Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Workin' Man

I have long since wondered if I should just get rid of Cohen's toys. He just doesn't play with them. On rare occasions he will pass one by and stop for 15 seconds, but generally, they go untouched.

I have recently discovered that he likes things that are more "real" work, like stirring with a spatula in a pot, or his recent obsession with buckles. I had these magnet shapes that I had gotten for him that are still a little "old" for him, but I decided to try and let him play with them on the fridge. He didn't really care about that, but then when I gave him a bowl and a pan to put them in, he spent at least 15-20 minutes transferring them from one to the other and back again. And then this morning he did it with his cereal too. He doesn't generally get food out of his high chair, but I was curious to see what he would do if he had the cereal and two little bowls. And he spent quite a bit of time transferring that around the house too.

He held still and was focused and it was amazing.

 {From the tupperware to the pan....}

{From the bowl to the pot}

Apparently he just needed more busy work to do. The flashing lights and sounds of the toys don't interest him. He's a workin' man I guess. So we have been spending lots of time with this buckle board we found, a lifejacket with FOUR buckles on it (thanks Gramma!), and giving him little "jobs" to do. He has also discovered stacking boxes and will do that for some time as well. So, I guess we'll get rid of his toys and just keep the less conventional toys around the house. Maybe it's just the age he's getting to, but it's so refreshing to see him be able to really focus on something and not just be wandering around the house. 

{And over to giant Mr. Bear's back...} 

{And having a little snack while he's at it}

What do your toddlers like to do? Ideas are always welcomed, especially if they like tasks more than actual toys! 


  1. Have you tried playdoh? Jack loves that! He also is into more "real" stuff. Like Cohen, Jack likes to transfer items (food, small figurines, cars, blocks) from one container to another.

  2. Try a muffin tin! My kids loved those to play with. Also a colander and some chenille sticks that he can stick in the holes.

  3. Muffin tins are GREAT for transferring stuff around. Mine love pouring water/rice/whatever from one container to the next. I saw one toddler preschool class put craft pompoms in a bowl and let the kids pick them up with plastic tongs and move them to a muffin tin.

  4. Malachi likes to stack our nesting tupperware or anything else. He also likes to line things up (cars, cheerios) - I showed him how the first time, then he kept doing it. I also collected about 40 milk lids and put them in a wipes container. He can put them all through the slot and then dump them out and do it again.

  5. Put small (but kid-friendly) and differently textured trinkets like rubber balls, fake coins, small cars, etc. (think $ store) in a large bag with lots of zippers. I even put small cosmetic cases in larger cases and then put them in the zippered compartments so there are more layers of snaps, buckles, and zippers to open. This is a lifesaver on a long plane ride! BUT...wear did you get those monster BOOTIES? I must have them!!!

  6. If he's able to keep from putting it in his mouth, my son LOVES putting coins in his piggy bank. We also make sensory tubs. Just get a big but shallow storage container and we've filled it with beans and put other little things in depending on the season....heart shaped things around valentine's, green trinkets for St. Pattys, etc. That entertainment lasts for hours!