Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"Almost Summer-time" Fun: Splashpads, parks, various outings.

To think that is still only spring, yet Liam and I have done more this "summer" than we did all last summer. I would have to say that this is a fun age. He was great last year, but he really has developed a personality.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have kept him busy with mom's club playgroups, museum visits, library visits, splash pads, park visits and lots of walks. We have had something planned every day, usually in the mornings. There have been days that we have done an activity in the morning, he's had his nap, and then once he has woken up (and had a snack), I have whisked him away to another activity. Below are just a few activities:

Walks: When it was a bit cooler, we were taking daily walks to the park, the library or the historical society. We only live about 0.5 miles from all three and Liam loved to get outside. Once it started getting a bit hotter, he would walked great on the way there... and want me to carry him on the way back.... the whole way back.

Libraries: We frequent the town library often (at least twice a week) and Liam loves the kitchen, Lego table and of course the ever-so-popular train table. We actually bought him a train table (second hand) for his birthday and I can't wait to put it together. We have been to three other libraries in the area, all with good results. One of our favorites was a library about 20 minutes from us that had a huge kids section. They had a puppet stage, train table, puzzles, barns/doll houses/parking garages for pretend play, and a separate area for those not yet walking.
I love meeting up with other moms at the library too. It's a great place to talk while your little ones are playing. Liam does have to work on his social skills (still very shy) and his sharing skills. His new favorite word is "ine" which is his way for saying MINE.  Lately I have been teaching Liam his colors and yesterday he had Percy (or Edward... I get them mixed up) in one hand and Thomas in the other. I asked him, "Liam, which train is green?" and he pointed to Percy (or Edward)! I then asked him which one was blue and he pointed to Thomas. This was very exciting.

 Splash Pads: There are a couple of splash pads that are about 20 minutes from us. They are great because the ones we have been to are 100% fenced in, with some shade and 100% FREE! Whats even better is that Liam LOVES them. We recently purchased swim diaper trunks from iplay so that we can have as much water time as possible, without flying through swim diapers.

We brought buckets and watering cans for him to play with but all the kids tend to share all the toys. I made sure to put Liams name on them so that I can round them all up at the end. The hardest part was trying to explain to him that we had to go home. He could have spend hours there.

Parks and Farms: We have been going to a lot of parks, both local and near by. Liam has really become more independent, knowing exactly what he wants to go on.
  We recently visited a farm which I was sure he would love. He did like it at first, however, a goose decided to honk at him and he went into hysterics (which cut our trip short). He has become very sensitive over loud noises, including the vacuum cleaner and police sirens (of which he used to love).
At home activities: Besides having him "help" me clean, I have been trying to teach him more words and basics (counting and colors). He can count to four, though he sometimes forgets the number 1 and he knows the colors blue and green. I don't have a splash pad but I have let him use our hose to fill up cups of water. We have many mosquitoes and so this activity doesn't usually last too long. 
Also, an activity I saw on pintrest was having toddlers organize pasta into containers. I adapted this and had Liam organize dried pasta into three connected containers, sorting them by color. He really enjoyed this activity and it gave me a couple of minutes peace while I finished dinner.
I am looking forward to the start of summer, Liam's 2nd birthday and all the many trips we have planned.