Sometimes it’s a good idea to put out something to be played with that is similar but not exactly the same as previous play items. This gives your grandchild a chance to practise the skills they already have discovered and to try using those skills in a slightly different way.
Yesterday, after Daisy had been playing with her wooden building blocks for a while I put out a clean, empty snack tub with a lid, a small wooden spoon and just a handful of pasta and left them for Daisy to find and play in her own way. Even at 15 months a toddler can play independently and is able to use their own ideas for play.
I sat nearby, watching and always making sure that Daisy’s play was safe. Sorry about the ‘soundtrack’ by the way but I thought this was just too good to miss,
Daisy surprised me with her dexterity – picking up each piece of pasta and dropping it into the tub. I thought that she might use the wooden spoon to stir the pasta in the tub. Instead the wooden spoon went into the tub too. Daisy managed to put the lid onto the tub and then she gripped the tub on both sides and started to shake it, trying out her tub shaker.
There was lots of repetition. The lid was removed and the contents shaken from the tub and then replaced in the tub, out of the tub and in again. The tub was also turned upside down and this time the spoon was used as a drum stick on the base of the tub.
Any clean, empty tub could be used for this kind of play – a gravy granules tub, a hot chocolate powder tub or a tub that had contained sweets and more; just as long as the tub is easy enough for little hands to grip .
Another time, instead of one tub, we might put several tubs out with the dried pasta and a wooden spoon and watch Daisy again try use her skills in a slightly different way.