My 2.5 year old stopped napping a month or two ago. Maybe once a week she will take a 30 minute nap, but nap time pretty much doesn’t exist anymore. So what does she do while we are in school for 5-6 hours?
- She plays. Our schoolroom is also a playroom. I use rotating toy boxes as well as exchangeable toy bins. I need to exchange the rotating toy boxes upon her request which usually takes a couple of minutes. She can trade out the little bins of toys herself. She will often pick up a toy and put it away and then get out a new little bin.
- She does school along with us. Now this doesn’t happen often, but if my boys are dancing around to music she will too. She is free to join anything of interest, but her toys are usually the most attractive. The picture above is a “does school along with us” picture. The boys are growing flowers from seed and she wanted to have a pot too. We take pictures of the seed’s progress every 10 days and she loves doing that.
- She watches a DVD. We don’t have a TV in our schoolroom, but sometimes I will put on a DVD on the computer that she will watch. Right now she is loving Kai-lan and learning a few Mandarin words to boot.
- She draws. She has a little table and chairs with easy access to markers and crayons.
- She looks at books. I have a large amount of books in the school/play room and she looks at them when she is interested.
- She snacks. Sometimes a little bowl of crackers and some milk will bring contentment. Apples also do the trick.
That is pretty much her day, but flexibility is a must. Sometimes she needs snuggles or wants to nurse and we either have a school break or the boys move to an independent activity. Sometimes we have to change what activity we plan to do to match what she is doing. For instance, if she is asking to watch a DVD and we have a computer activity planned we may do another school activity while she watches the DVD. If she wants me to get out a new toybox while I am in the middle of reading a chapter I’ll either get up and get out the new toybox or have her wait until I am finished with the chapter.
Interruptions are a given. My boys will sometimes get distracted by her playing. That is all part of life. I do want my children to learn how to concentrate in a distracting environment so they are getting plenty of practice. What are you going to do when your toddler decides to make tissue paper into snow and then starts throwing it up in the air declaring that it is snowing? We have a few laughs and then get back to what we were doing. Toddlers sure do keep life interesting.
Do you have a little one that no longer naps? What do you do to keep interruptions to the minimum?