21.6.14

Keeping Little Hands Busy



 Of all my children, the one that challenges me the most is my 4 year old. He's so dear to me. We have this special relationship. He can be very demanding, and I tend to be a push-over. He challenges me to be a better mom, and I challenge him to do better, learn more, and be kinder everyday. He's my busy one. If you don't keep him busy, he'll busy himself with goodness-knows-what. Last weekend he microwaved a bar of soap. It made magical snow-looking formations in the microwave. It smelled good. He thought it was great. I tolerated it and hid the rest of the soap . He has to be kept busy or who knows what he'll figure out next as his science experiment.

I recalled my experiences with Montessori as a child, while trying to think of ways to keep him busy. Montessori is all about hands-on. How perfect for this child. I don't have anything fancy to offer him, just what I have here in my home. But I've discovered little ways to get him involved and keep him busy. For example, he loves making messes. This might drive me insane. A little. But since he loves messes so much, I figured that perhaps I should just let him make a mess in a controlled environment and then teach him how to clean it up.

There is a fantastic, and really cheap, recipe for Moon Sand floating about the web. Check it out on Pinterest if you don't know what I'm talking about. Talk about a kids sensory dream! It's silky soft. My little guy loved playing in it. So much. It was everywhere. He put his toy cars in it. He also got it wet and wiped it all over my back door window. Which may have done more than drive me insane but we're TEACHING here, right?! So I let him make a mess of the back porch with his toys. And then I brought out two tubs of water. One was soapy, with a dish brush. One was clean water for rinsing. And I laid out a towel so he could put the toys to dry. He loved it. I wasn't nagging him to clean, and I didn't complain about the mess. I just gave him the tools to clean it up, showed him what to do, and he did it. It was fantastic.

And then....he gave all his cars a "car wash". And my bike. And the deck. And maybe the dog. But at least he learned a new skill. And the toys got clean, which was the goal.

By the way...Moon Sand...NEVER.AGAIN. 
(Until the next time they ask, that is.)

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