Small Town Simple

The Simplicity Adventures of a Mother and Daughter

Simplicity in Playtime

Simple PlayLauren and I have lots of conversations regarding playtime and toys with my grandson.  And these conversations have revolved around how to have lots of fun and it doesn’t involve lots of toys.  Neither she nor I are interested in our homes becoming a booby-trapped maze of toys scattered from here to yon!  Given the fact that this sweet little boy is only two, his desire and demand for toys is not all that great.  But our collective hope is that it never will be because he has too many other interests to spend his time on besides lots and lots of toys.  So our strategy has included:

  1. We go outside as much as we can.  He’s a 2 year old boy.  There is always something outside to attract his curiosity and attention.  Ant beds due to all the rain have been a big hit.
  2. Find something to poke the outdoors with.   One day not long after some snow and ice was giving way to a sunny day,  my little fella and I were anxious to go outdoors at my apartment complex.  He found a small branch that had fallen in the storm, picked it up and then began pushing and poking on everything.  So I saved the stick.  On an early spring day as we went outside, he grabbed his stick which is sitting by my front door, and this time he found a dirt pile to rearrange.  Believe me, it took every bit of coercion and bribery to finally get him back into my home.  That one found stick has led to immeasurable fun.
  3. We create games with what we have.  Located in my grandson’s bedroom are two small cloth containers that have several stuffed animals and puppets.  We now play “stack-um” with those animals.  My job is to stack them, or rather “stack-um” and his is to knock them down.  I can come through the door and he will ask, “stack-um”?  I’m his grandmother, of course the answer is yes.
  4. Find a free event to attend.  The availability of things for little ones, especially boys, can be a little tough to find.  But luckily, we have the most delightful children’s librarian at our local library and she conducts Story-Time for little tykes each week.  Most libraries have various events for small children (bigger kids too) and we have certainly been enjoying ours.  I’ve been fortunate that their schedule meshes with my work schedule and we are a twosome on Tuesday mornings listening to fun stories, a puppet show and some playtime.
  5. We sneak out for a little treat.  Sometimes to a coffee shop (I have the coffee/he has the cookie), other times to an ice cream shop.  The idea is to people watch and talk.  I know, what can a two year old toddler be telling me?  Apparently, a lot!  He’s very earnest in his conversation, so I return the favor and I’m just as serious in return.  Well…almost.  So we laugh and chat and don’t give time much of a thought.

Play leads to creativity and creativity leads to play.  Children respond to our encouragement to play, to explore, to stay curious, to question.  Play teaches us to say, “why not?”  So we strive not to become bogged in plastic, packaging and clutter.  Instead we seek the unexpected, the opportunity to discover and make something our own.

So my toddling grandson and I will continue to poke, push, read, eat and knock things over so he will stay curious.  And life will ultimately be made full.

xo, Carolyn   

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