Toddler creative play in box

As parents we are bombarded with the next best toy coming out on the market. Having walked through the many floors of the 2008 International Toy Fair in New York City, I was overwhelmed with the spirit of invention, creativity and passion to find that next best toy, book or game. I get caught up in it too. I love when a package arrives with new products to review and I can see what some of my favorite manufacturers are introducing.

Then I come down to earth when I see a toddler fascinated with a cardboard box that has become his ship, house or fort. I drove up to a fantastic grandma’s house the other day and right next to her beautiful gardens were two huge cardboard container boxes from a furniture delivery. Little scribbles were on the sides and windows and doors were cut out for play.

Yesterday I spent almost an hour with little Ian who was busy with just a watering can and the hose. He never tired of asking mom to turn on the hose, filling up his can and watering every bush he could find in the yard. In the meantime we discovered leaves that looked like rabbit ears, purple flower petals, bugs, sticks and even a bale of hay that Dad left behind.

Springtime is a wonderland of new sounds, textures, objects and colors. Let you child lead you to what he loves and describe it for him and give him a little more information. Show him the tree where the petals fell from, collect sticks and compare sizes, talk about an empty and full watering pot, and describe the furry rabbit ears. When you follow your child’s lead and his interests, he takes in more language and will be talking sooner.