The house is unnaturally quiet except for his little voice.
“I do it?”
“I help you mum?”
“I want pick up…. Mum, PICK UP!”
You see Noah has very rarely been at home on his own. There were a few hours here or there last year when Morgan was at kinder, but we tended to fill up that time doing all the errands that are easier to do with only one child. This year is different. This year, every week day is just him and me (and occasionally Daddy depending on his shifts). I knew this change was going to take some getting used to… for both of us.
So this year there will be a lot of ‘back to basics’ toddler activities set up just for Noah. No more tagging on the end of the more grown up activities with a little help from me. This year it is all about being two and a half.
There will be a lot of parallel play with Noah doing his thing beside me, while I do mine. There will be a lot of outside play. There will be delightfully simple art activities that are all about the doing. There will be sneaky little play spaces set up just for one little boy to stretch his imagination. And there will be a lot of sensory play.
Sensory play is where we started last week. Something simple, to engage him and keep him busy, and something soothing to ease the anxiousness and hopefully stop him asking “Where’s Dodo? Where’s Iddy? Wheres Mordan?” a million times a day.
A simple tub of salt.
Daddy’s work uses salt in some of their processes (he makes medicine) and they throw away the left overs. Sometimes Daddy brings home a couple of kilograms of left over salt. Usually we use it to make play dough, but today we tried something different.
We dumped the salt into one of our ‘single person’ sized tubs.
“Yook Mum! Rocks!”
The salt was full of big hard rock-like lumps so we stole the hammers from the tap tap set and hammered the ‘rocks’ with much joy and excitement.
Once the rocks were all but gone I dug out a scoop (saved from a box of laundry detergent) and a funnel. Nothing fancy, yet Noah sat and scooped and funneled and hammered and ran his fingers through the salt and scooped some more…
Simple, salty, fun.
If you have a toddler, keep your eye out for more simple toddler friendly activity ideas as Noah and I navigate and enjoy our year of just us two.