This post is all about toddlers. Oh, toddlers. You love ’em, but boy, they test your limits.
Hands down, the toughest time of the day is the hour before dinner. It’s torturous. The patience I prayed for in the morning has disappeared, the kids are hungry and I’m spent.
This time is also filled with debriefing my older kids on their day, finishing dinner, helping with music practice, and doing all the dishes I didn’t get done earlier in the day (which is usually piled up to my shoulders). I’ve never been great at coordinating this hour, and as a consequence, my youngest kiddo tends to get ignored. Which equals major meltdowns.
This truth hurts a little to write. 🙂
So this spring, I decided to give my toddler a little more. I’ve given her an activity that she can do on her own, but is fun and engaging. So far it’s worked.
I dug through my garage and found a couple old bags of landscaping sand. Although, just plain old dirt from the yard would have worked just fine. I dumped it into an old tub I had lying around and put it right outside the back door.
I buried some random toys in it, gave her a shovel and let her at it. SHE LOVED IT!!! I was able to focus on my bigger kids while she happily dug away.
Every few days, I bury some new toys in there for her to find. I have even caught my older and “too-cool” preteens over there digging in the sand while they wait for dinner time.
If you’re having a tough time entertaining those toddlers while you’re finishing out the day, try filling up a tub of dirt, burying some toys and letting them get a little dirty. It’s almost bath time anyway, right? 🙂
You’re sanity and dish-duties will thank you.