My kids are 20 months apart which has made for some absolutely crazy-town phases. The one where Oshiolema decided to potty train at 21 months old while I was nursing a newborn and leaning over the toilet to wipe him was a good one. His two year old sleep regression timing up perfectly with her four months old sleep regression was fantastic and there were plenty more times I’m not crying over being past. This 1.5 + 3 year old phase, though? This makes up for every single one of them. I’ve also noticed in this phase my kids have needed less “stuff” than ever. We’ve simplified toys in a big way (legos, trains and baby dolls forever) and spend a good chunk of the day playing, reading and sneaky learning. Here are some of our current go-to’s throughout the day.
All the books in the ‘Best Behavior’ series are fantastic when your darling little angel child reaches that precious 18 month old phase and everything is up for grabs. Biting? Let’s try it! Hitting? That’s what hands are for, right? It’s always been a really short phase for us (a week tops) but reinforcing with these books has been incredibly helpful. These three are well loved since they were Oshiolema’s favorites as well, but Keogena is all over the Diaper one right now.
I posted on Instastories that I was struggling with making my own hand-lettering sheets for Oshiolema and I received so many suggestions for these books! The Tracing and Pen Control book is my favorite since I think it’s crucial for lettering and I’ve seen the biggest transformation since he started working in it. He does a few pages of the pen-control and either upper-case or lower-case every day and he actually enjoys it so much.
My friend gave us a box of ‘My First Touch and Feel Picture Cards’ for Oshiolema’s first birthday and we were hooked on these HARD for months. Keogena is at the age where she’s really excited about learning too and having flashcards makes it really easy. I like that each card has a texture and make it fun to explore. They’ve been used and abused (the velcro that seals the boxes really didn’t stand a chance) so I dumped them all into a bin and they’re here to stay.
I can’t say enough great things about these Elephant and Piggie books. I picked up ‘Waiting is Not Easy’ and it has such a great message about patience. The books are all sweet and funny and speak to toddlers in such a relatable way, they are the books the kids pick up over and over throughout the day.
Last but not least, this Maps book is the way we end every single day. I bought it when I was pregnant with Oshiolema because we’re big travelers and we spent my entire first trimester exploring Europe. It’s sat up on a shelf in the nursery ever since, but a few weeks ago he asked to pull it down and they get so excited to learn about a new country each night. The flags in the back are a hit too. So far we’ve only nailed down Nigeria, The United States and Canada…but we’re comin’ for ya, world.
Lastly, A Bad Case of Stripes and The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot are new favorites as well. They have such a great message and both books really captivate the kids and teach them so much about character. What are your toddler favorites right now?