I walked into the girls’ room this morning while they were playing and saw these connector manipulatives strewn across the entire floor. They were not playing with them and were engaged in something else. One rule I try to enforce in our household is if they’re done playing with an activity, it needs to be packed away before they move on to something else. So I asked Miss 2 to pick the pieces up and put them all back in their container and of course her reply was “I can’t do it”.
Instead of engaging in a battle of toddler wills, I brought out this set of rainbow felt bowls from Awe and Wonder and placed it on the play mat without saying a word. Next second, the toddler got busy sorting the pieces into the different bowls.
“Need mummy’s help darling?”
“No, I can do it myself. I can do it so quickly” she replied 😂.
In less than 10 minutes, the pieces were all sorted and she carefully tipped them all into the container without me asking.
I’m not giving tips here for “How to get your toddler to clean up” because while this has worked in this instance, it may not work again on other occasion, or it might not work for every child. My point here is the importance of “Knowing The/Your Child”. Every child is different, they have different interests and strengths and they will respond to different activities.
I often get many DMs asking how I would get a child interested in an activity, how to get a child engaged in a small world play or imaginative play for instance. My answer would be not to get too focused on getting your child interested in a type of play, but to provide opportunities for different types of play and to observe and get to know your child’s interests and strengths. Eventually you’ll begin to notice patterns as you see what activities your child gravitates to or spend much time on and you’ll start to set up activities that would be right up your child’s alley (And perhaps even get some cleaning done while they’re at it 😆✌🏼).