Entertaining todlers!

I received this email a short while ago and reading through it, the thoughts of the sister resonated with myself when I look back to when my two girls were babies, and I am sure many others too will relate to this!
With the sisters permission to turn this into a blog post, here is my advise.....

home school advise

بسم الله

Wa'alaikum asalaam wa rahmatullah,

I look back to when my second child was born, my eldest was 2 years and 4 months old. Overnight, my little 2 year old seemed to look so much bigger and more capable than her new baby sister...so I expected exactly that from her! I expected her to be more co-operative, I expected her to behave like the older child, I expected her to just.....grow up!
I forgot that in actual fact, she was still only 2 years old! Even before the birth of her little sister, I would always look ahead to older children and wonder when she would reach that next developmental stage..... crawling, walking, drawing, exploring, conversing, reading, writing...... I couldn't enjoy her in that moment that she was....I was living for what would come next!

home school advise
I look back now and cringe! I look back and realise how many precious moments I lost with my eldest child, simply because I forgot how little she actually was, and I forgot to embrace that!

When I read your email, and see that your eldest child is just 15 months old Alhamdulillah, I first want to remind you that he is still a baby himself albeit slightly bigger than his younger 3 month old sibling!
He is still a tiny little person who can not yet occupy himself nor can he focus his attention on anything for a sustained period of time.

Do not make the same mistake I did, in thinking that he is so much more capable than his baby sibling. While yes, he is further ahead in his development, he is still very young subhanAllah.
Enjoy him, play with him, talk to him, include him when you are tending to the baby.

Montessori pre-school activities are excellent resources that can be made very cheaply at home and occupy little kids as well as helping to develop their fine motor and cognitive skills bi'ithnilllah....and are much better than buying toys!
Simple activities such as providing two small jugs and filling one jug with water to allow him to pour the water from one jug into the other. ......This may sound like such a trivial activity, but subanAllah can occupy little minds for ages as they are fascinated in pouring the water and helps their hand-eye co-ordination development! -yes you will have a little water spilt....but its just water....it will dry!

Have a look on google and pinterest for some home-made pre-school Montessori activities you can try inshaAllah! I did a quick google search and found this blog which lists 50 Montessori activities for a 2 year old. (note: not a Muslim blog).

home school advise
From my own experience, I advise you do not try to make your child run before he can walk! Really, allow him to grow at his own pace....of course you will encourage him and nurture him, but don't rush him. Enjoy him and don't be blind-sighted into forgetting he is still only 15 months old himself subhanAllah.

Talk to him, play with him, let him follow you around, because this is how he is learning. He will not learn by sitting him down at a table and telling him "now we must learn". Learning is as natural to children as breathing is Alhamdulillah. They just do it subhanAllah, and they learn a lot through play subhanAllah!

I look back to when my children were pre-schoolers, and I wish I had appreciated them for the age they were, and played with them more, because now several years later, as I try to homeschool my 5 and 7 year old, I realise how silly I was.

Enjoy them while they are still babies, and recognise that at this young age, they will learn best through natural exploration and play inshaAllah!

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