Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘blanket time’

I am a firm believer in blanket time. I am so glad that I did blanket time with all 3 of kids. It has taught my kids respect for boundaries, discipline, and allowed me time to get things done around the house without having all 3 of my kids under my foot. I wrote a longer post, entitled Blanket Time, about the benefits of blanket time and for a further explanation on how to start blanket time.

Here is a short video clip of my 13 month old twin girls during blanket time. Currently they do blanket time for 30 minutes in the morning while I do circle time (learning activities) with their older 2.5 year old brother. When I recorded this video, their older brother was visiting his grandparents (which is why I had a chance to capture this short video clip).

Read Full Post »

When I first wrote my post about structuring your toddler’s day, I wrote it for when my son was taking one nap a day. But most toddler’s don’t drop the morning nap and move to one nap a day until they are closer to 15-18 months old. My son Cooper dropped the morning nap at 12 months, which is early. My twin daughters are 12 months old and are still taking 2 naps a day. While there are days they only take one nap (due to activities we have planned outside the home), 5-6 out of 7 days they are still taking two naps a day. I thought it would be helpful to write out their schedule at 12 months for parents who are looking to structure their toddler’s day while still on two naps.

Click on each activity to learn more about them. Check back frequently as I add more links to the various activities as I blog about them.

For a sample schedule of a toddler on one nap a day, please see my post entitled Structuring Your Toddler’s Day (one nap a day)

7:00 Nurse, Potty, Dressed for the Day
7:30 Structured Learning/ Free Play
8:00 Breakfast
8:30 Free Play in Playroom & Circle Time
9:00 Outside Play
9:45/10:00-11:00 Nap
11:00 Nurse, Potty, Diaper Changes
11:20 Independent Play Time
12:15 Lunch
12:45 High Chair Activity (AKA Table Time/ Transition Time)
1:00 Play With Mommy inside or Outside Play
1:30 Story Time & Quiet Play with Mommy
2:00-4:00 Nap
4:00 Nurse & Snack, Potty, Diaper Change
4:30 Blanket Time
5:00 Sibling Play
5:30 DVD in Playroom (while Mommy gets dinner ready) or Play with Daddy if he is home from work already
6:00 Dinner
6:30 Family Play
7:00 Bath
7:15/7:30 Nurse/Bottles, Followed By Bed

Read Full Post »

I thought it might be helpful to share what I have been putting on the girls’ blanket for blanket time. The girls are able to stay on the blanket for 30 minutes. I typically do blanket time in the afternoon after they wake up nurse and have a snack. They are nice and rested and ready to play on their blankets without too much fussing. These toys seem to really hold their attention. What I have found to be good blanket time toys are toys that are easy to stack, open and shut, and small objects they can put inside various containers. I also have a few electronic toys that I throw into the rotation.

On a typical blanket I usually put: 1 nesting cup toy, 1 electronic toy, books, and some other toy. There are days when all I put on their blanket is the sensory tub and give them some cups and containers to place things from the sensory tub inside. These toys always work very good for independent playtime.

List of Toys I use for Blanket Time Rotation
Play food

Nesting Cups (Iplay Nesting Cups, Munckin Caterpiller Nesting Cups, and Green Sprout Stacking Cups)
Stacking Rings (Fisher-Price Star Stacker, Melissa & Doug Wooden Stacker, Rattling Stacker)
Shape sorter (Fisher Price Shape Sorter, Melissa & Doug Wooden Shape Sorter)
Small plastic animals (Farm Animals, Zoo Animals, Dinasour Animals)
Laugh & Learn Tea Cup Set
Leap Frog Birthday Cake
Alligator Piano
Old Plastic Containers (large yogurt containers, butter containers)
Large Pom-poms & Shoe box with wholes cut out in the lid to place pom-poms in and out
Clothes pins & Formula container with a whole in the top to place clothes pins through
Sensory Tub
V-Tech Helicopter
V-Tech Laptop
Leap Frog Picnic Basket
Shoe Box with Laminated Photos of Family Members
Touch & Feel Books (DK Touch & Feel, That’s Not My…. Books)
Touch & Feel Flash Cards
Shoe Box with Textured Cards (Glued different fabrics to thick laminated card stock)
Yogurt Container with milk tops to push through a slot in the lid
6 plastic bowls from the dollar tree (They use these to stack and put things inside)
Board Books

For more information about Blanket Time, please see my post entitled “Blanket Time

Read Full Post »

I have decided to start teaching the twins their colors more formally. The girls really enjoy touch and feel books and feeling different fabrics and small objects. So I thought this would be a fun activity for them.

1. I decided to die some chunky pasta. I got the idea from the Totally Tots Website. What a cleaver idea. So I died some bow tie and spiral pasta purple.

2. I found some objects that were purple. They included a purple baby spoons, a purple ball, purple socks, purple gloves, purple fabric squares, purple toy cars, purple ribbon, purple Easter egg, and Foam-cut out-purple shapes.

3. I put the objects into a wash basin with the purple died pasta. I placed the wash basins on top of old sheets or old shower curtains to contain the mess from getting all over the floor.

4. The girls seemed to really enjoy digging into the sensory tubs. I gave them some spoons, scoops, and cups to dig with. I also gave them an empty wash basin to scoop pasta and objects into. I did sit with them on the first day this tub was introduced and talk to him as they scooped into the wash basin. When the girls found a purple objects, I made sure to name the object and the color of the object. I also described the shape, texture, and use of the object they found.

5. After the first initial day of playing in their sensory tubs, I used this activity as a blanket time activity. It held their attention for about 15 minutes of independent structured play on their blankets.

NOTE: Do not leave your child unattended if they do this activity. I found my girls putting the pasta in their mouths several times and I had to tell them no. This could be a choking hazard to leave your child unattended with these pieces of pasta.

Read Full Post »

What is Blanket Time?

Blanket time is an allotted amount of time in the day when you instruct your child to remain on a small blanket (3×3 or 4×4) and play with a select few toys that you have chosen for him/ her to play with. Blanket time can be started as early as you want with your infant and continued into toddlerhood.

What is the purpose of Blanket Time?

“Blanket time provides an opportunity to teach a child to play in a limited area without a physical parameter.” (pre-toddlerwise p.142) It also teaches “sitting skills or what we call parameter skills (the ability to stay put within a boundary).” (Toddlerwise p. 45) This skill comes in handy when you need your child to obey you and stay put. For instance if you are in the kitchen and you need to open the oven, you would want you child to stay away from the oven. You could tell you child to sit and remain still until you allow him or her to get up. Or perhaps you are out in public and you need your child to stay in one spot for a short period of time, that is when this skill really comes in handy. Ultimately, blanket time teaches your child at a young age to obey you. Blanket time also helps with mental focus by only allowing them a few toys that they must play with while on the blanket.

How long should blanket time last?

Start with 3-5 minutes once a day. Once your child demonstrates he can stay on the blanket and play without fussing or crawling or walking off, you can slowly increase the time up to 30 minutes a day. Use a timer to set a designated time. The loud noise of the time going off will signal to your child that blanket time is over.

What if he crawls or walks off the blanket?

The first couple of times he does blanket time, you will want to remain close to him. When he does move off the blanket, quickly return him to the blanket and give clear instructions to stay put and play with his toys. I typically say to Cooper, “Cooper, it is blanket time, we stay on the blanket.” I then direct him toward a toy on the blanket.

How many toys should I place on the blanket?

Just a few toys is enough. Remember your blanket is not that large. I have been placing 2-3 small board books, one lights/sounds toys, 2 toy cars, and one other small manipulative toy.  Keep these toys special and do not allow your child to play with them frequently during the day. The novelty of the toys will help them to remain on the blanket. You might want to have 3-4 small bins of toys that you rotate especially for blanket time so that your child does not tier of the toys.

Make them help you clean up!

When the timer goes off and blanket time is over, make sure to praise their efforts for staying on the blanket. Then ask them to help you clean up. I usually say, “It is clean up time.” Young children will obviously not clean everything up on their own, but you can assist them and teach them how to clean up. My son is 13 months old and I expect him to help put away just a few toys into the bin when we are done. For instance, he has some toy food. He will usually help put away 3-4 pieces of the toys food. As they get older, you might have high expectations for how they clean up. Make sure you give your child clean directions as to what you want cleaned up. For instance, if there are cars on the blanket, you could tell you child, “Mark, put your cars in the bin.”

Where should blanket time be done?

Vary the locations of blanket time in your home. One day do it in the kitchen. Another day try your bedroom. The idea is for you child to be able to transfer this sitting still skill to many different situations and locations. If it is a nice day, try doing it outside. You could even try taking your child to the library with the blanket and a few toys and doing blanket time there.

Travel with a blanket and special toys!

You never know when you might need your child to sit in one area for a short duration of time. You might go to a soccer game for one of your older children, and want your younger child to not wonder. Try keeping a bag with a blanket and some special toys. Then in case you should ever need to do an impromptu blanket time, you would have all the materials!

My personal experience with my son

My son is 13 months old. I have only been doing blanket time with him for a week (we started late). But in a weeks time, he is able to stay on his blanket without fussing for about 10 minutes. I have not had to correct him for crawling off the blanket in a few days too. I see how is mental focus is increasing as he is able to play with one specific toy for a longer period of time. He is also learning to mind and obey me rather well. This past weekend, I was out to lunch in a crowded restaurant. I went up front to pay and sat my son on the ground and told him to stay put, he did not move for 5 minutes. He looked around at all the people, but never once moved. I really think that blanket time has helped him to remain still and obey my commands!

Toy Recommendations for Blanket Time
10-12 Months Old

Resource: Pre-toddlerwise p. 141- 143

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 57 other followers