digging, scooping, shoveling
Lilly is really into digging, shoveling, and scooping lately. These sorts of activities can keep her busy and in deep concentration for at least 30 minutes, sometimes 45.
These are good activities in a backyard that is full of dirt and stones, and especially when that backyard is in need of some work. Perhaps one of the best things about this house not being “finished” or close to it is that I don’t feel much pressure to keep things in the order that they’re in right now. Do I want her to behave respectfully and cleanly when possible? Absolutely. But letting her dig in a pile of loose stones or in an unplanted garden box full of dirt is always okay in a backyard as deserving of work as ours is!
Also, we like to joke that the digging effort shown above is one reason we had kiddos in the first place. Big yard = lots of yardwork. Many hands make light work and all of that.
On a chilly, overcast day, we pulled the dried-peas-filled sensory bin out. It’s another good place to dig and play, but only gets airtime when mama thinks she can handle 4,593,243 dried peas all over the carpet.
The sensory bin is all over pinterest, so you’ve undoubtedly seen it before. We’ve been playing with it sporadically since Lilly was 8-9 months old. It’s cool to see how her play has changed in the past year — more purposeful movements, longer attention span, deliberate shoveling of peas into containers, language accompanies her activities (“Lilly June scoop up peas!”).
What I’m finding out about toddlers is that sometimes the most simple activities are the best. Also learning that: things that might be a little dangerous are always the most attractive, messy is the new clean, and any materials that I put out for play/activities are open for reinterpretation.
Take, for example, the swimming pool. Earlier this week, Jason filled it up fully expecting her to hop in it and splash. Lilly had a different idea — she grabbed the dogs’ outdoor water bowl, scooped up some water, and poured it all over the stone patio.
Then, she discovered that it was really fun to splash in the dirt.
Of course she was scooping and splashing and digging in the wet dirt. It made perfect sense once she started with these activities, since they seem to be some of her favorite activities. How silly that Jason and I weren’t able to predict that this is what she’d do with a baby pool full of water!