the holidays are over, the new year is upon us, and everything seems so bright and new...
these wintery days leave our cheeks rosy and our feet snuggled in warm boots.
This is a time for outdoor exploration; making us hardy towards the elements...yet our outdoor play is not nearly as lengthy as it is during the warmer months. (especially with a 17 month old!)
We spend much time indoors...toys and blocks are everywhere, all the time.
Does your house look like this by mid morning, too?
Now, messes don't bother me all that much...a messy house is a busy house! A productive house! But when W decides to knock over a huge pile of papers, throw every single one of his blocks, and generally act destructive, I know it's time to bundle up and head outside...exhale!
I've been trying to come up with some gentle sensory indoor activities that will keep him engaged and happy.
Jars of beans and other large grains are opened and scattered about the floor...the sound is unique...I offer a variety of containers for sorting and scooping. Muffin tins are awesome...wood bowls or coconut shells sound lovely...a plastic dish makes a totally different sound...and the timbre of beans being thrown into an aluminum is unrivaled...
I'm also trying to figure out a 'sensory table' for us...think lavender, grains, sand, corn cobs...scoops and small dishes...all housed in a short and deep wooden table. (Kind of like those popular "water tables" that are found in many day cares and preschools today.)
These activities can be a bit messy (there's that word again!), but with a little meaningful help, clean up is easy!
Music also plays a leading role during all seasons...sometimes I go about my day singing and I don't even realize I'm doing it! When I'm not making up my own songs (it's a good thing I am alone with W for most of the day!), we make music with instruments (lyre, tin whistle, jingle bells, to name a few...) or we enjoy charming recorded folk music..
At this time, our favorite compilation is Lorraine Nelson Wolf's "Come Follow Me". There are 2 volumes available, and I can't decide if I prefer one over the other. Mostly seasonal songs, they are sung with love and reverence for the Earth and her changing tides. I look forward to singing them with W as he grows and having them become a large part of his childhood! I'll bet a lot of you readers have already discovered this wonderful music! If not, it's well worth downloading off of itunes for $9.99!
How do you meaningfully pass the hours with your little ones during these cold months?