Happy almost September! We are gearing back up for a new school year and so many fun filled weeks of toddler and preschooler activities to share with you!
Each month we love sending our free Play Plans to you! They are filled with simple activity ideas to help you feel like an organized and fun parent!
All of the distractions that get in your way as a parent won't win this year because you will have a plan!
Why monthly Play Plans?
A few years ago when I had little babies in the house, we’d finally get a block of time to play or create and my mind would go blank. Sometimes it was because the noise in the house was deafening and I couldn’t concentrate enough to have a full thought, let alone plan an activity. Other times the baby would finally be napping and I had an hour to do something with my toddler, and I couldn’t think of anything fun or interesting to do.
I wasn’t sure what materials we had around the house.
I couldn’t pull up ideas on Pinterest fast enough for my energetic toddler.
So many tasks and distractions were pulling at me from every direction.
Often we would resort to watching a TV show while I checked Facebook (pre-IG) or we would just play “pretend.” I would usually sit in a corner trying to “pretend” to nap since playing pretend was my least favorite thing ever.
I’d end the day feeling lousy and unorganized. I’d pledge to get more organized that night… and then fall asleep before that ever happened.
As a teacher I had looked forward to this time at home with my little ones. I couldn’t wait to do projects and science experiments and art with them.
Of course in my mind back then I was doing activities with fake children who never had an opinion or a tantrum, and did a lot of “quiet independent playtime” so that their mom could plan fun activities for them. LOL! None of those personalities actually exist with the real children I ended up getting!
This is when the idea for my monthly Play Plan was born.
I needed one easy activity to do each day. This helped me check off a box in my head that I was productive and fun and being a "good" mom (whatever that means).
Now, as a mom of four with less screaming babies and MORE time to plan and think, I create my play plans each month to share with YOU!
I create these FREE monthly play plans so that you always have a few ideas in your back pocket to pull out when things get a little crazy (or the day feels extra long).
This way you’ll have a plan for when that magic window of time opens up and you want something simple & fun to do with your kids.
Each month my Play Plans include…
- One weekly theme
- One activity per day (5 activities per week)
- One children’s book suggestion per week
I send out monthly play plans at the end of each month so that you have them to start the next month. I only do play plans between September and May and then we keep things a little bit less structured and spur of the moment in the summer.
Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about our Play Plans!
What is the format of the monthly play plan?
A calendar and a checklist.
Some people like it as a checklist, so that they can check off the activities they do and aren’t married to a specific day. Other people love having everything on a calendar for them.
You get sent both versions and then you can choose which one works for you.
The calendar and checklist are both clickable when you use them online. Just click on the name of the activity you want to try and the tutorial will pop up!
What type of activities are included in the monthly play plan?
We share a whole mix of ideas!
Here are a few types of activities we share…
- Simple sensory bin ideas
- Process centered art activities (spin art, painting, etc.)
- Whole body movement activities
- Simple crafts
- Fine Motor skills activities/Scissor skills activities
- Cooking/Food Assembly activities
- Pre-writing activities
- Alphabet activities
- Simple number sense/counting activities
- Activities to help kids learn their names
Each week we share a variety of types of activities (5 of them!) that all tie together with a specific theme/children’s book.
What if my child doesn’t like one of the themes?
No big deal! Most of the activities would be easy to adapt to any theme or your child’s current obsession. I love to do child-led activities, but these are a bit more adult-led than many of the other activities in our home.
I am passionate about helping kids develop their language skills and be exposed to new activities and situations, so I don’t mind introducing them to new “mom selected” themes from time to time. Many of them tie to holidays and other events that kids are exposed to around them.
We do one themed activity per day, which leaves you plenty of time to fill in the rest of the day with your child’s favorite interests or more child-led activities.
What ages of kids will enjoy the Play Plan activities?
The Play Plan was designed with 2-4 year olds in mind, though I don’t like to narrow it down to a specific age group since kids can be so different.
Most of the sensory bin activities are designed for kids who aren’t trying to eat all of the materials still. You can adapt any of our sensory play ideas and make them ‘taste safe” though for younger toddlers. If you don't know how to do that, I'll add in a few suggestions or feel free to message me any time.
Your best bet is to try out the activities with any of your kids (ages 18 months- age 5). See what they think and what works! Don’t mention that it is an activity sent to you from Toddler Approved. You take the credit if any activity is a success, they don’t need to know it is from us!
How do I sign up for the free Play Plans?
1. Go HERE to register.
2. Check your email and make sure you got an email from me.
3. Click reply and introduce yourself to me. This will do two things. 1) Help me get to know you better so that I know what sort of ideas to share with you 2) Train your email that it wants to get emails from me and to not send my emails to spam!
If you don’t see an email from me pretty quickly, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll check into it.
When does my FIRST Play Plan arrive?
Next week! It will be sent out before the last day of the month.
We give you the plan. You focus on what matters.
Being a parent is busy and hard sometimes. We get it. We've been there. Having a plan for the day (even if you don't use it), makes you feel more confident and ready to take on even the craziest things your toddlers can throw at you.
We want you to feel capable, not frazzled and distracted. We also want you to use your free time relishing those hugs and cuddles versus pulling your hair out trying to figure out your plan.
Try out our plans and let us know what you think!
Do you have any other questions about our Play Plans? Ask away!
Once you get all signed up, we'll be sending along another email with more details about how the calendars work and what to do next!
I am here to help you, so you can always feel free to just hit reply to my emails and ask me a question too!