Sunday, March 29, 2020

Quarantivity Round Up: Week 2

Last week was hard. I feel like many people, myself included, went from a "this won't be so bad" to "you're saying we are going to be quarantined for how long?!" mentality. We followed our schedule, but by the time the day was over, the last thing I wanted to think about was writing a blog. So now, Sunday night, I'm staring down the barrel of another week in quarantine, and I thought it might be good to post some of the activities we did this past week.

Jude's main interests this week were counting, transferring, and lining things up, so we focused on that!

Quarantivity #1: Counting, Sorting, and Lining Up Stuffies

This one is easy peasy. All you need are a couple stuffies and your brain. We have bird beanie babies that we keep in the window, so we just pulled those down for this. Start off by counting them. Jude did this no less than 15 times before wanting to move on. It's all about letting them repeat the play as long as they see fit. It can be tedious for the adult, but it's so good for their growing brains! 

We were able to talk about colors and sort based on those qualities together. Jude is still at the stage where everything is blue, so we had to do this slowly and together. 

Jude ended with lining the birds up, putting them in a pile, and lining them up again. It was a really simple spur of the moment activity that was mostly led by him, but we both had fun! 

For older children, you could ask to line up by size, line up in rainbow order, line up alphabetically. The options are endless. For a little extra movement, you could put them in different areas of the room and ask for them to run to the blue bird and do 5 jumping jacks, then to the green and dance for 15 seconds, etc. 

Quarantivity #2: Lacing, Transporting, and Sorting Buttons 

We spent every day this week doing this same activity at least once a day because Jude was so obsessed with these buttons. He calls them beads and will aimlessly wander around the playroom calling for them if they are put away. If you need a cheap way to amuse your toddler, buttons are the answer. 

Lacing was the main reason I got them. We used pipe cleaners and he laced them through the holes. The holes were a little smaller than I imagined, so his fine-motor skills got a workout. To start, I held the pipe cleaner and he laced them, but as we went on, he figured out how to do both. 

By far, Jude's favorite thing to do with the buttons is take them handful by handful and transfer them into another container. He will then take the new container and carry it to a new new container and repeat the process. I am not joking when I say he spends an hour a day at least independently doing this. 

Quarantivity #3: Transferring, Lining Up, and Sorting Everything

I realized that this was going to get redundant really quickly because Jude spent so much of his time this week doing something similar to what he did with the birds. It's pretty self-explanatory what he did, but I just wanted to repeat it to talk briefly about a couple of things. First, I say this a lot, but repetition is so important. It doesn't need to be repetition of an activity to be meaningful. It can also be the repetition of a skill. 

I have linked this before, but if you aren't familiar with the different play schemas, check this out. Because I know that Jude is interested in the transportation and enclosure schema, I try to focus his play opportunities on those two things to sharpen those skills. 

Quarantivity #4: Magnet and Pipe Cleaner Bottle 

This one has been on my Pinterest board for a really long time, and we gave it a try this week. For this, I used our Learning Resources Science Sensory Tubes. They have been really great because I can switch out materials as Jude's interests change. 

I cut up some pipe cleaners (I think I got a 100 packs a year ago, and we honestly use them for everything, so I'm amazed that they are skill around). I gave Jude a long magnet, and watched him as he discovered that he could manipulate the pipe cleaners from the outside of the bottle. The moment was magical for both of us. 

Since I blindly grabbed the tops, we ended up with one with holes in it. At first, I was frustrated because the pipe cleaners would pop out the top a little, but Jude and I both soon realized that it was a fun feature. He spent a while using the magnet to pull the pipe cleaners out, then he would put them back in one by one. It was a science, fine-motor, and posting activity all rolled into one. 

Quarantivity #5: Nature Walk Bracelets 

This is a favorite at Tinkergarten, and it is so easy. You take tape, attach it sticky side out to the child (or your) wrist, and collect nature treasures! Jude is pretty sensitive about his hands, so I wore the bracelet and let him attach things to it! It was tons of fun, very easy, and very cheap! 10/10 recommend!

Bonus Quarantivies (that are less about play but fun anyway)

Video Chat Playdate 

If you haven't already, download Zoom and have a playdate! My Wednesday Mom Group got together at our usual meet up time last week. Jude was happy to see his friends, and I was even happier to have a few minutes to catch up with mine! 

Repeating Activities from Last Week 

We kept our bins from Quarantine Week 1, and they were just as much fun this week! There's no reason to throw out your materials if they aren't dirty! 


Jude was a big help this week when building his new swing set. Whenever we have something build, we will try to give him an allen wrench or a screwdriver and let him help. Exposing him to tools will be helpful later when he is old enough to do bigger jobs and has familiarity with tools. 

Thank you for sticking with me through this post! I am not sure what Quarantine Week #3 will bring us. I may post everyday. It might be a weekly round up again. Whatever it is, I will see you soon! I hope you are making the best of this scary time with lots and lots of fun play! 

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