Living life in the carpool lane..

Posts Tagged ‘play


The girls love playing in my closet.  They love hiding in my clothes.

M says she’s a shirt whenever she hides inside.  K loves hiding around just like her sister.

That photo above?  Well, they’re being shoes!  Duh!

Thank goodness for a clean closet, right?

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We recently attended a Science and Engineering Kid’s Festival.  Because we have young children, we spent a good amount of time in the pre-K section of the event.  There, they had sensory bins for the little toddlers to play with.  K fell in love with the rice bucket.  It was difficult to pry her away to explore more of the event.

In M’s preschool class, during the morning’s open play time, they have a big table that is full of rice and different toys.  M loves spending time at that table.  K stares at it whenever we drop off M, but she’s too short to reach the table.

In true ‘mom’ fashion, I decided to finally create my own.

In my mind, it was perfect.  I could set it up in the dining room.  It could keep them occupied while I prepared dinner.  I could set up the lap top on the dining table and creat blog content.  They’d be safe and in one place and I wouldn’t have to hover.


Yes, the girls can spend up to an hour at the bin just playing around.  M loves to bring in different toys to see how they work in the rice.  K absolutely loves running her fingers through the rice.

While M is used to keeping the rice inside the bin as much as possible, I totally forgot that K is 15 months old and right in the middle of her ‘tornado’ phase.

The second I opened up the bin, K grabbed a handful and emptied it out onto the floor.

Rice everywhere.

The idea of being not having to hover over her flew out the window.

Oh well.

I’ve gotten a few suggestions on how to have a minimal mess with the rice bin, but I would love to see if anyone else has any ideas.

I do admit, the girls LOVE the rice bin.  I’m not even annoyed when I have to sweep up the floor every time!

What other types of sensory bins do you have?  How do you control the mess?

I was watching M a lot yesterday.

Just observing her.  I was watching her play, listening to her talk, watching her run around from room to room.

It’s the first time in awhile where I just sat and observed.

Being her mom, I don’t notice the changes unless I really sit and take notice.

She’s grown.  She’s definitely gotten taller.  She’s all legs!  She can reach the door knobs without getting on her tiptoes.  When she lies on the couch with her leg dangling off, she can now reach the floor.  She climbs in and out of the desk chair and couch with so much ease. 

She has a full head of hair.  It’s not thick, but it’s not so thin that you see right down to her scalp.  There’s a bit of her hair that can reach down her neck and a little past her shoulders.  She has a curl at the end of her hair.  She constantly has hair in her eyes which makes me want to go get her hair cut, but there’s another part of me that’s totally terrified of her hair getting messed up.

Her type of play consists of pretending to eat, cook, or feed.  She loves her dolls.  She will carry and sway them.  She bounces her baby doll and says, “Jump, jump, jump.”  She knows how to match colors on her pegboard (see here). 

After the library incident (see here), I’ve been working on sitting with her and coloring.  She loves markers over crayons (who doesn’t?!) and can tell me the colors of most of them.  Her hand/eye coordination has improved tremendously as she can uncap and cap the markers with minimal help.  She can sit and color with me for anywhere between 5-15 minutes, depending on her mood. 

She knows how to match people with pictures.  When there is a picture of me somewhere, she will point to the picture and point to me.  It’s as if she’s saying, “that’s you in the picture.” 

Her pronunciations of words has gotten a lot better.  She has the ability to answer questions without forcefed answers.  She constantly repeats when she hears on TV, plays along with her TV shows, and the words are easily understood.  I love listening to her talk. 

She LOVES to sing.  She’s my duet partner.  We can belt out a “Sofia the First” song like nobody’s business.  She’s still not into dancing, but I’m hoping that will kick in later.  Right now, she’s my little singer.  I love duets!

She’s growing up.  I see her everyday and those days just fly on by.  The day to day gets so monotonous, I forget that I’m raising a little human being.

But I’m glad I took a day to step back and really watch her.  I’m glad to see that she’s progressed so much over these past months.  I pray that the progress continues at this steady pace.  I pray that I can look at her again after a few months and recognize changes once again.

Have you ever just watched your child and noticed change?  I’d love to hear what you think.

I’m not one to confine my daughter to strictly girlie things..

It’s not my fault that she tends to gravitate toward pink things (or is it?!), or Disney Princesses, or Dora the Explorer..

When she was younger, Hubby and I experimented in the Target toy aisle.

Hubby and I grabbed an obvious “boy toy” and an obvious “girl toy.”  We picked some Avengers toy for the boy toy.  The packaging was all blue, has all those action toy graphics.. seriously boy.  For the girl toy, we picked some super pink Barbie thing.  The packaging was pink, with florals and swirlies.. totally girlie.

We took her to the middle of the main aisle, so the toys couldn’t cloud her judgement, and we whipped the toys out in front of her at the same time. 

Each time, she would gravitate toward the girl toy. 

Being the scientists we are, we did this several times, on several occasions.. and she always picked the girl toy..

That was when she was less than a year old..

Now, it seems that her love of toys and tv shows has gone beyond “girl” things. 

She currently LOVES Thomas & Friends and Jake & The Neverland Pirates.  Both shows seemed to be geared toward boys. 

Both shows have girl characters in it, but if you notice the marketing, it seems to be more towards boys. 

I really have yet to see any girl clothes with Thomas or Jake on it.  I would really love to get M a shirt, but we haven’t found one yet.  If you see one, please let me know! 

I think its really great that she’s into these things and that she isn’t restricting herself to all princesses and tea sets. 

She has one toy train, and one Jake doll.  She loves them both, and true to her girlie style, she loves to hug and kiss them. 

Would the feeling of acceptance be the same if M was a boy playing with girl toys? 

Share your stories of boy/girl toys here in the comments!

M’s new sippy cup has a simple plastic covering over the spout so when we travel, it’s covered up from all the germs in the air..  In her carseat, she wanted something to drink so I have it to her with the cover lifted up.  She started biting the cover so I took it off, but she asked for it back “ahn” (babyspeak for “on”) again.  I attached the cover back on, and covered the spout with it so she wouldn’t bit the cover.  She figured out how to remove the cover off the spout and proceeded to bit the cover.. TODDLER TRIUMPH!

M has tons of large toys that serve as a silent barrier to places that she isn’t supposed to go to.  A lot of these toys have wheels and can be easily moved, but for the longest time, she never realized this.  The other day, she took one of those barrier toys and wheeled it away.  She noticed the space it created and the area that opened up for her, and without hesitation, walks right into it.  Oh, the look on her face.. TODDLER TRIUMPH!

M loves those toddler cups with the straws (similar brand to the sippy cups we use for her).  I remember the day she realized that she can remove the straw to make a nice wet puddle in her highchair tray… TODDLER TRIUMPH!

These kids are definitely smarter than we give them credit for.  Their curiosity and need to touch everything and anything gives them the drive to discover things you wouldn’t think they were old enough to figure out.  The looks on their faces when then do figure them out is priceless.

Share your toddler triumphs in the comments!  I’d love to hear them!

Did I mention that hubby gave me an iPad for my birthday?

He did.

And Little M LOVES that thing. 

We have the Watch Disney Jr App and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Interactive Episode on it for her.

But she loves the front-facing camera, she loves Facetime with her grandparents..

And she loves that home button.

If given an opportunity, she LOVES pressing that button over and over again.  We have to put our finger over it to hide it so she doesn’t do so.  I’m afraid she might break the thing!

She even knows how to turn the screen on after it’s been off for awhile.. that home button!

We try to limit her use of the iPad because I know she could probably play with that thing all day. 

We definitely don’t want to be those parents that stick an iPad in front of their kid all day to prevent them from acting up or being wild..

But.. she starts to throw little fits when we take the iPad away.  She doesn’t buy the whole, “iPad is sleeping.. we gotta put it away” speech I give her.. she just throws a fit!

I know not to give into it.  I can usually distract her by singing a silly song, or showing her some of her toys.. I just don’t want her to get addicted.  She has her whole life to stare in front of a computer monitor.. why start now?

What are some ways that you incorporate the use of iPads with you toddler?

Little M has discovered the art of playing pretend.

She pretends she’s eating something.. either off the floor, out of her hand, out of my hand, or out of a picture..

It’s actually really cute to see.

At first, we thought she was actually eating something and I’d have to go in and try to fish something out of her mouth.  After watching her a few times, we noticed that she really wasn’t taking anything into her mouth, just making the actions of eating..

I had no idea the act of pretending came on so early in toddlers.  I thought that was something they did as they got older, like at age 3 or more..

She has a picture of a little animal family eating dinner at a dinner table and she loves to eat off of the table in the picture.  Sometimes, she likes to have her actual puff snacks on the picture table so she can really eat off of it.  What a silly girl.

The other day, she figured out how to pretend feed me!  Now she “gets” food from a picture, or her toy box and walks over to me and says “ahh ahh” and puts her fingers in my mouth.

I’m absolutely loving this age!

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April 2020