Thursday, August 2, 2012

100 (Attempted) Ways to Entertain a Young Toddler, Day 77: Gas Station Stop

Kids are weird.  Oliver has recently become obsessed with stopping at gas stations.  I don't drive much, so I only need to fill up every month or so.  Oliver is thrilled every time.

Oliver has a little push car that he got from my friend for his first birthday.  I told him he could fill it with gas and handed him a Wii controller attachment to act as a gas pump.  It was a hit!

A couple weeks ago, I was filling up the car and had an idea.  I should create a credit card machine for Oliver!  For about a year now, he's loved to watch me scan my Safeway card and credit card at the grocery store.  Before Jo, I used to let him scan the cards himself.

I dug through the cupboard for inspiration.  I finally chose to make a credit card slider out of a sponge.  I took a knife and carved out a strip in the middle and ended up with this:

I taped the sponge-turned-credit-card-machine to the front of the dish machine.  Then, I gave Oliver an old Starbucks card that was given to me from Aunt Bette.  I slid the card through once, and then Oliver insisted on doing it himself:

He scanned his card over and over and over again.

I reminded him to put "gas" in his car.  He did, but, apparently, that wasn't as much fun as the credit card machine.

He went back to sliding his "credit card" through the machine, just like Mom and Dad do.

If your toddler is always grabbing at your card when you shop, try setting up a machine for him/her to play with at home.  Making a credit card machine from a sponge worked very well for us, but get innovative, be thrifty, and use whatever you have on hand.  I've found that my son loves to do anything that imitates me.  It didn't matter that it was a sponge; he got to slide the card through, and that's what matters!

So, although our pretend gas station activity really just turned into a pretend credit card activity, it was still a huge success.  I give it an A!


Positively Amy said...

OK, your blog is genius. I am dying over all of these great ideas! I have been dreading fall/winter coming (so much less play time outside, which we love) and had no idea what to do inside other than read books/play with toys (obviously toddlers cannot do the same thing for more than a minute, haha). This is awesome!

PS Do you have a little girl too? There is a giveaway on my blog for hair accessories if you're interested!

Ashleigha Foxworthy said...

One variation you might want to try is attaching the sponge to a magnet (they sell small sheets of them at most craft stores and I keep them around the house for various things) Then if you are trying to load the dishwasher you can move the credit card machine to the fridge and you don't have to worry about tape marks on your appliances.