A couple of weeks ago, I wrote generally about Asher’s play. I wanted to expand on that as in just a few short weeks, I have noticed his interest, concentration and language has shifted somewhat. In my attempt to be mindful and present focused, I slowed down and observe. It makes me realise how much he has grown since this post 6 months ago.
Playing by himself– Since Asher was a little bub, he prefers someone to play with him. Understandably so, since playing with mummy or daddy is so much more fun than playing by himself. Lately though, I catch him wandering and exploring, coming up with little games by himself. His language has grown, and with that he reasons with himself. As he approach a puzzle, he talks to himself- problem solving along the way. “This goes there. No it doesn’t. That one fits better”. Or “Hello yellow car, you need to go to the petrol station for fuel”.
Imaginative play-That has expanded too. Using a water bottle as a “traffic light”. The tissue paper box as a “petrol station” or perhaps a block of towers as “school”. His ability to imagine and make things out of nothing still amazes me.
Shopping/Role plays– This cracks me up. We have a play kitchen. He would take his shopping basket, fill it up with groceries, pay for it using his toy cash register and proceeded to head to the kitchen to pack away and cook us a meal. He was really pretending to be ME! He cooks us breakfasts (eggs of course), and make us tea. We have tea parties where he would pretend to boil water, complete with a jug of milk. We would pretend we are a zoo, and play act different animals (slide like a snake, crawl like a bear, hop like a kangaroo, walk like a duck)
Vehicles– He is starting to categories now. He talks about emergency vehicles versus transport vehicles (Although of course emergency vehicles are also transport vehicles). We talk about ambulances, fire engines and police cars. We point out different reasons for using these services. He would pretend to be a pilot and want to fly a plane. Then a fireman next to fight fires. Of course he loves zooming his cars and play racing with them. We use concepts like fast and slow, over and under. We spoke about car safety and seat belts. We point out traffic lights in real life and talk about road safety (possibly a little too well because now he is scared of walking in car parks!). Hubby even takes things one step further and do mini excursions on the public buses with him! He is still into his Thomas the tank engines but thankfully has also expanded that to general trains and cars.
Puzzles– Not only is he enjoying putting puzzles together, he is also liking flash cards. Matching games, and even counting ones. Although his concentration isn’t quite there yet and he often mis count, he makes me realise how fun learning can be. We match clock numbers to a real clock, we match numerical numbers to pictures of items. We have alphabet puzzles, transport ones and even robots where we have figure out the pattern.
Music– Where do we even begin? He really loves music now. We bought him a drum kit and he totally loves it. He has a keyboard and he sings into the microphone. Then of course we have bells and tambourines. We dance to music and even when I’m doing food prep, he would start jumping and swaying, looking at me cheekily hinting that mummy should dance.
Books-His favourite place to go to..the library. He loves books and more books. He likes books with transport, construction and more recently, even books on numbers.
Rough Play– Tickles and more tickles. Jumping and running. He loves sitting on my tummy and then falling onto the carpet. We do old games like “aeroplane”- one that I raise him up using my legs while lying down. Upside down is another favourite. Climbing up and down stairs. I’m starting to introduce hoping to him. He likes his ball and would kick, throw and roll. We are attempting bouncing next. He loves his slides and play ground.
Messy play– He loves his play dough and painting. We haven’t got much into finger painting though although we have tried stamping. He enjoys water play quite a bit.
Fine motor skills– We do a little threading, and he does like putting stickers on books. His pencil grip isn’t quite there yet but there is no hurry. His is interested in colours and doing a little scribbling at times. We do sorting out using tongs. We use colour pom poms and sort them into different tins. We try to talk about how sometimes we sort by shape, and other times by colours.
Gardening– I can’t say I do heaps of that. Hubby do that a lot more with him. He would help to water the plants with hubby pointing out to him how things grow. He has a look of pride when he takes in some herbs for me as I cook a tomato sauce for instance.
Playing with friends-There is still a degree of parallel play, but I’m noticing that he is starting to attempt to interact with his friends. Perhaps sitting near them and showing them his cars. Perhaps chasing them while “driving” his car. He would laugh and clearly enjoying the company of his friends. He has started telling me who his friends are, and would ask to visit them. He is still not very good at sharing yet- but at least would sometimes pass the item to me , telling me that he is done with it and wanting me to pass it to the friend.
So there we have it. I might miss some more but just writing this down makes me realise how much he learn through play. Certainly toddler hood is all about fun and I wish he will continue to have this inquisition of learning.
I am back to baking cookies more regularly and this was one using some leftover dried figs. Figs and hazelnut goes quite well together. Asher loves mixing things and sit on the counter top watching me put these cookies together. He makes me realise that everything is interesting, and while I’m easily on auto mode, being with him helps me to slow down and smell the roses (or the cookies in this case). That is the beauty of having a toddler.