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Little and Big things

Life is always different than we expect. My time with Alywillow has come to an end – I am so grateful for the flexibility AW provided in my work schedule, but I’m really really excited for this new chapter. I am staying home with S full time which is such a dream come true.

I’ve been trying to think about what staying at home means for my personality type – I love having concrete ways to measure my progress, basically, I like to have boxes to check off. Which means I have to make a list and boy, do I love making lists.

Here is one of the first things I’m adding to the list:

Engage in more messy play!

The Montessori Method puts a really heavy emphasis on hands-on and tactile play/learning. That can mean things like choosing wooden toys over plastic or offering a more open-ended toy (like blocks) rather than an electronic toy. But sometimes tactile means messy play and I’ve avoided really trying these things out! When the weather was warmer, S and I did some water play outside which she LOVED and I did too because there was no clean up!  But now that the weather is colder and we’re stuck inside, I assumed any sort of messy play would mean a huge MESS!

What I’ve failed to take into account is that S is a totally different kid than she was 4 or 5 months ago! We’ve been working so much on boundaries and she’s made really great progress so this morning we tried out something that I’ve seen on one of my favorite YouTube channels – the lentil tray. This one was super simple, I filled the bottom of a pie plate with lentils and gave her a scooper and small bowl. It was a hit! She occupied herself for a solid thirty minutes with very little intervention from me. The first few times we had lentils outside the bowl, I asked her to please keep them inside the bowl and she did such a good job. Of course there were a few accidents – there are definitely lentils on my floor. But the image in my head of the whole bowl being poured over the edge of the counter turned out to be not a concern.

Every time I pull out the lentil tray now, we’ll go over the boundaries again but I’m not terrified of it anymore! Now I want to try out all kinds of messy play ideas – hello paint!

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