Dec 3, 2013

What Do You Do With a One Year Old, Anyway?

I probably asked myself this same question at every stage. "What do I do with a newborn? What do I do with a 3 month old? What do I do with a 6 month old? What do I do with a 9 month old?" And once again I'm asking myself what in the world do I do with this one year old?

She's now old enough to do more things. She can do more sensory activities. She interacts more. She is learning all the more. She is curious about the world. She is exploring. So how do I provide activities for her? What do I do with her? What can I do to keep her active and interested?

Here's my first confession: I'm not so into the baby stage. Don't get me wrong, I love the baby cuddles. But we really aren't into cuddles so much. These days she is much more interested in climbing all over me and whining. Granted, we are more into the toddler stage, but we are still in the trail end of the baby stage [read separation anxiety]. What I do look forward to is her being a little more self-sufficient, i.e. walking and handling stairs. (I know, I know. I'll probably regret saying that as soon as she is on the move, but I'm not into her climbing all over me and having to carry her up and down the stairs constantly. Plus the whimpering at the bottom of the stairs is pretty pathetic.) I look forward to playing more. To art projects. To running and playing. To learning and moving. And dancing. And exploring.

Here's my second confession: I tend to get a little lazy at times. I'm exhausted. I have a one year old who mostly just takes one nap a day although she could probably still use two naps, so she is up a heck of a lot more and is whining a lot more often. So I get exhausted and drained pretty easily. On top of that because of that darn separation anxiety I have no time to myself to really work on any potential projects. I have no time to set up any projects or activities. Then by the time she does take a nap or goes to bed, I'm not overly thrilled about the idea of trying to find activities for her or preparing activities for her. When do I get time for me?! [Selfish I know!]

Here's my third confession: I found tons and tons of ideas, but Addison is only one years old (14 months this month). Okay, so that's not really so much of a confession and more of a statement. It's hard to know what Addison is capable of doing. Of course the only way to know for certain is by trying things. Of course whatever we try, we have to make sure she could possibly eat it since she puts everything in her mouth right now. Again, it's just the stage we are at.

But the problem I'm having is keeping her engaged. How do I keep her interested and learning? How do I find new ways to play? How do I keep her learning new things in new ways? So for those of you have had a 14 month or currently have a toddler around her age, what do/did you do/did for activities, play, sensory, and learning during the day? How do/did you keep your toddler from getting bored (and she definitely gets bored) and engaged?

I have found several ideas that I want to try with her and find out what she is capable of doing. I don't want to push her and force things on her that she isn't ready for, but I'll never know what she's ready for until I try some things, right? So be on the look out for a new series: Sense, Learn, Play. Addison and I are going to try some sensory activities and other things and I want to share what we are trying and doing, in hopes to help some other clueless mom when it comes to the overwhelming world of sensory learning and playing and whatnot.

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