Friday, February 26, 2010

Life in the Pink Tower: 3 year olds

A reader wrote and asked if I could give her a few ideas of things to do with her 3 year old.  I was thrilled to be asked.  So Bellisimama this is for you...
A great place to begin is by preparing the environment.  What I mean by this is creating space in your home where your children have freedom in each room.  If you find yourself constantly (not occasionally, CONSTANTLY)  having to say "No." or "Don't touch." you may need to change some things.  I already posted on this in the kitchen and I will be doing more post on other rooms.
I'll admit, I am a mom who doesn't like to play alongside my children.  I have a hard time playing babies, train, Dr. or whatever else.  What I know though is that my children like to work alongside of me.  They love doing the things they see the adults modeling day in and day out.  Montessori refers to this as 'practical life' and a great deal of focus is put on incorporating this into the classroom.  I love that at home it simply comes naturally.  For my children this means they do a lot of house work.
  No this isn't child labor, in the beginning it actually creates more work for me because I have to clean up again after their cleaning up-(when they aren't looking!)  But it is worth it because it gives them such joy to participate and contribute to being a part of the family. (not to mention keeps them busy)   I think you would be surprised at how involved your children can be.
  I suggest you purchase "tools" for them, not toys, real cookware, cleaning supplies, gardening tools,  etc... just smaller to fit their hands.

I am not against toys.  We have more than our share.  My favorites are retro Fisher Price toys, we have some that are actually vintage and some that have been reproduced.  Dolls are big at our house, brio tool sets and train, and figures such as schleich.   I also suggest a simple set of blocks.
Art supplies are essential in our home.  The easel is often a staple in our kitchen.  Be careful not to put too much out at a time and rotate toys every so often.  Too much creates chaos and children crave order. If everything has it's own place clean up time is smoother.
I will have to do a complete post on books.  For now I'll say authors Eric Carle, Donald Crews, and  Anne Rockwell are great for a 3 year old.

Here is my favorite resource,  Get a catalogue if possible, they have so much useful information mine has it's own place on the bookshelf.

 A couple of other user friendly books are pictured here.
I could literally go on and on about this subject-and it isn't because I think I know everything.  Mothering has taught me I definitley do not!  But because it is the most important job- ever, I am passionate about discovering how I can best do it.


  1. thank you! great ideas, and thanks for the book rec's! also, OMG!! i had that fisher price farm and i loved it so much. we have one at the community playgroup i take my kids too and man, i always want to steal it! i remember especially loving the little black pig.
    thanks again! please go on and on about this topic. i love hearing other moms takes on things, especially ones with lots of experience. i'm new to having more than one kid, my baby is only 5 months old, so i am working out this whole mothering more than one. it's hard!

  2. I have a toddler and a pink house! I can't believe it took me so long to find your blog!!

  3. Loving the blog and appreciating your words of wisdom about 3 year olds.

  4. I used to have that little barn when I was a kid! And I grew up in a pink house. What can I say, my Grandma had a great sense of color.


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