Our family has been through a huge transition. With Christmas, traveling and moving back to Australia my older children have just started going back to school. When we go through transitions or difficult times I always seek out opportunities for my children to concentrate. I find concentration grounding and calming. It's like finding some stillness and quiet in the chaos. Also, it's something that you can't force, you can't make a toddler concentrate, but you can allow for it and provide opportunities for it.
When travelling we continue to seek out opportunities for our toddler (2 years) to participate in practical life and every day activities but as we eat out more often and do less cleaning and have fewer materials it becomes more difficult. Before leaving the UK and now when I'm wanting to establish a new rhythm in Australia, I'm observing my toddler to find what it is that holds his concentration the most. The top three sources continue to be:
- Play dough
He still loves books and little cars/trucks/diggers. He still enjoys the little practical life that we are able to offer. We have just set up a sand and water table that I see increasing engagement with and hopefully we will start painting again soon. Blocks have been sorely missed. We took some magnetic blocks travelling but I can't wait to get some big blocks out.
Luckily play dough, puzzles and drawing are all relatively clean and easy to accommodate. I appreciate how simple and these are to set up. We even took a small container of play dough with us on our flights. Now we are settling into our new rhythm I ensure that our toddler has free access to all of these materials.
Puzzles on the shelves. Many with a transport or flying themes. Puzzles in trays and a couple of large floor puzzles. Some old and some new.
We don't have a dedicated drawing table so for now this drawing book and bag of pencils remain on our coffee table.
Do you see that your toddler concentrates longer with some toys and materials, what are their top three?