A toddler resource cabinet is important, whether you’re a stay at home parent who spends all day with the toddler or whether you simply find quality time to do things together before and after work. It doesn’t matter what it is exactly, and it certainly doesn’t have to be a nice cabinet: it could be simply an extra drawer in your desk or a clear Sterilite container you shove under the bed, But it’s your treasure box, in a way. A place for the tools of your trade; fun and educational things you can do with your toddler.
There are days when you’re all imagination and can dream up wonderful fun and engaging activities with nothing but you, your toddler, and the empty room. But there will also be many days when you’re not feeling quite so creative, and those days the resource cabinet really comes into it’s own. All I need to do is open the door of mine and a thousand wonderful possibilities jump out at me.
What is in your resource cabinet will depend on you, the toddler, and what the two of you enjoy doing together. Try to get a stash of educational games for toddlers. Games toddlers play often seem simple to adults, but they can keep a little person entertained for hours—and all the time, they’re learning. Choose games that are:
• Easy to learn
• Educational, at least in a small way
One or two computer games like Reading Rabbit Toddler are a nice backup for a rainy day, though you shouldn’t overuse them. Online toddler games fall in the same category; good in their place. But there are some activities you can’t possibly get too much of. Be sure you are well stocked up on toddler music; a CD of toddler action songs can provide countless hours of fun dancing and singing, and it’ll lighten up the mood in your house even if you just use it for background. Your resource cabinet should also contain what you need for toddler art; paper and crayons are the two absolutely essentials, but you can do much more than that.
What else is there in a good toddler resource cabinet? Toddler flashcards, for one. No, you don’t take these and quiz your toddler through them like you’d do with a teenager learning sat words, but you use them for playing fun toddler games with. The sky is the limit, and if you don’t have any ideas of how to use them, we’ve got lots!
Then there’s toddler books. These are such an important part of your little one’s life that you probably want them out and on an accessible shelf rather than inside a cabinet, but you can have one or two extra-special picture books in the cabinet as well. A book that your toddler can’t usually have will have enormous attraction on those special occasions when you do take it out.
That’s your resource cabinet—a humble corner of the house, maybe, but one that has the power to transform your toddler-watching days.