As you already know, we had the pleasure of hanging out with this adorable little wiggler over the weekend. We were excited to have our youngest niece, Sophia, come for an overnight while her parents ventured out for a kid-free weekend. We were certainly up for the task, but also appreciated all the tips you gave us for 2 year old friendly activities to keep her busy and occupied while at our house.
I'd planned a few outdoor activities, like a trip to Maymont, but with the solid rain during the entire weekend, we ended up having enough indoor activities to keep her interested throughout her stay. I quickly learned that smaller, simple activities could take up good portions of time if we took the time to talk about what we were doing and broke it down into little steps (are all of you parents out there laughing at my naivety yet? If not, there's plenty more to go).
The best moment of the weekend? Probably when Tim came home from the JMU football game Saturday night:
I'd been hanging out with Sophia the better part of the day and had her ready for bed in her jammies — don't those one-piece footy pajamas kill you? So cute. Anyway, we were winding down before bed when Tim came home and he was greeted with giant hugs from a whimpering Basil and an excited toddler yelling "UNCLE TIM!"
I was chopped liver in that moment compared with Tim:
Speaking of Basil, he was amazing the entire weekend — so calm and cautious around Sophia. He definitely wanted to be in the action, but would sit watchfully to the side, as if keeping an eye on things:
It was also the first time the kids have come over that he hasn't tried to swipe one of their toys from the floor, ha. Sophia loved getting doggie cookies from his treat jar to give him and watch him do things like sitting and laying down when she asked him nicely.
As you can probably gather, our Ikea train set came to the rescue once again:
The train was a great one-on-one activity to put the tracks together and talk about the different colors on the train cars. We counted the different trains, talked about how many of each color there were and even quickly learned how to flip over the car if the magnet didn't work on one side. I'll admit, this train set has been cause for sibling fights at our house when we've had more than one at a time, but it seems to be a favorite toy that keeps their interest at this age. It's also fun for me and Tim to pick up little extensions and add-ons for the set when we visit Ikea.
Hey, what are you looking at? I was just making sure the train was still safe for the toddler to play with...
When we woke up Sunday morning it was time for a few early morning games before pulling ourselves together. No matter how hard I try, I can't pull myself together before 7am on any given day, much less a weekend.
First up, an egg hunt:
Sure, it's nowhere near Easter, but that didn't stop Aunt Mary from creating a very exciting egg hunt all over the front room! I "hid" most of the eggs in plain sight but in out of the ordinary spots that kept her looking around and most of all, smiling:
I'd challenged her to find all 15 eggs and put them in her basket. She had a lot of fun just trying to open and close each one over and over:
This was another fun activity where we could talk about colors, practice counting, point out the different sizes and group similar colors together:
We even lined up all the eggs in a single line to make sure we had all 15. Sophia had a blast trying to teach Basil how to count the eggs:
Next up, pumpkin decorating:
In-between activities, we took a few breaks to get some serious reading in:
Ha, I just love thinking about Sophia learning all about "Holiday Entertaining Made Easy" from the current Real Simple Magazine. BTW, love that magazine.
It was funny to me how well I could keep her attention while flipping through the pages of different magazines and holiday catalogs that had just arrived in the mail. I'd ask her to tell me the different things she noticed on each page (like pumpkins or Christmas trees), what colors different things were and it was always a big deal if we spotted different animals (thank you, holiday Orvis catalog).
It was a blast having a little visitor keep us company over the weekend, and it was also fun taking a long nap after we gave big hugs goodbye. It's pretty amazing getting a chance to see the world through a little one's eyes — we can't wait to see what she's into the next time she comes to visit.