Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday

Blanket Time
This is something that is very useful for little ones to teach them how to focus on something and when mom needs to accomplish something for a short time, this is also very useful. A couple rules to be remembered, stick with it and be consistent! It is a great tool for moms and little ones!

I have had some people wonder how I do blanket time. They tell me their children would never do this. Here are some tips:
-Start when they are young, about 6 months is when I start. for about 15 minutes 2x a day I put them on a blanket with toys or in a playpen. I don't talk to them, I just let them play by themselves.
-Use a blanket (not to big, fold if necessary. If you get the area too big, the boundary lines are to big and they start wandering as if they were not on a blanket) Carpet squares work well too!
-Gradually increase their time alone by about 5 minutes each month until they are at a half an hour. Until they reach about the age of 3, I never have them on a blanket for longer that 30minutes. 2x a day.
-Be consistent! If you start this when they are older, just stick with it and continue to direct them back to their blankets if they get off. At first, stay in the room with them and quietly read to yourself so they see your example.
-Eventually, you should be able to leave the room momentarily and they should stay on their blanket without problems.
-The single toy that you give them to play with, (I do not let them pick, show them that you decide otherwise they can be indecisive) will become fun for them when they learn to focus.
-My children actually look forward to this time and when I need to accomplish something, it is very useful. Our morning blanket time is 15 minutes- 45 minutes depending on their age, in the afternoon around my dinner prep time, it is 30 minutes. I try to let them up about the time dad gets home so there is peace in the home when he walks in the door.
-I usually read them a book of their choice after blanket time is over. They look forward to this every time.

I hope this helps. I encourage every mom to do this. It is so good in teaching your children discipline and encouraging them to focus. A very important thing to learn as they grow! And it is good for mom to have a few minutes to collect thoughts and regroup!;)
*Quick ideas for blanket time activites:
-Wonder paper and markers by Crayola
-beads and string
-view finder
-Lincoln Logs

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