Simple Salt Play

February 5, 2013

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.

salt play

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.

salt play

“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.

simple salt play

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.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Alana February 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm

it must be quiet only having one at home!! i think all three of my kids would love to play with salt like that, guess its just a little tool that inspires some imagination!

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Alice February 5, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Really looking forward to your posts this year. I have a 16 month old girl, so love new ideas – and as first time mum, most ideas are new!

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Anna, Sydney April 3, 2013 at 11:22 pm

This looks like fun but I do have such a problem with my 15 month old to not eat every. single. thing. I put in front of her. Except for food of course… sigh. Instead of having fun tearing papers, playing with leaves, sticks or whatever I can think of, I seem to spend more time settling tantrums when I try to stop her from eating whatever activity I’m trying to introduce. And I have to be honest, this is definitely stopping me from providing more of the sensory activities that does not involve actual toys. Any suggestions for a first time mum? /Anna

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katef April 4, 2013 at 2:33 pm

If she is still putting everything in her mouth, and it’s stressing you both out, then I’d wait. There is plenty of time for loads of fun sensory activities when she is out of this stage…. and this is an important part of learning for her, so rather than try and stop her, try and offer her items that are safe for her to explore with her fingers, toes and mouth! Hope that helps!

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Anna, Sydney April 4, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Thank you Kate for your swift reply. Maybe I’m too impatient. I’ve got all these awesome activities pinned that I can’t wait to try with her. I’ll hold off for a few weeks and then try again.

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