Tuesday is one of Mabel’s preschool days, and it’s really nice to have some quality time with Greta. She seems to respond really well to the calmer atmosphere. Mabel has just started doing full 6 hour days at preschool, rather than just afternoons, so it means that we now have more time to do some bigger activities. This morning, I wanted to use the builders tray because we haven’t got as much use out of it since I brought it as I thought we would. So, after I finished cleaning, I thought let’s make a load more mess. Why not, it’s what us mums live for isn’t it? So, inspired by the time Mabel emptied a whole bag of flour onto the kitchen floor and started making ‘snow angels’, I decided to set up some ‘crazy cooking’.
I gave her a selection of dry ingredients in different containers, a variety of baking molds, bowls and cups, three different spoons and a jug of water. I gave her warm water because I thought it might make the dry ingredients change more when she added it.
Then I sat down with a cup of tea and a pain au chocolate, to watch. I thought if nothing else, it’s going to be good entertainment. I’ve not really done anything like this with Greta for a long time, and I’ll be honest, I was expecting carnage. So I was quite surprised when she started quite sedately just mixing the oats and rice with a spoon, and I couldn’t work out if I was relieved or disappointed.
Before long though she discovered the flour, and things just got messier from here on in really. She did give me a few hesitant looks, to see if I was going to tell her to stop making a mess I think. You can tell she’s never been to nursery, where messy play is a daily occurrence! She even stopped to wash her hands in the middle of playing bless her.
This is such a great activity because you can just use whatever you happen to have in your kitchen cupboards, no planning required. It’s also great because it covers sensory exploration, fine motor skills, role play, space, shape and measure, problem solving, communication and language, basically everything.
Yes it’s a fairly big clean up, and I admit, I did kind of stand staring at it for a while not knowing where to start, but the tray makes it a lot easier than it could have been. I actually ended up just moving the tray somewhere out of reach and finishing cleaning it later because Ernie started crying. We don’t do this sort of thing every day, I’m not mad. But she did play quietly for 45 minutes and
I got to sit down and drink a hot cup of tea, and that is a definite win. In fact, she didn’t make a single demand of me for at least 45 minutes, I’m pretty sure that’s a record for the toddle-monster.
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