I used to think that toddlers love colourful toys. That vibrancy is what draws them in. I was mistaken. This beautiful toy above was presented to my son from our dear friend. It was offered with the most generous heart and best intentions but at the moment it’s mummy who plays with it most often. I think that my son will grow to like it and will learn to play with it when the time comes but now… it’s the real stuff and the real world that he seeks… so much so that the floors in our house are at times invisible while the opposite is true of our bookshelves and cupboards.
To manage this situation I created a corner for my son with the real stuff (everyday objects) to freely mess around with. The space is a hit. Both with him and with me. I cook or I do some work while he plays joyfully without my nagging. We are much happier together like this.
Looking at this little boy playing just with a simple jar I was again reminded that the ordinary in life can be a source of great adventure… perhaps it’s just about not seeing a jar as a jar…. but as something that you can… twist, turn, pat, rub, bite, wiggle, smell, wipe, stare at, stare through, scrub, make sounds with, cover your tiny teddy-bear with or catch a spider into.
I must admit I regret a few toy purchases. I should have paced myself a little and not been so swayed by their cuteness. It’s just I didn’t really appreciate the curiosity-generating powers of the real world. I didn’t understand that this is what a small child wants to know most about. So we’re going to be learning about the real world together this year. Discovering and re-discovering what’s around us. It’s Nothing New after all…
“…for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”