Having just hit the two-year mark with our daughter, I am already hearing “no” when I ask Elise to do something.
Sometimes I get, “no thank you, Mommy,” and as polite (and cute) as that is, it’s just not going to cut it ’round here.
I figure it’s way too early in this whole parenting thing to start saying, “because I said so,” and that’s put me on the path to try and teach her how to follow directions.
Anyway, because I knew we weren’t going anywhere, I planned this activity for today. Last night I whipped out a treasure map. I made it quite generic (using only the numbers for each step), because I had absolutely NO idea what I was going to do, other than ask her to follow the numbers in their order.
- We were going on a treasure hunt. “A bear hunt? Yay!” Um… “Sure, except instead of a bear, we’re hunting treasure!” “K, Mommy.”
- You need to follow the numbers in order. “K, Mommy.”
- Have fun!
She kind of milled around, looking at each of the areas and playing with some of the pieces. I helped her start at the first step, Hippo Hollow.
We played with the hippos and waved around our hippo puppet. It’s the weirdest things that kids love… I made that hippo “puppet” in about 5 minutes before a trip to the grocery store because I wanted to get the shopping done relatively quickly.
She loves that thing. Go figure.
We spent A LOT of time with the alligators. I seriously don’t know what it is about alligators, but my kid loves them.
Is that weird?
I mean, she’s scared of a bark from our 12 pound wiener dog, but alligators? Oh yeah, she thinks they’d be great for snuggling.
Anyway, when she noticed the map resting where she had discarded it, she abruptly stopped playing with the alligators and said, “Where’s the three, Mommy?” I just shrugged my shoulders and she was back on the hunt.
We stayed in the living room for this activity, so it wasn’t too hard for her to find: stop three on our treasure hunt was Library Book Letter Lagoon.
I know, I know. That one’s name wasn’t very inspired, but hey, it was the best I could come up with at the time.
Now, I thought we would spend a lot of time at this one because she loves her library books and she loves playing with letters. Um yeah, leave it to the 2 year old to make you feel like you don’t know diddly.
She looked at it, moved the letters around (she swapped the “L” for the “P” and spelled ‘POOT’ and I laughed and laughed). Then, she read one book and went on the hunt for the number 4.
The Gorilla Gauntlet.
Again, not the best moniker. If it were really a gauntlet, it would be… Well, it would be kind of inappropriate for a two year old. I had been semi-successful with alliteration up ’til this point, and Gorilla Gulley just didn’t have the same ring.
Besides, it’s not like she knows what a gauntlet is, right?
To be honest, I could have called it Gorilla Gouda and she wouldn’t have cared because of the fuzzy guy her Aunt Becky got her. The gorilla is so soft. No really.
He’s like clouds covered in feathers soft. Saw-fft – it deserves two syllables, it’s so soft.
For this last stop, I wanted to switch it up a bit and I’m really glad I did. She said each letter of “table” and then said, “this a word.”
Now, I think that’s pretty impressive, people. Maybe it’s not for a two year old, but I think it is and please don’t burst my bubble. :)
The last stage of our hunt was the treasure, set up under the coconut tree we made here. I used the box my from my engagement ring, and filled it with Dollar Store jewels.
Side note: it is cuter than puppies bopping kittens on their noses when you hear a kid say, “I found da tweasure! Hooray for me!”
Anyway, I would have loved to share pictures of her moving from one step to another as she worked out the number sequence, but alas, my phone died because I took these pictures of the set up and of an activity we did in the morning. Yep, it was a bit of a rookie mistake.
If you have any tips for helping kids learn to follow instructions, let us know in the comments section below. Or, just let us know that you stopped by – we love to hear from you!