Monday, July 11, 2011

100 (Attempted) Ways to Entertain a Young Toddler, Day 13: Animal Cage

Help me! It's only day 13, and I'm struggling to find ideas that I think are suitable for Oliver. This is going to be even more difficult than I thought!

I've actually done today's activity once before. Two weeks ago, Oliver was struggling to sleep at night, possibly from a minor ear infection. He fought his nap, too, and so we moved his nap from the mattress on the floor to the crib. He'd cry for half an hour and then finally sleep. Whew! Anyway, when I was trying to get him to not hate his crib, I created a game. He had a lot of fun with it, and I decided to bring it back today for the blog.

All you need is a crib, a toddler, and some stuffed animals.

I plopped Oliver in the crib and lowered his railing. I know: we're terrible, and you're not supposed to use cribs with drop-sides anymore. Try being five feet tall. Even with the drop-down side, the crib is too tall for me.

OK, so Oliver is in the crib. I grab his animals. I yell, "One... two... THREE!" and on the count of three, I throw one into the crib. That's it.

Oliver laughs as I throw his animals in the crib. Sometimes, he throws them back. Other times, he drops them over the edge. Usually, though, he wants me to walk up and take them out of his hands. I get creative with my tosses, too. Sometimes, I throw them under my leg, or backwards and over my head.

I have to admit, the activity is exhausting for this pregnant lady. He likes it so much, though! When I feel like I've had enough (I tire of this game before him), I tell him, "Last one!" and then I throw the last one in. He still wasn't thrilled the end the game, but he handled it fairly well.

If I was basing the grade of this game just off of his enjoyment, I'd give it an A. It's also an easy set up and free. The downside is that it's tiring throwing animals into a crib, walking back and forth to grab them from my favorite little toddler, and picking them up off the floor. Fifteen minutes, and I'm done! Because I'm considering myself (mothers aren't going to do activities that exhaust them all the time), I'm going to give this activity a B+.

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