Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Terrific Twos: Tandem Toddler Playtime

Last week we were thrilled to have a favorite young guest make a morning visit. Our sweet-tempered guest is about 6 months younger than Ranger, so they're both making the transition from parallel to interactive play.

Before our guest's arrival, some of Ranger's most beloved objects were placed in his room to prevent crises in sharing. We tend to play only in the public areas of the house to prevent triggering his sometimes territorial behavior.

He and our guest had a lovely time playing together with Colorforms on the fridge. The big blank space gave them lots of freedom and it was really sweet to hear them identifying shapes and colors to each other.

The big hit of the morning though had to be PAINTING (it even outranked Cheerios). A few months ago I lucked across an unopened Buddah Board at a local thrift shop (50 cents, normally ~$22). It's simple, reusable paint with water surface is great for two toddlers to share and it dries fast enough that there's always some white space available for painting.

They had a great time painting, and I loved watching them in this charming new age of (periodic) cooperation.


Christy said...

So is this better than an aquadoodle?

(We had an aquadoodle, but our dog pooped on it. Needless to say, that didn't fade away!)

adrienne said...


Yes and no.

-tabletop use lowers one child's ability to physically monopolize the space
-dries faster than an Aquadoodle
-uses brushes rather than those blasted tiny water pens
-folds and stores easily on a bookshelf when not in use (harder for dogs to access)
-tabletop use requires far less open space than a floor mat

-tabletop use might increase the chances of a fall if kids start fighting over the board
-smaller overall workspace than Aquadoodle floor mats

Ranger thinks it rather grand to use a paintbrush, so it keeps him from foraging for other writing utensils to try on the surface.

For our house (with only 1 child and limited kitchen floor space), the Buddah Board is a better fit, but your mileage may vary.

Mimi-n-Moe's Mom said...

Another con is the brush can damage the board if the toddler presses too hard. My son is having a hard time learning to paint gently!

Jen @ Rolling Through Looneyville said...

Ohhh! This looks awesome!

I have a 2.5 year old who would love this. (Though mimi-and-mo's mom's comment gives me pause)

The tandem play is so fun. I love eavesdropping on their little conversations. Somehow, short sentences about cows or doggies make for heart melting moments when overherad

adrienne said...

Hi Jen-

We haven't had any problems with the board getting damaged.

I think Moe was under 2 when this happened (his mom bought the other unopened board at the thrift shop the same day). Ranger was 2.5 when he first tried it and may have had more physical awareness of pressure applied when painting.

Jennette Fulda said...

We used to have an easel out in our garage that I loved painting on. I never could make those "happy little trees" that Bob Ross could though :)

adrienne said...

pastaqueen: Bob Ross is from Muncie, so we watched many an hour of his "happy little" commentary on their PBS station.

He's sooo soothing to listen to.