One thing I am really enjoying about this stage in my daughter’s development is play. Having a toddler around invites you to be a part of this new world that you never would be typically. It’s a world of discovery, experimentation, innovation, creativity and boundless possibility. It’s a world in which you can completely lose yourself, learn something new and try out a different way of being in the world. The following are a few things I have learned along the way.
You will never be able to predict what will be a hit so don’t even try
The biggest hits with my girl so far have been an ancient leather pouffe that she likes to climb on, jump off and laugh hysterically at. She is also obsessed with stacking old plastic shot glasses that were hanging around the cupboard. Added to that, the perennial favourite, the humble cardboard box, is a massive hit. Why anyone bothers to buys actual toys I don’t know.
They will play with things in a way that you don’t understand. Just go with it
Cups are shoes. Nappies are crowns. You don’t understand nor are you meant to. This is the magical world of toddler play and your job is to enter their world with a whole heart and an open mind. Leave your preconceived ideas at the door and jump in.
You will get way more into it than you ever imagined
I had no idea I could become so entranced with pouring water from one vessel to another. Or so mesmerised by making shapes in the sand. I find myself getting completely drawn into this other world. Why did we ever stop playing again?
Trust the play
Toddlers will perform sixteen controlled experiments before breakfast and put the best scientists to shame. Play is the highest form of learning and you can trust that when left to their own devices, whatever they are doing is facilitating their learning in exactly the right way, at exactly the right time. No need for parental intervention.
Having the privilege of watching this magic unfold, I am asking myself how I can bring a little more play into my own life. How do you bring play into your life?