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Friday, August 7, 2009

Baby Days

I thought my first book review should be a parenting type book. This is a book for stay-at-home parents of young kids, and I love the sub-title: tips for enjoying daily life with children under 3! How many days does daily life with young children feel like an exhausting, overwhelming, not-so-fun experience? Don't get me wrong, there are always good moments in most days, but taking care of young children can be draining. It's difficult to get things done, tantrums are hard to handle, and sometimes your 18 month old will watch 3 hours of television because you need something to distract them.

This is not really a parenting book, just ideas of how to give your young children things to do that are stimulating, entertaining, and allow you to get things done or enjoy playing with them.

Some things I like:
1. The activities are broken up into different times of day. There are activities for mornings, mealtimes, afternoons, bedtimes, etc...
2. Each activity has a "messiness quotient." IE, how much of a mess can you expect from this activity. If you don't want to take the time to clean up, then choose a low quotient activity. BUT, I would mention as my own thought, taking them time to clean up WITH your young child (the younger the better) is a good way to start them on the road to keeping things neat and clean. Make it into a game.
3. Fun activities based on age. My toddler LOVED playing in a bucket of beans with a funnel. She wasn't quite old enough to care about the play dough we made (although "making" it was fun for her).

Things I disliked:
1. You could probably find activities like most of these on the internet. But like I said, I like the descriptions by age, how messy it will get, materials you need, etc...
2. I think it's important to avoid "Supermom syndrome", where you feel like you have to be constantly busy. Kids NEED time to just go play by themselves. But I think young children often throw tantrums because they want your attention. If you are making dinner and give them a task to "help" they will feel involved and ideally whine a little less.

I also think this is a great book for Winter time, when it's too cold to go outside much. Making tents and playing make-believe would be thrilling for a 2 year old!

You can go HERE to read more reviews of this book.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

I have that book on hold at the library (I probably saw it on your goodreads list!) and am excited to read it. I often feel like I am not doing enough with my boys but I think it'll help to be inspired to do a few more structured activities, especially for the 4 year old who isn't napping and does really want and need some more focused attention from mom at points during the day!