Every Thursday our library hosts a toddler hour where they read to and do crafts with the little ones. So every Thursday we toddle along and then pick up new books for bedtime reading on our way out. I adore children’s books and have been buying them for years before I had my own kids (occupational hazard!) so we have quite a collection. So I decided I would do some reviews and share our favourites with you.
What Colour is Love?
Linda Strachan and David Wojtowycz
Theme: Colour/ Animals
What colour is love is a gorgeously illustrated children’s book that teaches about colour and animals. It follows a little elephant going on a walkabout and asking the animals he meets what colour they think love is. A simple concept. Bright colourful pictures and plenty of vocabulary to discuss along with the repetitive “what colour is love?” question make this sweet book perfect for reading with toddlers.
Colours: Grey, Green, Blue, Yellow, Red, White and Pink
Animals: Elephant, Tiger, Lion, Parrot, Zebra and Flamingo,
The book is written in simple rhyming couplets; for example
Ok so I will preface this by saying we are not the most crafty of people but it’s something I would like to do more of now that the eldest is 2 and a half and is getting to the age where she enjoys and can manage simple crafts.
These bunny’s were an easy pre-Easter craft. I literally drew bunny shapes on paper, let them paint all over them and then cut them out. We then dipped the pom pom’s in glue once the paint was dry to pop on his tail.
Our Valentine’s Day cards for the Nannys and Grandads were easy as, we just made a heart shape in toilet rolls and dipped them in paint, then stamped the cards with them. Unfortunately the only card I had to hand was black so I added the white heart on paper to the inside so that we could write a message.
Lego has always been one of my favourite toys and it keeps the girls amused for ages. They have been playing with this a lot in the last month, the eldest is getting good at building things and the youngest is helping by knocking everything down.
The girls are on a bit of a mermaid buzz at the moment and Santy brought some “Mermaid Lego” that we bring out on special occasions!
Ok bear with me on this one! I currently have a lot of my teaching supplies boxed up in the office and took these out one rainy day when the little monsters darlings were wrecking my head and I wanted to distract them.
They now LOVE the “sticks”. We do counting, colour sorting and patterns with our eldest and our youngest mostly enjoys putting them in and out of different cups and throwing them up in the air…
Our eldest got the Melissa and Doug cooking set for her second birthday and then they both got the food for Christmas. I love love love this stuff and the girls have been spending the last two months throwing dinner parties and picnics. It’s all wooden so lovely and sturdy.
I love books and was always a bit of a bookworm so books are the one thing I never mind having too much of. Friends and family are always gifting them books and we always give books at birthdays and Christmas. We also go to the library every week and they get new books for the week. Our favourites this month are;
Our eldest girl is currently loving these books. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt was always a favourite of mine as a teacher and although we have been reading this to her since she was really small we have lately started acting it out in the playroom and so it is getting loved all over again.
She adores the Mog books, we have quite a few now and this one is a lovely story about Mog unwittingly obstructing a burglary. These books are old school and not always PC but they are adorable and mine love them.
She got this book for Christmas and it is full of rhymes but has been largely undiscovered until this month. The illustrations are lovely and it is full of old half-remembered Irish rhymes that you will have heard from your Mammy and your Nanny but forgotten. She gets us to read these rhymes over and over. The book is also beautifully illustrated and would make a lovely gift.
Our littlest is about 15 months now and currently Dora obsessed! Every time we go to the library we have to check out another Dora book (thankfully they have a few!) She loves these because she can point out the familiar characters and find Swiper (“Wiper, NO!) She is also loving this Maisy pop-up book that she got from her auntie, although usually we have to supervise her reading of this as she yanks at all the pop ups.
Mother and Toddler Groups: We go to two Mother and Toddler groups a week, one is the local one to us in the village hall and the other is run by Cuidiú the parenting organisation (these are nationwide, you can check their website to find one near you). Both are great as they get the kids interacting with other kids, they do songs with them and they get to run around and play. I love them for the coffee and chats and they are a great way of the kids using up all their energy before naps (especially with the bad weather lately).
Library: We also go to the library once a week, they run a Toddler hour in our local library where the librarian reads a few books to the kids and then they do a simple craft with them, (which our littlest is too small for but the eldest loves) then we pick out our books for the week.
The Nanny and Grandad’s houses: We all love going to visit the grandparents, being close to family was the biggest reason behind our move out of Dublin and we usually do a visit to each at least once a week. Then Mammy gets to drink hot cups of tea while the children are entertained by grandparents, aunts and uncles! Everyone’s a winner 😉
My oldest toddler is lovely. She is smart and kind and funny. However lately she has decided to try out being eh.. not so lovely. At first I just thought she was tired. Then I thought maybe the terrible two’s had descended a little late (she was two in July). But still the tantrums continued. She didn’t want to share with her sister. She cried and stamped her little feet. She said “NO!” to everything. I decided that we needed to be strict on her. “You have to share with your sister” “Mammy said coat on now” A little bit of structure and not taking any nonsense. I upped my strictness as she upped her tantrums. And I didn’t like being that Mammy. I guess I was just tired and not really thinking.
Yesterday it dawned on me. She is only 2! What on earth am I thinking? I’m treating her like an eight year old when she is really only a baby. So I’ve stopped. I’ve given her extra hugs, I’m praising everything she does well again. I’m being patient and giving her time. I’m treating her like my baby again and she has calmed right down.
She missed the sibling rivalry when her sister was born, she was only 16 months old so really she barely noticed. Now I think she has started to notice that her sister is getting babied more than her. That her sister is let away with more, isn’t given out to as much. Kids really do notice everything. So we have decided to give her some big girl things that are just for her, special markers, a “cleaning” spray to help Mammy. Things that her little sister is too small for, something she loves “No, baba, you’re too small, this is only for big girls”.
So as much as I hate them growing up, at least there is this: They will always be my babies, no matter what age they are.
Today I had a little toddler running around the house without a nappy on. We have started potty training. I think she is ready, she knows when she is going to go and she is happy to pee on the potty. It’s all good, it’s progress and she is growing up. Getting more independent and so proud of herself.
And I miss her big nappy bum…
We can’t stop them growing up and as much as I love each new stage they are all shadowed with a little nostalgia of things that are gone. The lasts. The last she will wear a nappy. The last time she sat in a highchair. The last time she was carried in a sling. The little moments that have slipped through my fingers while I was busy concentrating on the next ones. They passed in the blink of an eye and sometimes unnoticed. I can’t remember when she was last in her sling, snuggled up next to me against the cold. That moment passed at some stage as my belly grew with her sister, and I never noticed it going. She no longer sits on my lap to fall asleep. She no longer pronounces her f’s as g’s, shouting “this is gun!” from the backseat every time we drive anywhere.
I am so proud of her and the child she is. A happy, chatty, friendly little girl who is loved beyond measure. I will always applaud her achievements and help her to achieve her goals, and I will always remember her kicking my belly, and staring at me with newborn eyes and everything in between.