Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Off Topic Tuesday: Pillowtote Daily Fun


So, I'm a stay-at-home-mom of two children (2.75 years and 8 months old). I'll admit it. I'm bored. Lately we have been in a rutt in the world if being entertaining. Our Minnesota weather has been rainy or hot, couple that with how often my baby is napping, and we're stuck in the house most of the time. Often I let Chicken Little pick out what we do... but let's face it... once you've stepped on legos he left laying around and read the same book five times you're about ready to cry. Sometimes my favorite part of the day is when my son gets into independent playing so then I can sneak off online and have my own independent fun. But really we are lacking in the together time, just because he's off alone doesn't mean he wouldn't enjoy me joining in.

On Mondays we have a teacher who comes to our house because my son qualified for an assistance program. It has really helped him to catch up with peers, but it also gave me some ideas about how to structurally ... yet with lots of freedom... give us stuff to do during the day.

I picked out all the pillowcases that do not match sheets (i.e. all the husbands bachelor day mismatched stuff) and purchased 22 inch zippers. I sewed the zippers onto the open end of the pillowcase and made a whole bunch of totes.

In each of the pillowtotes I filled them with random toys, some with educational purposes, some that are above his age range, stuff with lots of parts, and some that just need supervision. During Chicklett's morning nap on days when I'm feeling uninspired I break out a pillowtote and we have about 60-90 minutes worth of fun to do together. No TV.... No mama sneaking off texting or on the computer... just me and the boy together.

Ideas for Pillowtote Items:

Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head
Finger Paint
Playdough
Magnets and a cookie sheet
Paper and crayon/marker/colored pencils
Legos
Lincoln Logs
Blocks
Large Beads & a string
Puzzles
Books
Games
Bubbles (and a sheet to protect your carpet)
Farm sets
Crafts
Train & tracks

Pretty much anything that I usually have hidden because he will throw the pieces at the baby, leave them around for me to trip on, or they could destroy part of my house if used unsupervised.

Things that have a lot of pieces (like an entire set of Legos or blocks) could be broken up so you only have 10 pieces or so. Another fun thing the teacher does with Legos is she has 4 blue and 4 red blocks and then a blue cup and a red cup. Chicken Little is "supposed" to put the right color block into the matching cup. If he doesn't, it's no big deal. But most of the time he really gets into matching them. So, there is no right or wrong way to play with the items in the pillowtote, it's just fun and gets your typically hidden toys some good use.

What would you put in a pillowtote? Share your ideas!

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