Last night Mouse invented a brilliant dinnertime game to amuse herself during the interminable wait until the noodles finished boiling. Since I can't take credit, I'll describe the activity set-up from her POV.
Wait until Mom has her hands full. Then seek out a convenient basket or bin (Mom wouldn't have left it there if she didn't want me to play with it!). Then pull the contents of the basket out one item at a time, proclaiming the item's name and description loudly so Mom can fully appreciate my brilliance. Repeat until the basket is empty. Then shove everything back in the basket and start over again.You can tell by my cheekiness that I was initially not enthused by this activity (yet another mess to clean!). Then I realized:
- No damage was being done and she was completely safe (within sight and, while making a mess, not playing with anything harmful).
- The basket she'd chosen was filled with new (i.e. impossible to open) Play-Doh cans, which she was stacking as she unloaded them (motor skill development!).
- In an effort to get my attention, she was calling out the color of the lids (color recognition!).
- She wasn't underfoot in the main kitchen area (like her brother always was at this age).
So I embraced her game, which kept her playing it until dinner was ready, and kept me from losing my sanity.
Have your kid(s) ever invented a "game" that turned out to be a diamond in the rough?