Category Archives: Toddlers

Social Distancing Survival Tips for Parents with Toddlers

[Note: These tips are from KFDC contributor, Emily Moise, mom of two little ones. Most of my strategies have been more for school age children, so Emily brings a fresh perspective to this new socially distanced world we’re all still figuring out how to navigate.]
 

If you’re like me, you’re seeing the plethora of virtual events, free online courses, streaming exercise classes, and binge-worthy TV recommendations, and thinking, “If only I didn’t have two toddlers!” Even though many of these offerings are geared towards preschoolers, a screen opens Pandora’s box for my nearly 3-year-old daughter and isn’t doable for my newly 1-year-old son.

Here are my social distancing survival tips for parents and caretakers of kids in the 1-3 range, using minimal or strategic screen time:

Change the scenery. Toddlers physically cannot stay in the house all day. It just ends badly. If it’s nice out and above 40 degrees we get outside (a nursery school rule), at least two times a day. Back yard, front yard, open field, tennis court, or “nature walk.” If stuck indoors, we change up the scenery there as well. Whether that’s making bath time a foam party, setting up a tent, or just moving playtime from room to room.  

FaceTime. This was always part of our little ones’ routine for family in NYC, but now we’ve added friends, more family, and even a whole nursery school class to the mix. Using a smartphone as a phone feels good! Kids get to converse or listen to conversation, see friends they miss, and then we can hang up without them wanting to scroll or watch videos. If your preschool class has yet to schedule a live group chat, encourage them to do it! We used Lifesize.

Hone in on the distraction-proof activities. My child can do puzzle after puzzle only looking up for you to hand her the next one, but give her an easel and paint and she’ll be done, paint spilled in about two minutes. We haven’t given up on painting, but we are really playing up the things that give her laser focus to kill an hour. Tip: Search the Facebook Marketplace for more puzzles, Play-Doh supplies, etc. You won’t have to wait for shipping…just be sure to sanitize well!

Choose your parent-DIY activities wisely. There are so many crafty ideas for toddler activities circulating out there now—but some can take way more time to create than use. I recently discovered @busytoddler on Instagram and her ideas using stickers (like this one) was an aha moment for me. My daughter loves stickers, as in she loves to just peel them off one by one until the sheet is done—five minutes max. With @busytoddler guidance, I’ve since created sheets of words and landscapes for her to match stickers to.

Aim for 45-minute intervals. The majority of those gym and music classes our children cannot attend at the moment are just 45 minutes long. For us, on non-school days we would have one or maybe two classes/open gyms on the schedule. If we can set up one of our social distancing activities and go for 45 minutes, I consider that a win and there is less pressure on the rest of the day. This is a good way to think about digital activities like Cosmic Kids Yoga. You can also try starting an activity with 20 minutes of your own “circle time” using music like this.

Love thy neighborhood walks. When the workday is over, we’re likely strolling through our neighborhood with the little ones in a wagon. We find neighbors out on every block willing to have a 6 foot-separated chat, or giving the kids a friendly wave and smile—much needed, real-life face time! The sidewalk chalk art movement is making these walks even more cheerful for everyone. Tip: Search your toddler’s favorite characters on this drawing tutorial site and be amazed at your sidewalk art skills.

Lastly, find your child’s TV obsession and milk it for all it’s worth. My daughter is fan-girling over Paw Patrol at the moment. Our routine is to watch two episodes in the morning and two in the afternoon (~40 minutes total). So now that’s all she asks for rather than an endless stream of requests. If she asks for more we say, “But you already watched four Paw Patrols today!” —which sounds like a lot. We have a stash of activity and reading books to support the fandom without the need for more TV.

What are some of your strategies for this social distancing with toddlers? If you have some good tips to share, please do so in the comments!

 

1 Comment

Filed under 2020, Preschoolers, Toddlers, Weekdays, Weekend

Free Children’s Workshop with Wolf Trap Foundation at Green Hedges School on January 10!


Wolf Trap Foundation is dedicated to creating excellent performing arts experiences for the enrichment, education, and enjoyment of diverse audiences. As part of its Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts Family Involvement Workshops, Katherine Lyons, a master teaching artist, will lead a free interactive session at Green Hedges School in Vienna on January 10, 2020, providing children of preschool age (2-5 years old) and their parents an opportunity to share a stimulating live arts experience on the School’s campus.

Ms. Lyons will present a story dramatization of Ask Mr. Bear on January 10 with the goal of exploring simple math concepts and learning how to bring stories to life. Children will use body movements, props and chants to explore ordinal numbers, counting, sorting, sequencing, and problem-solving and meet farm animals and learn about the gifts they give us. Ask Mr. Bear is a wonderful story for all children and their families about the gift of love!

The program is free and will take place at Green Hedges School on January 10 from 10-11am — thanks to their sponsor Star Cypress Partners for its support of this event.

Space is limited! Reserve your spot by completing the registration form here.

Green Hedges School is located at 415 Windover Avenue, NW in Vienna, VA.


This post is sponsored by Green Hedges School, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will be of interest to KFDC readers.


Leave a Comment

Filed under 2020, Class, Educational, Free, Preschoolers, School Event, Sponsored Post, Toddlers, Virginia, Weekdays, Winter

Giveaway: Enter to Win Eight Free Classes with MOCO Movement Center!


With the cold months ahead of us, many parents will be seeking indoor places for their kids to play, and MOCO Movement Center is one to put on your list! Located in Kensington, MD, it’s a pediatric therapy practice as well as an athletic center, offering movement classes for children of all ages and abilities.

Morning classes for children ages 3 months to 5 years are hosted daily Monday through Friday. MOCO Motion helps kids acquire foundational skills such as jumping, skipping, climbing, and running. Move and Groove is designed to encourage a child’s natural musical abilities in a safe, fun, and supportive environment while exercising. Kids in Motion has children and caregivers participate in early learning and preschool activities while having fun in the obstacle course inspired gym. And Sporty Tots focuses on foundational sports skills for toddlers.

MOCO Movement Center also offers individual training for children, developmental screenings, and birthday parties. Visit the website to learn more about all of their services and take a virtual tour, and be sure to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win 8 weeks of classes!

MOCO Movement Center
5268A Nicholson Lane, Kensington MD 20895
301.770.KIDS (5437)

* * * * *

Giveaway: For a chance to win eight (8) weeks of weekday morning classes for your child age 5 or under at MOCO Movement Center, simply leave a comment below telling me her/his favorite sport or physical activity. The winner will choose the class, and their child will attend once a week for eights weeks (new students only). This giveaway will run through October 16, 2019, then a winner will be picked at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


29 Comments

Filed under 2019, Babies, Class, Giveaway, Indoor Play, Maryland, Preschoolers, Professional Service, Toddlers, Weekdays

Bright Horizons at Ballston Opening Early 2020!


Bright Horizons Early Education and Preschool is excited to announce a brand new child care center: Bright Horizons at Ballston. Located in the Virginia Square neighborhood of Arlington, VA, the new center will be opening in early 2020 and is now accepting registrations for enrollment. The center will have classrooms for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old and will be open year-round.

Bright Horizons knows working parents and is ready to be your partner in parenting with amenities and features designed to make life easier for busy modern families.
· Snacks and a catered lunch included in your tuition
· Dedicated drop-off and pick-up parking, as well as car seat and stroller storage
· On-site playground and an indoor Movement Zone with structured health and wellness curriculum
· A secure app which delivers real time updates about your child’s day straight to your mobile device



Are you wondering what makes Bright Horizons curriculum different? They believe that children are natural scientists, inventors, and explorers, so teachers build on the children’s interests to make learning meaningful and fun! With a play-based, emergent curriculum set in our beautifully appointment learning environments Bright Horizons aims to capture the joys of childhood, nurture each child’s individual growth and development, and pave the way for success in school and life.

There are lots of ways to learn more about Bright Horizons at Ballston. Visit the center website at brighthorizons.com/ballston. Like and follow the center on Facebook to stay up to date on center events and activities. Or contact an enrollment specialist at (571) 397-3933 to learn more about the registration process and how Bright Horizons can be a part of your family’s education journey.


This post is sponsored by Bright Horizons Early Education and Preschool, however, I only promote programs, places, and services that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


Leave a Comment

Filed under 2019, 2020, Babies, Child Care, Daycare, Educational, Preschoolers, Schools, Toddlers, Virginia, Weekdays