sand play with toddler

You don’t always need toys:

Okay it is embarrassing to admit this as a toy expert, but I was reminded of how little kids need to have fun. Our assignment after Ben was born, was to occupy Will, 18 months, each morning so mom could get some rest. After assembling all the needed items for a jaunt to the beach—snack, extra clothes, diapers, wipes, books, etc—we proudly took off, later to realize that we had forgotten the bag of beach toys. No problem. Luckily I had brought my Dunkin’ Donuts coffee so we had a cup as well as shells to scoop the sand and make castles.

Stop to examine the beautiful things in life:

On our trip through the Airlie Gardens today with azaleas and spring flowers in full bloom, Will moved at a slow pace to examine petals, pine cones, butterflies, mulch, moss, rocks and swans. Nothing was too unimportant for examination and enjoyment. Everything was an opportunity for learning. If we could only slow down and appreciate like this as adults.

Find books that YOU like and enjoy!:

I am constantly amazed at the books that kids like at every age. There is no formula. That’s why it’s best to expose them to a variety of books and see what they like. Will has a stack of books to chose from before nap and bedtime. I offered him a choice of some standbys like Corduroy and Bunny Cakes which he likes. He invariably picked Gaggle of Geese and a Clutter of Cats.  Now this would not have been a book that I would recommend or choose for an 18 month-old because it is all about the goofy names given to groups of animals like a school of fish or a gaggle of geese.  When I mentioned his preference for this unusual book to his dad, the mystery was solved. Peter said Will likes it so much because of how he reads it to him–he says it like a rap and dances to it! No wonder Will chooses that book. He gets a story as well as a show by his dad.