Growing up, I always thought I would have two daughters. I have a sister and I am female. Let’s set aside the gender norm conversations for another day (I am actually happy to have them, but as this is only our second post together, I thought I’d keep it light hearted and topical for now), and let me tell you that we were the girliest of girls. My mom would send us outside to play and I would climb a tree, sit in it, and read Little House on the Prairie or Anne of Green Gables or Little Women. My sister wouldn’t even bother climbing the tree. She’d just sit there on the ground with Baby Sitters Club. We loved dressing our Barbies and doing crafts with glitter, painting our fingernails and dreaming about the families we’d have.
So, of course, I have two boys. Despite presenting a varied range of toys (I know we’re not talking about this, but I had to), my eldest son, at 3, loves construction trucks and Paw Patrol. My youngest, at almost 1, loves balls.
All this to say that on one of our morning walks earlier this summer, my oldest son asked if we could do a “baseball week” for one of the “Mommy Camp” themes I’ve been running. So here I am, the mom who knows not a thing about baseball, hosting a baseball week for my son. And we had a great time!
It started with some most excellent books:
Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit (Not pictured.) This was the runaway hit of the week. Hands down, read it twice in one sitting and five times in one day, hit. You might say: the “home run”… Too much? Anyway, this book is about a kid who is not the best at sports but who is totally the best at math and science. When he hears about a meteor headed straight toward his home town, he takes things into his own hands and creates a plan bigger than baseball. My kid was hooked. Your kid might be too. Check this one out.
Bats at the Ballgame was a close runner up. One evening a crowd of bats gathers to…watch batty batters strike each other out. It’s a different perspective on the game (quite literally, as bats hang upside down to watch it) that my toddler found totally entertaining.
Clorinda Plays Baseball was such an unexpectedly fun book! We loved seeing how Clorinda the cow made it to the Bosstown Red Hats and discovering whether she achieved her dream. I found this one on a Pinterest book list. It was inclusive and interesting. I’m kicking myself for not writing down a quote from the book about how “anyone can play baseball, even a cow.” Now the book’s back at the library–! Well, check it out and see. It’s a darling story! We laughed and laughed.
Curious George Plays Baseball has been a hit for a while; we’ve checked it out before. We love that monkey.
In true toddler fashion, my child wouldn’t let me read or even open Dino Baseball. Who knows? Something offended him. But I was number three on a waitlist so some kiddos must love it!
Goodnight, Baseball (also not pictured) was another hit–it goes through a kid’s visit to a baseball game with his dad and is satisfyingly detailed. It was, as you’d expect, a good bedtime story for a boy whose recently been to a game with his dad. My kid loved it.
We did some fun baseball activities. Most of these were directly copied from or inspired by this list of preschool baseball trays by Smarte Parte.
(Left to right, top to bottom): ordering baseballs large to small, baseball sensory tray (with a Japanese eraser set), baseball snack, baseball lacing card (made by me, there’s also a mitt here), 3D baseball hanging (this turned out so cool), homemade baseball puzzle from this awesome collection, Red Sox hat we created with a freezer paper stencil, baseball playdough tray.
And with that, I leave you to… “play ball!” (It was too much, wasn’t it?)
A note on these “Saturday Summaries”: I plan activities each week to do with my children as part of a strategy to have an orderly, interesting home for our toddlers. I’ve found that planning something fun helps me parent better–when I’m excited and invested in the day, my children are too. This creates an atmosphere of respect and mutual cooperation that carries over to better behavior.