoid encouraging the naughty behaviour. So far it has worked though it can be trying if we're in public. If she's generally being bad with say biting and throwing things, I follow the 3 strikes rule and then we leave. It's harder to follow at home but I make do as best as possible.

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Master F NEVER does anything the first time I ask, so we ask him twice, then count to three. We rarely get to three, but if we do he gets a consequence and we talk him through what he has to do and we instigate actually doing it and he'll help. More and more frequently though we are getting into a 'Mexican standoff' situation where he just won't move. It like he just freezes and can't move. We get down to his level and explain again what he has to do and tell him that he won't be in trouble if he does it. Very rarely he'll go nuts and scream and shout and lash out and this is when he goes onto the naughty step, which he HATES. We went through a spate of this but haven't needed to use it for a few weeks.

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Consistency is the key and both parents need to be on board and agree with whichever strategy you use. A 'thinking chair' can be an alternative to 'time out'. Set the timer for a few minutes and when it beeps, use visual pictures to illustrate to the child where they went wrong with their behaviour (just google 'visual rules for kids' or something along those lines (these are often used for children with special needs who do not yet have the language skills). Give whichever strategy you decide to try some time before you start to see results. 

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The March Mummies also came up with a fantastic list of other websites and resources for this type of thing.


Also, a while ago I wrote an article for Adelaide Mummy Meetings about managing the meltdowns. Click here!

If you have any tips or stories please comment below! Sometimes I find myself saying to Miss M "Do you just need a hug?", or "Use your words and tell me what you want." (to which she responded with "Do some art please mummy" - aw bless!). The count down from 10 to complete whatever she's doing (eg washing her hands) to prevent a tantrum is working well for us at the moment.

Thank you again March Mummies for your wonderful advice!

And thanks for visiting,
Lauren
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Ridiculous Reasons for Tantrums | Stories from REAL Mummies

I'm so thrilled to be kicking off a new series today! I am part of a wonderful online community of mums who all had babies in March 2013. It seriously is a fantastic group, very supportive, kind and friendly (which can be hard to come by within a diverse group of people online). Many of us who live in the same cities have met up in real life and have formed wonderful friendships. We've shared highs and lows, milestones and firsts, tears and tantrums...


There is so much information/advice/ideas out there on the internet - but I wanted to bring my readers a series of posts from REAL mummies who are living with two year olds here and now. I thought I'd start with a funny one...

Most ridiculous (and hilarious) reasons for having a tantrum

  • She no longer want this peanut butter sandwich she asked for
  • Mum took away his melted easter egg
  • He took my own shoes off 
  • These shorts don't have pockets!
  • Mum won't let him wear shoes to bed
  • Because she pulled her pant legs up and now knees were cold
  • Mum won't let her take her pillowcase/sunscreen/pyjamas/spoon to child care
  • "I don't want that yoghurt! Oh wait yes I do!"
  • She wanted a bandaid (mum gave her one 5 minutes earlier)
  • Her arms were cold because she took her jacket off
  • Her hat was covering her eyes because she pulled it down
  • Mum won't let her ride the dog like a horse
  • Mum won't let him leave the house with shoes on the wrong feet
  • He want to eat margarine straight from the tub with a fork
  • He want to put underwear on the dog
  • A pea doesn't fit up his nose and stay there long enough to run around the room
  • When the TV kept turning off but HE was the one with the remote pushing the on/off button
  • Mum was wearing a dressing gown
  • Because shoes don't go on your hands 
  • She wanted her milk cup - which was in her hand.
  • Because mum told him to take his Nanna's heels off
  • Because he couldn't use mum's "eye brush" (mascara)
  • Because he couldn't wear mum's "boo boo jocks" (bra)
  • Getting dressed
  • Coming inside from outside play time
  • Mum ate the last bite of her own cereal
  • No you can't wear socks in the bath
  • We're taking the ute and not the car
  • Because chocolate chip cookies have chocolate chips in them
  • Because the cat scratched him when he tried to use it as a pillow
  • The banana wont go back in the peel
  • Broken bananas don't go back together
  • Mummy was holding Daddy's hand
  • When ANYTHING goes in the microwave

Basically, a two year old reserves the right to change their mind in a split second and a tantrum shall occur if they do not get what they want IMMEDIATELY if not sooner.

Hope you were giggling through this list. If you have something to add please comment below! I'd love to keep the list going.

Thanks again to my wonderful March Mummies who inspired this post. The next instalment in the series are the mummy's tips for handling these tantrums!

Lauren :)

PS if you were wondering - yes one of those tantrums listed above was Miss M. For some strange reason she hates it when I wear a dressing gown or jacket. I think it's because she prefers to be cool than warm - maybe she thinks I must feel the same as her! Two year olds don't understand that other people have thoughts and feelings different to their own. 

Linking up with Jess for IBOT
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Awesome Autumn Activities {A Post for Childhood 101}

Just a quick post to let everyone know that my latest guest post for Childhood 101 is up!

I've compiled a collection of seven awesome Autumn activities for little people of all ages and stages! Pop over and have a look - and to see the other guest posts I've written (not only for Childhood 101 but some other fantastic sites). Just click on the "I've Been Featured" tab.



I think Autumn is my favourite season, not too hot, not too cold, the trees are just lovely (and it's my birthday in May!).

Lauren
0

A Family Day Out at Semaphore

Our closest beach is about a 20 minute drive from home. Adelaide really does have some fantastic beaches - Glenelg, Henley, Grange but our favourite is Semaphore. We're there all the time just because it's easy and it has everything for us!

I've been wanting to snap some photos and write a blog post about this little location for a while now - and today was the perfect day for it!






There's no place higher than Dad's shoulders...
So here are some things to do at Semaphore (everything is dog & kid friendly - there's something for all ages)...
  • 3 Playgrounds... (two within walking distance from the main road, the other a little further away at Semaphore South)
  • Great food locations (some favourites include Likerish, Whipped, Royal Copenhagen and Viva Zapata)
  • 2 supermarkets if you need to grab something for dinner while you're down there. 
  • Family friendly pub - The Palais
  • Beach & jetty (obviously)
  • Mini train ride
  • Leisure Park including bouncy castle, mini golf, waterslide and ferris wheel.
  • At certain times of year - carnival type events, rides & carousel
  • Odeon Cinema
Where's your favourite beach? SA or Australia wide, please share.

Lauren
2

Definition of a Teacher Type

Sometimes it's a bit of a relief to just sit and type a blog post. No resources or supplies to buy, no setting up or creating, no photographs or editing and then uploading... Just typing my thoughts, so that's what I'm doing today on my first official day off in quite a long time. School holidays have started and Miss M is in Child Care. Washing is done, my floors are clean, Greys Anatomy is on the TV and I'm one happy girl right about now.

You may or may not know, but hubby came up with my blog name Teacher Types. He'd always used it as a light hearted tease, "You teacher types" or "those teacher types" he'd say, because I guess we are a special kind of breed - us teachers. (By the way I should mention hubby is obviously not a teacher). I thought this afternoon I'd sum up a few common characteristics and traits that we have.

  • We (most of us) love our coffee - there is always coffee, milk and sugar in a staff room. And if there's not, watch out!
  • Our spare room or spare cupboards at home are filled with teacher resources that wont fit into our classrooms
  • We always buy things for our class at the shops
  • Before throwing ANYTHING away we think - could I use this for school?
  • We're rule followers
  • We go above and beyond for our students
  • We don't just 'work' from bell to bell
  • We give up time in our holidays and weekends preparing lessons
  • We get excited by fresh sharp new pencils in pencil pots
  • Chances are - we are always thinking about school and our students. It's often difficult to leave work at work.

Do you agree? Anything to add to my list?
Lauren
2

Our Easter Weekend Art & Craft

Hi everyone! Just a quick one today - sharing some Easter art and craft activities we enjoyed doing over the long weekend.

The Easter cards we made for family were just basic. I love the "Some bunny loves you" line and Miss M had a go at colouring an Easter Bunny (tip - cutting out toddler scribble pictures make them look heaps better!). Inside the card was completed with a carrot footprint (sorry - not the best photo).


On Easter Sunday morning we had some free time so we painted some Easter eggs I got from Target. Was so simple just to paint one side, let it dry, turn them over in their neat little box and paint the other side (please excuse the iPhone pic).


I hung them up with some plastic eggs we used for our egg hunt.


I've made this cute little Easter basket with my students in previous years and had a spare copy in my Easter folder, so once again I let Miss M at it with the textas. Download this free printable here from Kizclub.


While you're there check out this Alphabet Egg Matching Game and Easter Egg Matching Game.


Our Easter weekend was spent with family time at our shack on the River Murray, a day just with the three of us at the Semaphore Kite Festival, and today was our nephew's first birthday party. So all in all just lovely! I hope you enjoyed your Easter :)

Lauren
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