I love eating out with my little buddy as I think it is so good for not only bonding but I use it as a teaching opportunity. I use it to teach him how to behave in public to not tantrum and how to eat nicely at a restaurant. We use it as a treat for being good being able to eat out and if he’s been really good he may even get a dessert. I love eating out together because I love being able to spend time with him be it just us two or with friends or family. I think it’s really good to help with not only my social anxiety but to get him used to social and public situations.
Elijahs started to sometimes sit at a chair (if tall enough) instead of a high chair and no longer try’s to run away. Sometimes if he’s being a bit grumpy because he is over hungry or tired we get some toys out, do colouring and if everything else fails we allow him to watch educational videos until food arrives. If we’re somewhere child friendly we will go play till dinner time. Elijah knows there is no play or electronics when dinner has arrived and toys and phones go away. He used to have a issue with this but because we always go out he has now support the tantrums.
I love being able to share my love of food with him too and watching him try new things. I love that when we eat out he’s always so excited by his food and shows his appreciation. I do love it when he talks to other people and they smile and wave back. I love trying new places with him and finding out what he may like and don’t like. I love that we go to eat out every weekend as a family of three and love spending time out the house the three of us.
Having a child inevitably creates a shared responsibility and lack of time together as a twosome. Although you wouldn’t change it for the world your life quite simply becomes a little more hectic. There’s no last minute trips to the cinemas at 8pm to watch a film, no more Staying up till 3 am chatting or out for dinner all the time. It’s finding childcare and enjoying a few hours of peace where you just unwind and spend half the time completely exhausted.
Sometimes it’s really important to just have time together! Be it when the child’s in bed shoving a movie on and snuggling up together on the sofa, or going out for dinner. It’s important to have some time just the two of you. If you can get childcare then utilise it as much as you can and try to make time to spend just the two of you. It’s important to remember why you fell in love in the first place. It’s important to remember what you where like as a twosome before you came more than that. You need grown up conversation even if the conversation always comes back to the kid.
So make time for each other, love each other and don’t take each other for granted.
Trying to expand your toddlers mind and teach them skills at the same time can be difficult, but there are resources out there you can use to help. Here are a few items i have used and found effective in teaching my son that might help other parents and toddlers stuck in a rut. If anyone else has anything they can recommend do please get in touch with a comment or check out my instagram @lifewiththehazelwoods and send me a dm there.
First up flash cards. I cannot rate flashcards enough because they are such a brilliant tool for learning. Remember revising for tests and you made flash cards? Well they work the same for toddlers. They’re brightly coloured and have pictures. They have the word under so you can teach your toddler the word for the photo which eventually they will learn with daily practice. Everyday we’ve used these since a little before his first birthday. Hes learnt a lot of animal names, foods, objects,weather and more. He can now basically say a whole pack of words now which makes us insanely proud. We have several packs which i have brought which Elijah loves doing you can get themed or basic first words, we have some ones that show counting objects for when hes older as well.
Puzzles are great too. We have quite a few types. We have some which are wooden boards where you take the shapes away and put them back in which are quite easy to do but teaches shape sorting. We also have vehicle, animal and letter ones to teach him words too. We have words to words to object animals. We have wooden puzzles also where we match the body parts. Puzzles are so good for making your child learn more, gain more skills and also strengthens their muscles using their motor skills. It also helps their memory including muscle memory.
Lacing beads. This teaches your child about colours and shapes. This also teaches how to thread through beads into the lace and counting as you do it. Teaches hand eye coordination and muscle memory again. This is also one of the things they access where children are too to see how they’re able to use their joints.
Arts and crafts products.Colouring books and crayons, Jumbo and thin crayons can be great for the wrists and finger development. We use it to teach colours and patterns and try to get him to copy us when we do shapes. We love painting and exploring patterns and objects and how we use things to paint. We do themed painting and use objects we find such as toys, objects from the outside or pasta. We love doing stickers which Elijah loves them and sticking them on the paper or on things.
Word books, i cannot stress how important reading is to children. They are sponges from when they are born. We have read to elijah since he was in my tummy and we make a effort to read atleast 4 books a day together. Word books with pictures and words are really good because they teach them the word for things. Elijah was so proud of himself when hes learn all the words in a book and would bring them to show us all day long.
Play dough. Teaching your child textures, making things and just using their hands and objects are a great tool to use. They come with good play sets too so as they get older you can make them explore more play. Like a dentist set, beach set, food making set. Playing together is lovely too.
Bricks, counting and balance all come into this. They have fun building towers and learning balance. You can also use them to count.
Magnetic fish teaches hand eye communication and team work.
Food is probably the best one! Teaching them too cook is such a fun experience and lots of messy play! Put food colouring in cooked spaghetti and let them go wild! Bake cakes and shape cookies! Colour pasta shells and rice for necklaces and arts and crafts activities!
The possibility’s are endless, just enjoy learning and having fun together!
It’s finally feeling like autumn. The rainy weather and chunky knit jumpers have come back with a bang and I am totally here for it. This month we’ve got lots of exciting plans with friends and family! We’ve got a dinosaur day at the zoo, our yearly pumpkin picking session, Halloween party and lots of days out and meals planned! I for one totally love this spooky season and wrapping up warm. The darker evenings mean I can enjoy my fairy lights longer, make a hot chocolate and slip into my pjs sipping on said hot chocolate. The time of year a hot bath actually relaxes you as you don’t feel uncomfortably hot.
This is the month I normally start buying Christmas presents and finish off Elijahs birthday presents. I cannot believe he will be 2 next month!! Our little nipper will of graduated fully to terrible twos and I don’t know whether to celebrate it or cry in a corner that these tantrums are gonna get worse. I’m excited to start putting pumpkin spice in everything and start the seasonal baking. We may have already made some Halloween shape biscuits but doesn’t count if you where just testing your cookie cutters.
Very excited for this month and to spend time with everyone and very excited to start to put on scarfs and Beany hats and not sweat pushing around a buggy. I’ve started my diet so I’m planning to exercise more around the house and make use of my exercise bike in the summer house taking my audible books out with me. Slightly warmer than it would be to carry on my long walk /run at 7 after Elijah goes to bed. Time to really enjoy Elijah being young. Time to enjoy jumping in muddy puddles, collecting leaves, doing arts and crafts and exploring the season together. I’m super excited and can’t wait to write more posts about things I get up too! But for now I’m off to cook some comfort food the best bit about a english autumn is a nice home cooked cottage pie!