Tuesday, December 9, 2008

*** Simplify ***

"Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens!" Have you noticed how much pleasure your toddler can find in touching a pansy petal to his cheek? ...or the fascination in the eyes of a three year old who has discovered a spider crawling on its web? Everyone who has a one-on-one relationship with a child can get "back to basics" in a blink of an eye. Even fuzz-balls under the fridge can capture a little one's interest. Think about the toys you or your child loved most.....probably a cuddly bear, a houseful of "little round people", wooden building blocks, Colorforms shape sets, or play pots and pans, dishes and some play dough "food". A two year old can still spend hours playing with soapy suds or digging in the sand. Remember the basics when choosing toys and there will be less frustration for you AND your children. No batteries, raucous electronic voices or beeps, software that disappoints, violent games, or lost pieces in the bottom of the toybox. A gift of a big plastic tub with snap-on lid filled with age appropriate art supplies and blank paper, a plastic drop cloth, and a collection of "stuff" such as tissue tubes, stickers, rubber bands, feathers, scraps of fabric and construction paper might be one of the best gifts you could give. But don't just set it down in front of your child.... "Let's see what we can make!" could be the magic words. Don't insist on conformity or beauty. Just the experience of construction can bring great satisfaction. There are some good books on home-made instruments for parents and children to make together, combining music and craft/art. Let me hear of your successes and/or disasters. We can all learn from each other!

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