Little H isn’t as content to just sit and play with a box of toys or books anymore as she used to be; suddenly I have to really engage her in something if I mean to go elsewhere in the house and accomplish a task, like laundry or unloading the dishwasher. Her new mobility makes her a bit more attached to me, rather than encouraging her to be more independent as it was with the other two. I don’t mind, generally, except for when I actually need to get something done. So I gave an old simply busy standby a try: pom poms, pipe cleaners, and various kitchenware to keep her and Em contentedly occupied for a half hour or so.
They made dragon egg soup and sorted the pom poms into an egg carton. They wove pipe cleaners through the colander and pulled them out. They stirred and pinched with chopsticks, tossed and counted.
Em told her sister about colors and sizes, and Little H did a fairly decent job keeping everything out of her mouth. Em pretended to be from outer space with an astronaut’s helmet, and made a flower from a potato masher.
I kept all the materials on the floor for half the day, with the girls (and eventually Jax when he got home) coming over to it for various uses throughout the day. Open-ended play is one of the greatest gifts a stay-at-home parent can give his or her kids. How have you been setting the stage for simply busy fun at home?