When Charlotte was really little, and I was up feeding her all hours of the night. I would be on my phone, and come across blogs to make sensory activities to foster her development when the time came. I was excited to make all the age appropriate activities to increase her fine motor skills and stimulate her senses. Nowadays, I just bring all the plastic bowls and measuring cups outside and fill them up with the hose, and we get this smile.
We don’t have to go above and beyond to nurture our children’s learning. At 14 months old, she is learning everyday no matter if we are cooking, cleaning, at the park, or grocery store. She’s always seeing, hearing, smelling and touching new things. It’s great to do all the creative activities, and you don’t have to do them everyday or feel like your child is missing out if you’re not doing them.
Another example of this feeling of needing to go above and beyond happened the other day. I was over at a friends house around dinnertime and as she was making her two kids sandwiches for dinner she said “I feel bad I’m not cooking them a real dinner”. We sat down at the table with the kids and kept talking as they ate. As her son was eating his sandwich he said, “I love this sandwich Mom, this is my favorite”. Listen up, Moms: our kids don’t judge us for not cooking a hot dinner. This sandwich that you think you're slacking with might be their favorite dinner! The funny thing is, our kids don’t think that you love them any less based on their dinner options. They find joy in the cheese and cracker dinner nights. They are perfectly happy when it’s hot dogs and mac and cheese. It’s the extra pressure that we put on ourselves to have a perfectly balanced dinner every night, and the artfully crafted fine motor skills activity. They don’t care. They just remember the fun they had playing, or eating with you. Hearing my friend’s son thank her for dinner, gave me the reassurance I needed to embrace all the hose-in-a-bucket days and give myself grace for all the activities I have yet to create. And, if I never get around to creating them, that's ok, too.
What are your favorite easy activities to do with your kids?