Chances are your toddler sometimes throws a tantrum by dropping objects, a tactic that I find far more adorable than effective. It’s a good thing tantrums are so darn cute at this age! Harness that toddler love of all-things-dropping with this fun game, and you might just turn a tantrum into giggles.
When we first played, Veronika was in a good mood. The idea was just to have fun dropping! Over an empty oatmeal canister, we dropped in clothespins (the non-pinching kind) and small golf balls.
Veronika loved peering inside to see where the items landed, as well as the “plink” that they made as they fell.
For a little extra strength-building, put the clothespins on the edge of the canister so your child has to pull them off before he or she can drop them in.
I also encouraged her to stand up so she could see the items falling from a greater height. This turned out to be easier using a large storage container instead of the small oatmeal one. If you’re comfortable with the idea, you could even let your child stand on a chair for greater height!
Returning to the oatmeal container: once it was full, we put on the lid and rolled it across the floor.
Then she delighted in prying off the lid to begin again.
Drop anything else in the container that seems fun, too! Little stuffed toys got lots of giggles.
Later in the day came the real test; could a dropping game turn a tantrum frown upside down? She was quite moody in her high chair, so I set out the three items we had used earlier: the clothespins, the golf balls, and the small soft toys.
She immediately scattered some to the ground, no doubt daring me to make a stern mommy face and to say, “No”.
Imagine her surprise, then, when I exclaimed, “Dropsie!” and returned the items to her tray with a smile.
So she tried it again. Take that, mommy. “Dropsie!” I said happily.
Well now she was smiling!
This was such a fun way to divert a tantrum, to harness her love of dropping, and to teach cause-and-effect, too. Plus toddlers will love seeing a parent scramble around to pick up the dropped items and return them to the tray.
The only note of caution here is not to play this game too often, else you’ll find yourself endlessly playing “dropsie”.