Monday, November 23, 2009

Blanket Time and Clothespin Drop

Today, I am thankful for the simple things that keep my little Ella entertained.  We have recently started training Ella to stay quiet during Blanket Time.  This is an idea that I learned after reading the book The Duggars: 20 and Counting.  The concept is that you train your child to sit on a small blanket and quietly entertain himself with a toy or book for a duration of time.  We started this training last week.  The first time, Ella sat on the blanket for two minutes, while I sat beside her and trained her - meaning, if she started to get up, I would coach her to sit back down, etc.  The second time she sat for five minutes, which seemed like a long time for my busy little baby.  I sat beside her and encouraged her to stay quiet and stay on the blanket.  The rest of the week was hectic and I didn't think about it on the weekend.  This morning, I decided to pull out the blanket again.  I spread the blanket on the floor and to my surprise (remember this is only the third time of introducing this concept) Ella sat right down on the blanket and quietly waited, while sitting still, for me to get a toy ready for her to play with. 

Today's toy was a jar and a pile of dollpin clothespins.  Ella loved this.  She would put the pins in the jar, first one at a time, and eventually getting much more efficient and picking up several at a time to put in the jar.  Then, she'd empty the jar and start all over.  She was so cute, knowing that she was not to get up, she'd stretch as far as she could when a pin would get out of her reach.  I did not talk to her today because it wasn't necessary. I still sat beside her the whole time and occassionally had to pick up the jar which would roll off the blanket.  Basically, my interaction was next to none today.  I let the timer run down the five minutes, but did not let it ring.  Instead, I stopped it and started it counting up just to see how long this activity would keep her entertained.  An additional four minutes went by before she ever tried to stand up.  My goal was five minutes today, but I was delighted to see that she was able to sit-down and quietly entertain herself for nine minutes!  After that time, I folded the blanket and put it and the jar of clothespins away for another time.