Miss A is now 3 years old. Looking back at my post on what I did with her when she was 15 months old, our routine has actually pretty much stayed the same.
Before having no. 2, I would usually take her out in the mornings after breakfast and washing up. We'd usually see her friends or visit places like the museum and library. I'd take her out in the pram and she would fall asleep in it on the way back which I liked as I wouldn't have to fight her at home to take a nap. Nowadays the hubby has mostly taken over with the outings. He is excellent at meeting new people and arranging playdates for her so she is a very lucky little girl who has an extremely rich social life. She definitely has many more friends than I do!
Twice a week she goes to daycare which also has a kindergarten program. So she is in the 3-year-old kinder class. It has been good for her to develop social skills as she otherwise sticks very close to my husband and I.
Lunchtime usually occurs before her nap but occasionally if she naps early it will happen after. Obviously she is a lot better an eater now than when she was younger but is definitely still pretty picky. At this stage she still needs her nap to last till bedtime, usually for roughly 2 hours, give or take.
After her nap we usually play at home. If she didn't go out in the morning though then we sometimes take her out to the playground or shops in the evening.
Dinner is followed by a bath, a little more play time, sometimes a bedtime snack, teeth brushing…and then we cross all our fingers and hope she goes to sleep soon after some books and songs.
WHAT DO WE PLAY?
Now at 3 years old, her favorite thing to do is role play. The two main scenarios are going to school and playing doctor. Her medical knowledge is pretty extensive for her age thanks to being surrounded by medical people in the family. She actually has three sets of toy doctor kits…none bought by us. There's also some real stuff thrown in there like bandages, saline, an oxygen mask and medicine.
She likes playing with her dolls and the old version of Polly Pocket which used to belong to me. She's not really into building blocks, but likes the girly Lego and Friends for the characters.
Dress up and make up
Lately she has really gotten into dressing up and playing with really girly things like makeup, body glitter, nail polish etc. She also has a little handbag she carries everywhere.
As proof that you don't need fancy outfits to play dress up, her favorite items are a bunch of scarves and cloths! All you need is a little imagination. She uses a red cloth to pretend to be Little Red Riding Hood and a black scarf to be the Big Bad Wolf!
Arts and crafts
She loves drawing, painting, cutting, sticking, and generally creating a righteous mess.
Play dough/slime/kinetic sand
Play dough is one of her favorite activities. She doesn't make very complex stuff- mainly just rolling and squishing etc- but it keeps her occupied for a decent amount of time. Slime is another hit, though the super wet kind is horribly messy.
The offending slime which kept her occupied with my mum at home for 2 hours while I was at the hospital giving birth
She is slowly learning her alphabet and phonics. Generally she is pretty advanced in her speech but getting her to want to learn to read is a whole other ball game! She is one of those kids who hates learning if she realises she's learning so we have had to get creative.
A game which really helped her learn her alphabet was to hide fridge magnet letters into little kinetic sand "cakes". She would cut them open to reveal the letter and state what it is. And the amazing thing is that I didn't even have to come up with this game – she invented it herself! Generally she is better with uppercase letters and we are working on lowercase at the moment.
She still loves her books and we visit the library every 3 weeks and get around 10 books to read. A new thing she is doing though is that she insists on borrowing a "big girl" book that is full of words. And this is not so we can read it to her, she just wants to pretend to read it! She will flip through it and sometimes makes up the story herself and pretends she is reading the words aloud which is quite cute.
She has always been better at numbers because she used to love playing with cold water from the tap in the bath and I would tell her she has 10 seconds to do that (lest she freeze) and count her down out loud. And we also usually give her a 10-second countdown before she has to go to time out if she's acting up.
As inspiration to learn to count beyond 10 and also learn the value of money, we recently got her to save her gold coins for a music box she really wanted. She had to sell things and save up until she had 25 coins to buy it. She would get so frustrated counting the coins so it was also a good lesson in staying calm!
Dancing and music
She loves her music and dancing and most days insists on being in a dress…because apparently one cannot dance without a dress.
We have an assortment of musical instruments and even a DJ set. We definitely really encourage this performing arts side of her since we are both dancers and my husband used to DJ as a hobby. We encourage her to dance so much that she actually sometimes gets a little perplexed about why most of her friends (especially the older ones) don't want to dance with her when a song comes on.
I'm pleased to say she does have some natural rhythm and is pretty good at dancing (she loves ballet) but we have no plans to send her to dance classes until she is older as she tends to shut down in large groups.
So that's just some of the stuff we are doing now at this toddler/pre-schooler stage. She still does watch a lot of TV which I find is even more necessary now with no.2. My stand with TV, as I've mentioned before, is that it isn't bad as long as it's age appropriate and supervised, and it's not the only thing they're doing all day.
Now that she's in kinder, I've suddenly become quite aware of how fast she is growing. She is really her own person now…with a very strong personality! Here's to hoping I can keep up with providing her a stimulating routine with two kids!