Monday, July 25, 2011

100 (Attempted) Ways to Entertain a Young Toddler, Day 22: If You're Happy and You Know It

I sing a lot to Oliver throughout the day. Sometimes, I find that easier than talking to him nonstop or narrating what I'm doing. I sing him songs instead! I've learned that the sillier and more interactive a song, the better.

Oliver went in on Friday to get his last Hep A vaccine. Andrew took him to the vaccination area with the nurse because I get too emotional. It's hard watching your little one get a shot, even when you know it's for the best. Andrew told me that Oliver recognized the vaccination area as soon as the nurse took him back. He started crying, and then his cries increased once the shot was administered. Andrew brought him back to me as he checked us out.

Oliver cried and cried in my arms. I started singing, "If You're Happy and You Know It." I made up a few verses to keep his attention, like "If you're happy and you know it, honk a nose. HONK!" Within minutes, he was laughing instead of crying.

That was Friday. Today, I was feeling exhausted, and I sat next to Oliver on the couch. I wanted to play and keep him engaged without having to get up. Pathetic, huh? I started singing, "If You're Happy and You Know It." I probably made up a dozen verses. Many made Oliver shriek with glee. His favorites are "...pop my cheeks," "...honk a nose," "...tickle a foot," "...find a belly button," and "pat your head." I sang and sang and sang, doing each verse two or three times. He was stomping his feet and having a great time. It kept him happy for at least 10 minutes! Every time I would end the song, he'd ask me to sing it again.

I love activities that take little (or, in this case, absolutely no) prep. It's nice to know that there are games to play at a moment's notice for those times we're stuck in lines or waiting at a doctor's office. Perfect! For the simplicity of this "activity" and because of Oliver's enjoyment, I give it an A.

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