Friday, September 18, 2009

How to Entertain a Monkey

My biggest challenge this school year, so far, has been trying to keep my very bouncy 18-month-old occupied (and quiet!) while we work on our lessons. At this time last year, he was not even crawling yet (hard to believe!) and was so content just to sit in his bouncy chair at the table with us and chew on his baby toys. It's amazing how fast they change! Now, sitting in one place quietly is definitely not his idea of fun. He discovered on school day #1 that while Mom is busy working on lessons with brother & sister, it's a great time to empty bookshelves, empty mom's desk drawers, quietly climb upstairs and quietly climb up on the counter or table to see what wonderful things might await him! And he's fast!

But no worries!  Before the school year started, I planned several Montessori-type activities to keep him occupied during school time. I figured I'd bring out one or two new activities per week, and have time to figure out new ones along the way. However, school day #2 held a little bit of a surprise for mom:

Activity #1 - Playdough

First I brought out the Playdough - I've been saving it for school, so this is his first time to play with it.

He was not impressed.

Sorry about the blur - it's because of how fast he threw it on the floor!

Try again?


Time saved for school lessons = 0:00

Activity #2 - Farm Animals on a String

Not so offensive, at least. The strings are great for flossing two front teeth!

This is the face he makes when he's thinking (thumb required).

And the pieces are thrown on the floor!

Time saved for school lessons = 1:30 min.

Activity # 3 - Milk caps dropped through a slit in old coffee can (there's even a hole in the side of the can so he can take the caps back out all by himself - sure to keep him independently happy for at least a few minutes!)

He's peeking through the slit to watch the milk caps bounce on the floor.

That was fun!

Time saved for school lessons = 0:00

Activity # 4 - Saving the best for last - Clothespins to drop into a milkjug, hole in the side to retrieve the pins all by yourself:

This one is showing some promise...

But it all goes on the floor!

Time saved for school lessons = 0:00

Well, I can't say I didn't try! I finally gave in and brought out the old tried-and-true, no-fail way to keep a Little Monkey happy:

No-Fail Activity #5: Cheerios and Chocolate Chips

Time saved for school lessons = 30:00 min.

Time spent playing with a very silly Little Monkey instead of doing school = 45 min.  I think this explains what a toddler really needs - I'm going to have to rethink my lesson-time strategy!


  1. Oh, this is S O hilarious! I haven't laughed so much in a very long time!!!!

  2. Grandpa and I have been chuckling over the little monkey all afternoon!

    Ordinarily I would have tons of suggestions on how to keep an 18 month old busy - but I know that monkey REALLY WELL! Everything he likes is either illegal (as in sharp knives, power drills), immoral (as in getting a big thrill from swiping the General's stuff) or fattening. If I were you I would stick with fattening. Variety helps. But BEWARE LUCKY CHARMS. Did I tell you that he sticks the marshmallows in his ears?

    To be fair, he does like the vacuum and his bear. He used to like the tapes that were on his baby swing. He was particularly fond of Rossini. You could park the vacuum next to him, give him the bear and play the Overture from the Barber of Seville. What do you think - good for 10 minutes?

    Sorry - I'm sure you were looking for serious suggestions, but I'm still laughing.


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! Things are pretty busy around our house, so I can't always leave as many replies as I would like to. But please know that I look forward to reading every note you send my way - they brighten my day! Blessings,Collette

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...