A few days ago, I started babysitting for a little girl who is the same age as Clara. I only watch her for a couple hours each morning while her Mom is taking classes at the nearby University, but it's enough to get me up in the morning, give me a bit of extra money and to keep Clara entertained at home. I have heard it said that after babies are a year old, it's actually easier to look after 2 at a time instead of just one, because they entertain each other. I'm hoping that not only will the arrangement benefit Clara - so she has some social interaction during the week - but also me, after the baby is born and it will be helpful for Clara to have a playmate to entertain her.
For now, it is also keeping me busy researching ways to entertain toddlers. I had a great role model in my friend, who watched Clara while I was working over the summer. She is naturally gifted when it comes to finding ways to play with and entertain kids, and many of 'my' ideas have actually come from her - I am far from creative, I've discovered - but I'm pretty good at finding and using other people's good ideas. That's ok, right?
This is not a post about Father's Day... because I'd be a little late for that! :) The Friday before Father's Day, Clara came home from her babysitters with this.
Which I thought was adorable and brilliant. And probably a lot of work - getting a toddler to put a handprint on a mug and not all over everything else, which she probably did also.
I remember thinking that this was a sign of a great babysitter. She went out of her way to find activities and crafts that toddlers at any age could do. It was this friend that encouraged me to start having Clara help decorate cookies when she was less than a year old. That post is here.
It was also her who, when Clara was fussy as I was washing dishes asked 'Why don't you let her help?' when I was thinking 'What? She's 18 months old!!?', but after I pulled a chair up to the counter and let Clara play in the rinse water she was MUCH happier. So, I'm always on the lookout for cool things to do with toddlers, and great ways to keep them entertained.
Wish me luck! If you have any great resources, please pass them along!