Monday, December 31, 2012

Toddlers and the Concept of Time

     Last night, while riding in the car on the way home from Grammy & Papa’s house, Middle A asked us if Christmas was tomorrow. Would Santa be coming to our house? D and I explained to her that the Christmas holiday is over for now, but we’ll do it again next year.  Middle A is almost 3. The girl has no concept of time. She uses the words yesterday, last week, tomorrow, and next week interchangeably. She was confused, but at least understood that Christmas wasn’t happening again for a while.
     She was upset by this news, so I tried to put a fun twist on it. I told her we still had lots of birthdays and Valentine’s Day, and Easter, and which point she interrupted with a one-word question: “Summertime?”
     Of course, I explained to her that that’s when it’s hot outside and we get to do fun things like going to the lake, and to the beach, and the water park. Then she got excited. I was under the impression that she was satisfied with this explanation, but I was wrong. She had discovered something new to look forward to.....the beach.
     Fast-forward to today. Middle A has asked me no less than 372 times when we’re going to the beach. I explained to her that we had to wait until it’s hot outside. Her reply? “Mommy, the sun is shining!” So I told her we had to wait until there are lots of green leaves on the trees. Her reply? (While looking at the pine trees outside the window), “There are lots of green leaves over there!”  I tried to tell her how cold she would be outside in her swimsuit. She told me she could wear a coat. The problem is, she isn’t 100% wrong about any of these, but we simply cannot go to the beach in January.
     She’s walking around the house dressed like this:

Yes, that is a swimsuit. Yes, it is cold here. 
She doesn’t seem to mind. 

     She is still asking me when we get to go to the beach. I keep telling her we can go in the summer when it’s hot. She just isn’t getting it. I decided as a consolation I would at least give the poor girl a pedicure since she’s walking around the house in flip flops. 

At least her toes are cute. Right? 

So parents, how did you get your 2 & 3 year-olds to understand the concept of time? Do you do fun time-telling activities? Do you have posters or charts to teach them days/months/seasons, etc..? I taught 2 year-olds in daycare before I became a mom, so I always did a circle-time to teach these things to my class. Is it ridiculous to do that at home, too? What do you think?

P.S. Now Middle A wants to go to the park. It’s a step closer to home, and a drier one at that....but NO THANKS! 


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