Yesterday, Choo-choo and I were playing with a rainbow-colored plastic spring. I’m sure you all know what I am talking about. The Slinky that isn’t a Slinky. I showed Choo-choo how to get the spring to “fall” down each stair by itself. We then reenacted this with his play table and some boxes.
It got me thinking. The not-Slinky is such a simple yet complex toy. So many children’s toys are deceptively “simple.” Kids learn an abundance of new things from play: Fine and gross motor skills, language, social development, and creativity, to name a few.
As parents, we teach our kids while they play, if we can. But there is also beauty and joy in watching your child learn things on their own. For instance, Choo-choo attempted all different kinds of experiments with his non Slinky in an effort to see what exactly it could do. Now, as an observer, I knew there was no way most of his ideas would work. As his mom, I was all for him trying whatever he wanted. I knew he would receive so many more benefits trying his ideas as opposed to me saying, “No, that won’t work.”
It just so happens that the other day, we read “What Do You Do With An Idea?” by Kobi Yamada. Choo-choo has had the book since Christmas but hadn’t shown much interest in it until recently, now that he know what it is to have an idea and what it is called.
If you are unfamiliar with the book, it encourages children to grow their idea and not to be afraid or ashamed of them. I do my best to teach this to Choo-choo. I want him to know he is smart and clever and loved.
After playing, I had to make dinner. As I struggled to slice open some butternut squash, Choo-choo said to me, “Keep trying, Mommy. You’ll get it.”
Oh, my heart ❤
Despite all my fears and worries, these kind words from my sweet boy tell me we are doing a great job.