Daily Activity Plan for Mom and Job

One thing I struggle with is balancing Job time and Mom time.  I have a tendency to just want to work on my own projects all day and hope that Job will entertain himself.  Job does pretty well playing by himself, but he gets bored and lonely after awhile, and playing by himself doesn’t last that long anyway since toddlers have such short attention spans.  I also don’t like when I get to the end of the day and feel like I just focused on my own projects and neglected spending time with my precious little man.  So I decided I needed to find a balance between my projects and spending time with Job.

Every day seems like it is so different, with working, attending Bible study, running errands, appointments, etc.  Every time I sit down to make a detailed schedule, something comes up the next day to interrupt my carefully planned schedule!  So I decided to just make a list of activities for us to cycle through each day as time allows and as we are at home.  My goal is to do these activities in 30/15 minute cycles, Job plays independently for 30 minutes, then I play with him for the next 15 minutes.

I hope to make up a weekly activity plan each week for the month of January, then I’ll have four weeks of activities to cycle through.  So stay tuned for next week’s list!  Below I have listed the types of activities I plan to cycle through, a description of each activity, and then at the end I have a list of specific activities that correspond with some of the various activity categories.  Here is my activity schedule/plan:

Here are my activity categories to cycle through:

Free Play, Book Play, Toy Box Play, Structured Play, Outside Time, Singing, Kitchen Play, Art, and Living Room Time.

Free Play: this is when I just let Job do his thing.  I plan to set out a particular toy to direct his attention to, but he isn’t limited to that toy.

Book Play: Job and I sit on the floor and look through books together.

Toy Box Play: I divided Job’s miscellaneous toys into various boxes.  Each day we can pull out a different box.

It might be a little hard to see, but each box is labeled with the type of toy it has in it.

Kitchen Play: This is a structured activity for Job to do in the kitchen with me while I work on cooking dinner and washing dishes.

Living Room Time: This time is actually just for the evening, the time between dinner and bed time.  I plan to let part of the time be free play, then singing songs, reading a bed time story, and then getting ready for bed.

Structured Play: this is play time for Job and mom.  As Job gets older, this time can become more educationally focused, such as counting and learning to write letters.

Outside Time: this can be just letting Job crawl around our yard (which he loves to do!), go to the park, or take a walk.  For me, outside time is very important, so even though it can be kind of time consuming to get jackets on and drive to the park, it’s so good for kids to be outside, get some fresh air, and run off some steam.  Besides, they love being outside!

Singing: singing songs with actions and movement.

Art: more structured play time for Job and mom to do together, with a focus on art.

Below I have listed some specific activities I’ve picked out for each category.  I have a brief description of the activity, and for some activities there is a link to a website with more description.  I also plan to cycle through these particular activities throughout the week, I don’t have a different one for each day, except for the Structured Play time, mostly because otherwise, I’ll be bored with the play time!

Kitchen Play Activities:

1. Box Shape Sorting-this is such a creative idea, I can’t wait to do it with Job!  Take an old box with a handle hole in it (or make a hole), prop it up on it’s side, and let your toddler drop toys through the handle.

2. Muffin Pan Seek and Find-use a muffin pan, fill the holes with various surprises, like a block or a snack, and then cover the holes with various materials.  Your toddler learns to pull off the cover, and will then (hopefully) be pleasantly surprised by what he/she finds underneath.

3. Water Play-this activity is a little messy, but so much fun for little ones, and for me, this activity keeps Job busy long enough to make it worth the mess.  Do this activity when you need to mop your floor anyway!  You can put a towel down on the floor to help limit the mess.  Fill a pan up with water (only about 1/4 to 1/2 way), give your toddler miscellaneous kitchen equipment such as a wooden spoon and a measuring cup, set your toddler down, and let him/her go to town!  You can add some ice cubes intermittently for added fun.

Songs:

All of these songs are from the website from the website http://www.preschoolexpress.com

WINTER FINGERPLAY
Climb, climb, climb – up the hill of snow. (Let fingers walk up your arm or bent leg.)
Jump on our sleds – down we go. Weeee! (Let fingers slide down your arm or leg.)

I’M A LITTLE SNOWMAN
Tune: “I’m A Little Teapot”

I’m a little snowman
Short and fat,
Here are my buttons,
Here is my hat.

When the sun comes out,
I run away
Before I slowly
Melt away!

PRETTY SNOWFLAKESdrop “snowflakes” as we sing this song.
Tune: “London Bridges”

Pretty snowflakes falling down,
Falling down, falling down.
Pretty snowflakes falling down
All through the town.

Pretty snowflakes, on the street,
On the grass, on my feet.
Pretty snowflakes falling down
All through the town.

THE PEOPLE ON THE BUSput on an actual party hat during the party hat line, toot horns during the horn line
Tune:  “The Wheels On The Bus”

Oh, the people on the bus wear party hats,
Party hats, party hats.   (Children place hands together in a point over their heads)
Oh, the people on the bus wear party hats,
All through the town.

Oh, the people on the bus are blowing horns,
Blowing horns, blowing horns.  (Children place fist over their mouth)
Oh the people on the bus are blowing horns,
All through the town.

Oh, the people on the bus say, “Happy New Year”,
“Happy New Year”,  “Happy New Year”.
Oh, the people on the bus say, “Happy New Year”,
All through the town.

Structured Play Time:

1. Bead Drop: Drop pony beads into an empty water bottle.  When the bottle is full, turn it over, dump it out, and start again!  From the website http://sstorywindow.blogspot.com

2. Musical Hide and Seek-use a wind up toy, wind it up, hide it and then go searching with your toddler.

3. Blocks: Various activities to do with blocks: build (obviously!), sort them by colors, sort them by shape, dump them out and clean them back up again (hoping to encourage clean up skills with that one!).

4. Pasta Sort: Sort colored pastas into various containers, i.e. red pastas go in one container, green pastas in another etc.  Here is a link for the instructions on how to color pasta.

Art: This is a tough one since Job is only 16 months, and in my experience, kids can’t do much with art till they are around two.  This week I am just going to lay some butcher paper down on the floor, and we will practice using crayons and finger paints.  I also want to find some Dot-to-Dot paints.  These are fun because they don’t demand too much from a toddler’s fine motor skills, and your toddler gets to “bang” the paint.

There is my list.  Hope that you find some inspiration here as well!  If you do any of these activities, please let me know, I’d love to know how they go for you.

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4 Responses to Daily Activity Plan for Mom and Job

  1. michelle brill says:

    looks like a great plan. For additional ideas go to letteroftheweek.com
    It is az mom’s blog about homeschooling. I get great ideas about books to check out of the library, new songs, and much much more.

  2. Natalie says:

    Thanks for all the ideas! Will definitely add some of these to Daniel’s activity list! :o) It’s so much fun doing these! We are going to try to get back into doing some activity / tot school type stuff for like an hour a day with me and him, cycling throughout stuff as he wants so he will be interested and I am doing the letter a week to help me figure out activities and learn letters now that he is finally talking a lot more! I love it and it’s important to do this during Lydia’s first nap so Daniel and I have time together! Then during his nap, she has her second nap so I can get my stuff done then! It all works out!

  3. Pingback: Activity Plan Week Two | The Coble's Column

  4. Renee says:

    What great ideas Laura! Enjoy this time with your “little man”. The toddler years are great! I love looking at the world through the eyes of a little one when everything is new and exciting. If you don’t mind a mess, here’s one that was one of Seth’s favorites – and it is a science experiment. Job won’t get the experiment part yet, but he’ll still have fun. Mix corn starch and water together until it is about the consistency of honey. (About 10 parts corn starch to 1 part water) and just let him play with it. You can add food coloring too if you’d like. The science part comes in that it becomes a solid and a liquid at the same time. He’ll make a huge mess, but the beauty is once it dries, it just sweeps up (I would keep it over tile floor though). Or add water and it dissolves and cleans up easily. However, don’t put it down the drain when you are done – throw it away.

    I also made a “Seth Cupboard” in the kitchen with plastic containers, etc that he could play with. Whenever I was cooking I would let him just empty out the cupboard and he would entertain himself!

    Enjoy!

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