** Boogie is 29 months old**
While Boogie did have some fun with this theme, I have to confess that I am beginning to rethink how we are doing tot school. He enjoys the trays from time to time, but today I asked him if he wanted to sit and play with his trays with Mama and he said "No. Play with trains." And that is how most days go. I think if I want to be child-led, I need to spend more time fully engaged at the train table, and less time mentally preparing tot school activities that he is not as interested in. The things that I plan that he does enjoy for an extended length of time are the random sensory activities, like water play and, very recently, messy play. So, I think I should focus on planning and preparing those kinds of things for now. I don't have a plan for next week yet, so maybe I will leave the same trays out for more than one week and continue to think and pray about it. When we play with the play dough or the sensory bin, if I am sitting with him and fully engaged, he is likely to be as well, but he does not often pull those out on his own either. I love planning and preparing the trays, bins, and play dough, but maybe I need to put it on hold until he is a little bit older and more interested. Like I realized with the worksheets and crafts. He really has to be in the mood to do that kind of activity. Or maybe I need to come up with a million train, car, and truck trays. Maybe that should be my next step. I will keep y'all posted, and you will see here how things are going as well. I am sharing all this because of my resolve to be more transparent. If you read all that, thanks for caring :)
Reminder: Please do not pin pictures of my children!
While the trays are often hit or miss, Boogie did really enjoy a couple of the mitten trays in ways I didn't think of.
He tried the mittens on, like I thought he would. But he also dusted while wearing them, smelled them, and checked himself out wearing them.
He did not think the little felt mittens and mini-clothespins were nearly as adorable as I thought he should.
He enjoyed spreading the letter mittens out all over the floor and looking for the lowercase O because it is a circle and he is still obsessed with circles. He wasn't into matching them at all. But we did sing our ABCs and the Leap Frog letter phonics song.
He did the mitten lacing once, and was much more interested in the string hanging down and making it flick and wiggle than he was in practicing fine motor skills.
He did really enjoy the sensory bin when I pulled it out for him after making it. He thought the hats were the tops of the shot glasses, which was very cute. And he loved the necklaces and put them on both of us. He stacked the shot glasses, like I thought he would. He did a lot of pea dumping. And he dumped out all the pots of gold. He liked the finger puppets if I was wearing them but wasn't really interested in wearing them himself.
We had some fun with our play dough, hiding and finding jewels and gems.
Boogie actually did want to color one day, but not the mitten pages I had for him. He wanted to color trains. So I printed off some sheets for him. I am actually not sure from where, but I got to them from a Google image search.
Here is some of that messy play I was telling you about. I got this idea from Play Create Explore.
I got a bunch of things that were either stale, expired, or that we have in excess out of various places and gave him small samples in a muffin tin to cook with along with some cooking utensils. At first, when I was getting the ingredients together, he thought I wanted him to use his play dishes. He was so excited to get to use mine! And he kept trying to steal food before I was ready to give it to him. He loved this and would have done it for ages longer but my timing was all off, as it has been several times lately, and we had to stop. He did do some tasting (expired whole wheat flour and lime jello are gross, he discovered much to his chagrin) and made a huge mess but he really enjoyed it.
Nothing keeps Boogie happy while I am washing dishes or making food for Bam Bam like a tub of water. This time, I added blue food coloring when he was already playing. He loved watching it swirl and making it dissolve with his bulldozer. As soon as it was all mixed he asked for green then yellow. He played until there was not much water left. I try to have a balance between reminding him that the water stays in the bin and letting him do what he wants as long as he is sitting. I let him dump it outside the bin, but tell him when it is gone, it is gone, and then stick to that.
We also had some nice weather and played with chalk outside. Circles, of course.
When I needed a break from his trains and wanted to make his cars more interesting again, I made him a parking lot. Each place I have seen the idea traced it back to a post that no longer exists because the blog name changed. The woman who first did it now blogs on Love and Lollipops so I will link to her there, though I got the idea from Parenting in the Moment. I am ashamed to say that I snapped at him during the process because he was undoing each step as I was doing it. Every time I stuck a parking space to the black paper, he pulled it up. I snapped at him a couple times before I remembered that this was supposed to be fun. And it isn't about whether his trains are boring to me after a hundred thousand hours. If he is happy, I need to remember that spending time with him is the most important thing. I told him I was sorry and he told me to sit in time out. So I did. I needed it!
Random gross motor fun- Boogie was being a nut and having fun balancing between the couch and storage ottoman. Silly boy. Probably really good exercise though! Maybe I should try it!
And, because they are so stinking adorable, my boys. Boogie being loving, and Bam Bam looking resigned.
Linking up to Tot School at 1+1+1=1.