We left China at the end of January to keep our family safe and healthy. On January 29th we arrived in Toronto. The first week was exciting and fun – lots of snow and cold, and snowmen, and snowballs. Needless to say, our little one was used to a daily routine since the last school term was her first term at a daycare back in Shenzhen. We can’t thank enough the educators there, they’ve done such an amazing job! Elizabeth has learned a lot – from communication in Mandarin and window cleaning skills to making jigsaw puzzles and water pouring into small cups.
Here then begins our challenge – no more daycare, no more teacher team created activities for our toddler (I believe there are a lot of parents who are facing the same situation here). We noticed that she misses that – she starts arranging little bowls from the biggest to the smallest, counting trees and wiping coffee table. Not to even mention the boredom she experienced on top of all that. As educators ourselves, we decided to take charge of this situation and entertain our two-year-old (we noticed that Peppa Pig has started to take over a lot of her free time (read: iPad/TV screen time). Even though we have found the show quite educating, too much is too much). So, we had to act!
This is what we did: we went to Walmart and got arts and crafts materials. First we started with a coloring book and some crayons. That was a hit! Then we moved to water paint and some pictures to color with those. That worked like a charm as well! Next purchase, after we ran out of paint, was a bigger set of water colors and white sheets of paper, more paint brushes. Elizabeth enjoyed (and still is) painting very much. We can see how she’s evolving her painting skills from brown clouds when she started to colorful lines and rainbows now, a month later. We also got some Easter craft materials, like colorful pom poms for fluffy bunnies and little chicks (absolutely adorable, by the way) with goggly eyes. At the same time, tea party is a thing in our home, we got a tiny tea set from a dollar store and now Elizabeth with her daddy and her toys are having casual tea parties (mommy is not always invited).
Since I’ve been a preK teacher for the last 10 years in China, crafts is kinda a thing that I do, so now Elizabeth can enjoy the fun of it as well.
The key to have a toddler 24/7 at home (indoors for most part) is to keep them entertained with different activities and very important is the role of parents – also they need to be involved. Just by putting materials in front of a child and going back to your phone won’t be a success (boom! Yes,I said it). At the end of the day, that’s our child, we decided to bring them into our lives and this world, it is our responsibility EVERY day, not just weekends or holidays.