My daughter who has a two year old and three month old asked me the other day what the tips were that I gave her to teach Sophi (her two year old) to play happily when she was six to eight months old, and I told her a few things I remembered, but I thought more about it and remembered the rest–so I decided to make a video of these tips!

I have a detailed outline (of course!). It has links in it to other videos, podcasts, and articles that I have done on related topics that I think mamas of toddlers will find helpful.

If you have many kiddos and are trying to get some concentrated teaching time, I think this video will help! These tips really helped me.

Love and hope,


A. Why Does It Matter

1. Contentment is the first character quality that we have the opportunity to build into children’s lives
2. Contentment starts in babyhood/toddlerhood when wants and needs start to diverge 
3. Playing as a baby/toddler is the beginning of life-long learning
4. What you give a baby/toddler a taste for will likely stay with them
5. Play time is developmental time for babies

a. Fine motor skills
b. Large motor skills
c. Cause and effect
d. Problem solving

6. We want to teach kids to be happy in a variety of situations—not just always having attention
7. Crucial for older kids’ relationships with littles
8. Doesn’t detract from your spending time with baby/toddler or lessen your impact—it enhances it as you watch your baby and toddler do things independently and as you start to be able to get things done etc.


B. Tips and Tricks

1. Do all of your responsibilities first—we can’t solve any behavior problems or add new elements to our kids’ lives/days until we have done everything we should do to make them successful—our responsibilities come first

a. Not keeping them up late then being upset that they’re grouchy the next day
b. Not running around when they’re tired and being surprised that they’re not cooperating

2. Mommy time with baby first
3. Toys in basket in corner of bed upon waking
4. Don’t try to teach playtime when baby is tired or hungry or grouchy
5. If needed, start with ten minute intervals and switch positions/alternate time with you; make playtime within view of you and
6. Rotate baskets and tubs of toys only for playtime
7. Schedule playtime, storytime, mommy time, naptime as it emerges and seems to work—toddlers and preschoolers thrive on routine and knowing expectations (work towards this)
8. Schedule electronics

a. Use them as part of your overall parenting strategy, not as a last ditch effort at peace
b. Schedule Bible story in morning before nap and story book character in afternoon/evening during “witching hour,” etc.

9. Use short playpen times as needed
10. Collect amazing toys and various book types (plastic, interactive, soft, felt, cardboard, sounds, etc.) 


C. Links and More Info

1. More babies and toddlers

a. What to Do With Wonderful One Year Old Part I: 
b. What to Do With Wonderful One Year Old Part II: 
c. Playtime/room time activities lists: 

2. From Toddlers to Preschoolers

a. Room time podcast: 
b. Toddlers and bedtime video: 
c. Toddler chore poster: 
d. Toddlers’ simple tastes: 
e. Character training with toddlers: 
f. Kindness in toddlers: 

3. Subscribe for family and language arts/writing help at  

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