So I've been rather unmotivated to do much with Toddler School. Admittedly it's because it's over 100 degrees outside so we're shut in, I'm pregnant and starting to feel heavy (although I don't look that way), and it's hard to get into a routine if we're about to move in a month so I'll have to start packing soon.
I've been slowly working on HB's letter book. Mammita and Happy (the two girls that I used to watch and no those aren't their real names) did books with me too. We basically use the first letter of their name and create a book, a page a day. So for example Happy's letter was C so we did a cat using circle shapes (cute yes!). Mammita's was A so I drew an apple tree and had her finger paint on the apples. HB's is H so we've done Horse and House. The next ones are heart and hand. For Heart I plan on a mosaic and for hand it will be paint.
Today I finally did my one planned 4th of July activity. I printed out a flag. You can find some great color pages here. Then I cut out one blue square and several red stripes (rectangles). His job was to glue them down. My job was to talk about colors and shapes. He enjoyed playing with the glue. I don't think he's ever glued anything before or in a while at least. And he tasted it, which is fine because it's non-toxic.
So far my favorite website for ideas is I Can Teach My Child. She's only been blogging for a year, but it's totally awesome. She even breaks down activities for different age groups, which is nice because a lot of activities that I find are for preschoolers. I have a difficult time finding anything worth while for toddlers. This activity in particular is such a great idea. There are so many pool noodles about that I need to go buy one so we can give it a try. I've already done pencils through a shoe box and straws through a lid. None of her activities are expensive or require a whole lot of effort.
Another thing I want to pick up is The Toddler's Busy Book. It's not expensive, but I've seen it recommended a lot. When I worked with toddlers I tended to use water-down versions of pre-school activities or whatever was in the curriculum. The problem was that I had a wide range of developmental skills. Some kids could already cut paper using scissors and others like HB couldn't even hold them properly.
On the Gentle Discipline home front, I'm really enjoying it a lot. Hubby is not. He's real big into time out and trying to teach HB self-restraint. Now I think a 17 month old can restrain themselves in certain situations like waiting for food. But my 17 month old is a button-pushing electronic junky. If you leave the mouse or keyboard or laptop anywhere near where he can either climb or reach up for, you're in deep trouble. He cannot help himself. He cannot control the impulse to go and punch the buttons. Hubby thinks at 17 months HB can learn not to touch these things to fight his impulse. But I really don't think he can. Maybe when he's got better mastery of language skills (which he has a good grasp for his age) can we communicate that these things are off limits. But for now, I'm fighting my Husband to put these things away or up high. It's starting to wear on me. I can handle stubborn kids, but trying to reason with a stubborn husband is difficult.
I have given him other suggestions like saying "not for HB. This is Daddy's computer." And removing the object. I also told him that we don't want to teach HB snatching so we work on trading or removing an object gently (unless it's dangerous but so far we haven't had to remove anything like that).
Other disciplinary problems that have cropped up are diaper changes and car seat strap ins. People have suggested mobiles (but that makes HB want to stand up and grab the thing). I've discovered that with diaper changes I let him pick out what he wants to take to the table. He's good about shaking his head no if he doesn't want something. When we find the right toy, book, scotch tape, a pen, the telephone, whatever he'll cooperate. He's also pretty still when he's real sleepy and when he wakes up.
As for the car seat, I kept a stash of books. But I've realized that he's become bored of those so I've stuck a soft toy and an electronic toy in the car. I figure toy rotation helps to. I want to start doing that once we move. We were doing that for a while, but haven't the last few months.
We've also been working on his holding our hand while walking. We don't own a stroller and baby wearing isn't a good idea for me at this point so it's either carry him or teach him to walk with us. I am going to list a stroller on my baby registry because I know I won't be able to carry him much at all once I start baby wearing baby number 2. I've tried to see if anyone baby wears a newborn and a toddler at the same time, but nobody so far does. All things on tandem wearing is mostly for twins. I'm scared to try for fear of hurting one of the kids.
Oh, I have a million questions for parents of toddlers, but I need to go so I'll save that for later.