What toddler activities can you combine with stimulating endeavors for a five year old? Ruth Styles, a loyal CloudMom viewer, wrote in asking how to handle her two kids aged two and five along with a two and a half year old she watches after. Ruth, given how much I appreciate your years of loyalty (you’ve been writing in since I launched CloudMom!), I just had to answer you as soon as I could. I set forth a myriad of my own ideas in today’s video. Viewers, please write in with your own below.
Entertaining Kids of Different Ages
Two year olds should be playing with what are called “manipulatives,” like Mr. Potato Man, finger paints, and blocks. Try letting your toddler play with a pencil scribbling right and left. When at a loss (and busy with housework) try narrating your experience, talking your toddler though everything you are doing, like cooking, cleaning, or even errands. This is so much better than sticking an iPhone in your child’s hand. Studies show that kids who hear a lot of words grow up smarter. So give your children a lot of words! Also take your child outside to get some fresh air. The good old sandbox did not become a classic for no reason: here, your child interacts with others, uses his hands (honing fine motor skills) and becomes the master of his own universe, developing independence.
How do you marry these two year old activities with the needs of a five year old? Toys like magnatiles, Lincoln Logs, and even Thomas the Train (which both my boys and girls loved) can be great for bridging this gap. Try getting on the floor and playing with your toddler and older child. Maybe set up teams and join hands with the littler ones. Involve your older child even more in whatever activity you are engaged in — cooking or grocery shopping – and give them small errands to do, like fetching a towel after the young child’s bath.
So, all of these activities — each so stimulating and enriching for your children — can drain a hardworking mama! Hang in there. By way of your question, I know you are a terrific mom and caregiver. Make sure to take care of yourself all the while!
Thanks for writing in and see you back soon on CloudMom.