Playing in the park. Nothing pleases him more than heading to a local park and finding a lot of other children there. Like many novel situations, he stands and watches for several minutes before determining whether or not something is safe. Once he’s sure, he dives headlong. He treats making friends the same way. He watches the other children for a while, walking right up to a group and listening in. Once he’s gathered intel, he decides whether to move on to a different group of children, find a solo playmate, or engage in whatever activity the first group decides upon.
Back and neck massage to help him nap. Since giving up milk at nap time, for months we’d pretty much given up nap time because even attempts at “quiet time” failed. One day I was too tired and desperate for my own quiet time, so I invited him on the bed for a back rub. He loved it so much, he fell asleep. Now every day I’ve been offering the same during quiet time. He doesn’t always fall sleep, but I can get a quiet break for up to an hour for fifteen minutes of back, neck, and leg massage. So worth it.
Painting with vibrant colors. We explored tempera paints for the first time together and used it as a chance to talk about color theory. He adored it and wants to do it again! (We’re starting the bidding for his debut piece, “Roads, Space Rockets, and Flowers” at $30,ooo.)
Watercolor spraying with an old sheet hung up outside. Now that it’s summer again, we can drag out the spray bottles, watercolors, and old white sheet for creative play. Leave it out in the rain to wash it away and start again, or put it away and add more layers.
Access to percussion instruments. Bang bang rattle clang ding and dong. Nothing like helping a child find his voice than providing him with copious amounts of percussion instruments.
Playing with his babydolls. Sometimes he cuddles his babydolls (Callie and Alejandro), sometimes he puts them to bed, and sometimes he walks them around the house in their tandem stroller. He asks often for assistance in clearing a path for the stroller and pushing it over obstacles. He wants to be a good daddy to his “kids.”
Anything to do with cars and other vehicles. Still obsessed, but after putting all of his non-stuffed toys into the same place in the living room (instead of in places around the house), he’s been far better at keeping track of his toys, and in putting them away in their bins.
Making boffers. Ok, he likes watching me make boffers for his sister’s 16th birthday party, and picking up the unfinished ones to play with. We have several started as PVC pipe and pool noodle foam, now to move on to applying the many colors of duct tape we bought. We’re making swords, staeves, daggers, and a couple of short swords for the three year olds.
Cuddles, lullabies, and story time. Who doesn’t like these? But as a group, they’re ubiquitous to the pleasures of being young and tiny. Three year olds are still in many ways babies, though they won’t be for much longer. Bask in all the toddler kisses and snuggles you can, because they make life sweeter by the minute. One of the latest finds at the library was quite adorable and charming. Dear Tabby by Carolyn Crimi features an alley cat who works as an advice correspondent to the local animals of Critterville. They send in letters full of their woes (and a small treat as payment), and she writes back with her sage wisdom. Definitely worth checking out.