Last night I was in the middle of cooking dinner and Gabe was underfoot, whining and demanding I pick him up. Normally I would plop him in his high chair with some finger-food. Unfortunately, I'll normally end up feeding him his dinner before we eat and then he isn't happy to sit still while we're enjoying our food. So, I thought to myself, "We've been practicing blanket time for a good 3 weeks, now is a great time to use it!"
It was perfect! I had 40 minutes to myself while the boys, Drew included, sat on a blanket in the living room and played with a toy. Drew insisted on participating and actually asked for blanket time so he could be a good role model for his brother! Gabe was so good, he only went to get off 1 time and I just looked at him and told him to get back on his blanket. He turned right around and sat! Who says a 1 year old can't understand our simple commands! I was so impressed with Gabe's obedience!
For those who want to enjoy the blessings of blanket time, all you need is a blanket and a toy. You begin by putting your child in the middle of the blanket and sit close by and pretend to read a book. When they stand up or walk off the blanket, simple walk over and place them back on the blanket and say in a bright chipper voice, "No, No, Its blanket time!" Repeat as necessary. (Note, blanket time is suppose to be fun so if you get frustrated try and wrap it up as soon as you can!) I started out with about 5 minutes and slowly added time. It is so much fun to actually sit and watch your child play with a toy! Drew is a little old for blanket time, but he still asks for it, especially since we've started training Gabe. Drew enjoys the activity, when he was little his toy was books. He learned at an early age to sit and read. He is our little book worm! We normally had blanket time with Drew while I was cooking dinner, he would sit and look at books while I cooked and listened to some quiet music. It made for a peaceful hour from 4:30-5:30pm, which is normally the worst hours for mom's!
Blanket time is a great training tool we've taught the boys starting at about 1 year. It allows them to develop longer attention spans, work on self control, as well as obedience. Its so simple! We always start and end the exercise on a good note, and I do lots of praises while they're learning to enjoy blanket time. I want them to see blanket time as fun and a great activity to enjoy. Its also a handy tool when you go someplace, like the doctor, and you need the child to not wander off. I recently went to a meeting where Gabe was still a little under the weather. I didn't want him spreading germs in the nursery so he had blanket time, while I enjoyed a meeting with friends.
Blanket time is a huge asset in our tool box of resources for training children without going insane enforcing rules!