It rains in Scotland a lot. And yes I love getting out and about and exploring nature and no I don’t think the kids will melt if they get a bit rained on. But sometimes, sometimes it is just miserable out and I want to stay indoors in the dry warmth.
On days like those I need to plan things to keep my 2 year old occupied so he doesn’t go totally stir crazy. And so that I don’t go mad; they need to be things other than playing with toy vehicles for hours and hours and hours! (I genuinely think he would never ever stop if it wasn’t for me suggesting he play anything other than “make vroom vroom sounds and push toy cars around” with no forward propelling narrative)
So a few weeks ago the weather forcast said bad weather week for Mums, excellent week for toddlers to run riot round the house, so I came up with a craft project that would take all week to complete. It is the first time I have done a project with Aiden that involved stopping and starting up again on multiple days and I wondered how he would respond. Luckily for me he just got more and more excited each day and seemed to consider it a hugely important task that he finish it before his Dad returned homr from working away.
I chose a subject matter that he had shown interest in as he loves leafing through grown up text type books as well as his own books and his current favourites are some about space (in a close 2nd place is an exercise book with funky diagrams showing muscle tissue etc which he follows up reading with some interesting moves he calls press ups.)
So the evening before his Dad left to go work away, I set the two of them the task of drawing round different size bowls and plates on a huge piece of cardboard abd cutting them out to create the bases of the planets for our solar system display.
Over the next few days, each afternoon as my baby girl napped, we would pick a few planets to paint and we would read a bit about them from the text books and look at the pictures and then paint replicas. It was fascinating watching the week progress and Aiden go from wanting to paint with any and all colours, to him observing what the planets looked like and picking the paints that best matched.
Learning through play has got to be the easiest and most rewarding method of education and fun out there for any age. We struck up so many conversations as we painted and Aiden seemed to absorb it all like a sponge in the no pressure environment. A win win as I sat happy and warm with my tea and biscuit.
Note; it is near impossible to clearly explain to a two year old why a planet is called Jupiter, why a piece of music is also called Jupiter (actually his favourite piece of music after the Thomas the Tank theme tune!) and why a fire engine is alsi called Jupiter. After many hours discussing this, Aiden finally declares “ah I seeee!” only for Dad to come home and point out Jupiter was also a God! Boom. Mind blown right open again!