Play Wallet for Kids

For the past 6 months or so, Tommy has had a very annoying habit of digging my wallet out of the diaper bag and pulling everything out of it. It was driving me crazy when I would get to the store and realize that my credit card or drivers license were missing… and then I would come home to find them strewn across the living room floor with his toys. I recently bought a new wallet that zips all the way around so that it’s harder for him to get into. I was going to throw my old wallet away, but my husband had the brilliant idea of handing the old wallet down to T instead. Since he’s so obsessed with it, why not give it to him?

An empty wallet would be no fun to play with, so I gathered some items and now T has his very own play wallet that he can mess with to his heart’s content without being scolded by Mommy! A win for both of us!

I found this play money at Dollar Tree with bills, coins, and a cash drawer to hold it all- and he loves taking it in and out of the different compartments in the wallet.

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I also gathered some cards for him to put in the wallet, including: an old school ID, preferred customer cards for stores I no longer live near, business cards, an old hotel key, promotional cards from the mail, and used gift cards.

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He loves having his own wallet and now he never bothers with mine anymore! Hooray!

He also likes to play a game with it where he grabs things from around the play room and “buys” them from me. He uses a little magnet doodle board as a signature pad and it’s adorable. He pretends to swipe the credit card, and then “signs his name” on the doodle board and says “Thank you! Bye bye!” Then we switch roles and he’s the cashier. I give him the fake money and he sorts it in the cash tray and puts my items in a bag for me. Cutest bag boy ever!

10986910_10101862142099279_641162979782441764_n  10488132_10101862139614259_571318793786448817_nAnother fun idea for kids who like to play cashier: take them to the grocery store when you only have a few items you need to pick up. Our local Kroger and Trader Joe’s have mini shopping carts for kids, and T gets so excited when he gets to be in charge of pushing the cart! Also, if your grocery store has a self check-out, it’s really fun for kids to help scan and bag the items if you’re only picking up a few things.

Typing with Toddlers

Typing with ToddlersEvery time my husband or I settle down at our computers, Tommy starts whining and reaching for the keyboard. It’s not surprising, since he’s totally obsessed with buttons, ABCs, and anything that makes noise when you tap it. Surely typing and using computers are skills that his generation will be expected to know, so I figure it’s not a bad idea to start teaching him these skills sooner rather than later.

I decided that before or after I sit down to do my own work at the computer, I can set aside a few minutes to let Tommy have a turn. I started out by unplugging the computer keyboard and letting him play with it on the floor. He loved seeing the letters and numbers and pretended to type like he sees me doing. Then I got down on the floor with him and pointed out the different letters and numbers and explained to him what some of the other keys are called.

IMG_2194This morning, as I was sitting on the couch trying to send an email to my sister, he kept grabbing at my laptop. I decided it was time to let him try typing and to actually see the characters come up on the screen. He loved it and looked like the most adorable little secretary typing away in his pajamas.

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Set up this fun typing activity for your little one in 6 easy steps:

1. Open a new Microsoft Word text document.

2. Change the page orientation to landscape so it fills the screen better.

3. Change the text to a simple, easy to read font, like Arial.

4. Increase the font size to at least 72 pt.

5. Pick a fun, bold text color.

6. Change the view to full screen.

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 1.05.00 PMAfter Tommy had some fun exploring the keyboard and typing gibberish, we sat down together and I helped him type specific letters and words to work on letter recognition and vocabulary.

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 3.28.56 PMFor extra excitement, I turned on text to speech in my computer settings. He thought it was so funny to hear the guy’s voice say the words, numbers, and letters that we typed.

Now go try this out with your little computer genius and come back here and leave a comment telling us all about it!