Play Everyday

365…ok 366 days of simple, inexpensive and wildly fun 2-year-old play!

Lines in the Sand

on January 20, 2012

We spent the early morning hiking around at the barn and the later half of the morning bouncing around at the gymnastics center. I was looking for an activity that was quiet and finding one that exercised his brain more than his body would be gravy.

I had pinned this product from montessori n’ such both for the idea and the caption one pinner had written below it; “Stop giving kids worksheets!!! They are the worst!”. I couldn’t agree more!

The mn’s site has lots of fun finds! I had to make-do with what I had at the moment though and so the corn meal made yet another appearance on our floor. Noah often requests to cook. If I’m able to get him involved with meal prep I absolutely will! But if we’re nowhere near mealtime he’s perfectly happy to scoop, measure, sift and stir some cornmeal or flour.

This was going to be a grand experiment in flexibility. I was taking a play activity that he pretty much owns and seeing if I could steer him, if only for a moment, to trying something new.  My first attempt to have him imitate lines was met with a firm “no” as he paused, pouting, then turned away and said “done”.  I wasn’t terribly surprised.  I was after all inserting myself into a situation where he typically has full control.  Lately his understanding of turn-taking has developed and as I mentioned in an earlier post  he’s been initiating turn-taking on his own.  “It’s ok, you can still play.  We’ll just take turns!  Right now it’s Nowie’s turn.  Come and play!”  And he did.  He continued to be receptive to my announcements of “Mama’s turn” and “Noah’s turn”.  No more pouting.  I was so proud of him!

I also amended my line imitation.  At this point they just don’t have much meaning to him.  But his own name?  He loves his name and he loves hearing us spell it.  I quickly drew up four cards; N-O-A-H.  He wasn’t too keen on any physical prompting but he did find it fun to “help Mama” so with his hand over mine, we traced the letters in the corn meal.  I felt good about our compromise.

  • Shallow pan
  • Sand, flour, corn meal or similar
  • Scrap paper and markers

Maybe the best part for Noah, the dumping…

His idea for how this should be played out…

Our compromise…



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