This post is in partnership with buybuy BABY, a brand I love. All opinions here are my own.
I think one of the most beneficial parts of having play dates (other than getting to have an adult conversation with a fellow mom) is that I get to see how other parents interact with their kids. I always leave with a million new ideas!
It’s easy to get into routines with how I play with my girls. Based on our mutual interests, we tend to explore the same kinds of activities: dolls, arts and crafts, song and dance, dress-up, puzzles, and books. We take lots of walks, play in our “secret garden” in the backyard, and splash in the pool.
We have a lot of fun and keep busy for hours on end, but it’s fun to add something new to the mix! Not to mention, new activities can be great skill building opportunities.
We routinely get outside to kick around a soccer ball with Eleanor, but it wasn’t until a play date with a friend who wanted to play catch, that I realized that wasn’t a skill we had spent much time fostering yet. Adding catch to our play is another great reason to get outside this summer!
At my sister’s house, gymnastics are a nightly occurrence. My nieces somersault and cartwheel around the living room while their parents offer support where needed. Eleanor eagerly joined in the fun – it was all new to her but now she performs her “somersaults” for us all across the basement!
During one of our weekly play dates, I was amazed by all of the sets of wheels present in our friend’s backyard. Bikes, trikes, riding toys, scooters – you name it, they had it! While we have a few outdoor toys like these for Eleanor, I realized that she had no idea how to pedal… and here’s where I found the perfect idea for Eleanor’s birthday present!
It’s pretty clear from Eleanor’s preferred play, that she is more confident with fine motor activities. Pedaling is a great way to support gross motor development, so I was excited to find Eleanor her first trike!
A New Set of Wheels
Jeff and I scoured buybuy BABY’s website for the perfect first set of wheels for Eleanor before finally settling on this Joovy Tricycoo Tricycle. Aside from being absolutely adorable (admittedly NOT the most important feature of a trike), it had everything Eleanor needed to feel supported on her pedaling adventure:
- Parent handle to help push and steer a child who is just learning to ride
- Removable seat enclosure (off for Eleanor, but we’ll put it on when Everly starts to ride)
- Smooth ride
- Comfy seat
- Easy steering
- Handlebar bell
- Basket for water bottles/snacks/toys
A Learning Curve
Like all things with three year olds, we’ve had the most success with mastering the trike when it’s HER idea. Learning a new skill can be frustrating, but her “sticktoitiveness” is improving every day! The parent handle is so nice for helping nudge her along and keep her out of the grass.
And in true Eleanor form, the handlebar bell is the ABSOLUTE highlight of the trike ;)
The First Step
Adding in a new component to our daily play has been really fun! It will be great to see her progress from trike, to training wheels, to bike! And along the way, I’m sure we’ll find many more fun ways to play!
Comments are open! Do you ever get ideas after play dates with friends? What are your kiddo’s favorite ways to play?
Thank you to buybuy BABY for sponsoring this post!