Nursing Box: The Transition to Two

3:00 AM Elephant & Chick 1 Comments

The transition to two is something I spent a lot of time thinking about and preparing for.  I had no idea what to expect, other than stories and advice from friends.  One close friend suggested the idea of a "Nursing Box."  She had been given one when she had her second, and loved it.  A nursing box is a collection of toys or games set aside only to be played with while mom is nursing the baby.  It is intended to help make nursing a fun time for the toddler (as opposed to time when mom is preoccupied with the newest member of the family).  Rather than toys, I chose to make some Montessori activities to fill our box.

This is a collection of links to the ideas I took inspiration from while making my box, as well as a review on how well they have occupied and entertained my toddler.  

One of the hardest parts about this project was anticipating which activities would be age appropriate for the time I needed them.  I made the activities about 3 months before I'd actually be using them so I had to guess what my toddler's skill level would be at that time.  I read a lot of reviews on different Montessori activities and took their word for it! 

Probably one of the more time-intensive activities I prepared is our Color Wheel.  I made a color wheel similar to this one using felt.  I wanted mine to be more versatile (be able to fold) so I opted for fabric rather than cardboard.  I have the six primary and secondary colors on one side and variations of black and white on the other, with clothespins to match every color.  My mind races when I think of all the variations on games we'll be able to use this for! 

I also made our first set of bean bags!  I am super excited about these.  There are so many games and activities to do with beanbags.  I debated how many to make and how big.  The size seems to be just about right (approximately the size of my palm) and for now we have 5.  We'll see if I end up making more.  (I filled mine with rice.)

Two things to know when making bean bags:
(1) You need less filling (rice or beans) inside than you think, and
(2) They double nicely as heating bags for sore muscles!

Along with the beans bags, I put six paper cups in the drawstring bag.  Not super surprisingly, Tagg likes playing with the cups as much (or more) than playing with the bags.  He will stack and unstack them countless times.  He's learning how to build them in to a pyramid.  I'm hopeful he'll grasp the concept of building a pyramid and then knocking it down with the bean bags soon!
Another entertaining element of our box is pom-poms.  I have pom-poms in the colors of the color wheel (above) to learn colors with.  Other pom-poms are in the box along with a water bottle to practice fine motor skills by stuffing them in the top one by one.  He loves the pom-poms.  He'll sort them in the cups (above) as well, over and over again.  
I also included a couple rolls of washi tape in our box.  Washi tape is the best kept secret entertainer.  A straight line on the floor is fun to walk on or drive cars on and a circle of tape on the floor is a target to throw bean bags in to.  Washi tape is a toddler's best friend at our house.

We're still figuring out how to work the Button Snake, but I think it's adorable.  Don't make the ribbon too long - extra length just gets in his way!  Along the same lines is the Felt Button Chain.  These both would be nice quiet activities for church.

This Cardboard Tube and Elastics doesn't entertain my toddler for as long as it does the creator's.  I think the unique shape and bright colors intrigue him to pick it up, but once he's pulled off all the elastics, it's done for.  Perhaps it will be different once he's figured out how to put them back on. 

Check out my Pinterest Board to see other ideas I gathered.  I plan to make more to add to the box as his skills develop! 

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