Playpen/Room Time and Play-at-the-Table Ideas
I read about your high chair time ideas. The high chair time ideas I’ve tried are working very well with my busy three-year-old son, so thanks! You mentioned you had some playpen or room time ideas too, as well as some play-at-the-table times. Could you please share some of these ideas too, Carrie? I am looking forward to trying them with my three-year-old. I’m hoping to teach my first grader during some of these times. Thanks in advance!
“Ms. Please Share Some Playpen/Room Time and Play-at-the-Table Ideas”
Dear “Ms. Please Share Some Playpen/Room Time and Play-at-the-Table Ideas,”
Highchair time is a great help for toddlers! As you mentioned reading in a previous board post of mine, we also attempted a playpen time and a play-at-the-table time each day. All of these ideas collectively helped me gain teaching time in the past for our older sons, and kept our busy toddlers happily entertained!
Playpen/Crib/Room Time was so helpful!
Playpen/Crib/or Room Time was truly a great help. While the toddler was doing this, I typically did the left side of Heart of Dakota’s (HOD’s) Little Hearts for His Glory or Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory with my first grader. I would do this all in one sitting, as it takes about 30 minutes to do the left side.
The Mommy Tape/CD/Recording Idea
One playpen/crib/room time from Managers of Their Homes that I really liked and used was the Mommy Tape or CD. I recorded myself reading short Bible stories, nursery rhymes, counting, saying the names of family members, singing short little songs like “Jesus Loves Me” etc. to last half an hour. I said my little one’s name over and over all throughout the tape, like I was talking to him. Each day I played the tape while my little one had time in his room with his toys (we did that time in his crib for safety reasons). When the tape ends, the child knows the time is up. We also used this during playpen time when he was younger. Now you could record your Mommy Tape on your phone or another updated recording device if you prefer.
Playpen time amounted to a singing tape/CD with toys in the playpen. My boys were required to stay in the playpen for 20-30 minutes at that age. When they outgrew the playpen, we moved it to time in the child’s crib. Then, later we began assigning an older child to play with the younger one during that time instead. Once the child was not such a danger to himself, we switched this time to being playtime alone in his room. This happened around age four at our house.
Table Time Ideas
For our younger boys, we also had table time, which is similar to the cabinet idea but gives another thing for a toddler to do each day. This is where we used 5 different tubs (that slid under my bed for storage when not in use). We numbered the tubs Day 1, Day 2, Day , Day 4, and Day 5. Each day we took out a different tub and the boys had to play with the items in the tub. I just placed things in each tub that we already had on hand. By placing them in the tub to only come out once each week, the items seemed new and exciting. Then, if anyone ever gave us something new, I placed it in a tub. Tub items included puzzles, books, toys, short books on tape/CD, etc. We set the timer and required the boys to play with the items in the tub for 20 minutes at this age.
A little one-on-one time goes a long way.
Last, I found that if I scheduled some time to be one-on-one for 10-15 minutes with my little one, early on or mid-way through the morning, then he was more willing to go play on his own. Even reading a book or singing a couple of songs with him gave him that one-on-one time. Often times I just started Little Hands to Heaven when my sons were around 3 or 4 year’s old. Each box of plans just took me 2-5 minutes, so this was some short, educational one-on-one time too. I usually went half-speed or so and just did about 3 to 4 boxes of plans, rereading the Bible story at the start of the next day to finish out the daily plan.
You can see that as much planning goes into the toddler’s day as goes into any part of HOD! There is also much training there too! But it pays off big dividends in your year all year!