On Sunday morning, Vivienne woke up at 5:45am. Sigh. You’d think I’d be used to these early mornings since she would often wake up at 5am in California. I never got used to it. Since coming back to Phoenix, I don’t know if its the hour time change or being back in her own room, but she now sleeps until 6:30-7am. Can I get a hell yeah? So, when she now graces us with an early rising, a little more caffeine is consumed for this mama (yes, I drink decaf mostly).
Another thing that has changed since coming back from California, is her nap schedule. Vivienne went from not being able to last past 10am to now falling asleep for her first and only nap at 12pm. This means a longer morning for us all. Since being up since 5:45am, we’ve already played in her playroom for an hour and 15 minutes before I serve her breakfast. After breakfast, we have 5 hours before her first and only nap to stay entertained. Then when she wakes up, we have 4 hours until bedtime. This means, we are in need of some serious activities and entertainment in our home.
I took to Instagram for your suggestions on ways to entertain. Thank you so much for those of you who wrote me. So many amazing mamas and teachers out there! A lot of you recommended and encouraged sensory play. I’ve briefly heard of them, but didn’t research too much as I didn’t think it would be age appropriate. A follower suggested that I follow, @busytoddler who was not only a fan of creating sensory bins but dedicates her entire account to toddler activities for your home. I went from looking at her page to jumping in my car to go to Target to pick up some supplies (I don’t mess around). I thought I would start with your basic bins, keeping them smaller to start to see her interest level and then go from there.
I loved putting these together; and received so much excitement and feedback from you guys after seeing it! Vivienne has been loving them and I am going to continue to research and share new ways to preoccupy your toddlers time. See below on how to make rainbow rice for a basic sensory bin.
1 cup of white rice
1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 3 drops of food dye
Mix together, add the rice to a paper towel and let dry overnight. Add these to a bin with a mix of cups, dispensers, toys, etc. for play.