I'm sure some of you have seen this picture of Cakes and cringed (I sure did as she tipped the half of bucket all over the floor). This innocent mess turned out to be a wonderful learning experience that we did several days in a row. As Cakes tipped the sand out she looked at me, smiled and asked "Can I play with this?". Well yes, but it might have been preferable if it was contained in one way or another. Seeing it was all over the floor there was no point in trying to contain it. Was there?
Who doesn't love shopping? Well actually I don't and I am sure Cakes isn't too keen either, but if you have ever been to a Reverse Garbage I am sure you could shop until you drop. Cakes and I carefully travel down every aisle to ensure we don't miss anything cool or a bargain. Cakes has two rules to follow when shopping on top of all other outing rules. 1-don't touch anything that can get broken including putting things back nicely, 2 -make sure you have some idea of what you can use your find for before adding it into the basket.
No one goes to the doctor very often in our household. Cakes has rarely been sick (touch wood), Daddy has a great immune system and is rarely sick more than 12 hours and I am just too lazy or busy most of the time (I have been pretty healthy of late). Through books, television and experiences children seem to have a rather good grasp of how different occupations within the community work or what they are for.
The different doctor sets you can buy from cheap ones at Kmart to the more expensive, all have very easy to use equipment. Daddy sat down at the Cakes doctor surgery and got a full medical, his heart checked, blood pressure, eyes checked and even a bandaid for his fingers. She said he was very sick when he came in but was all better when leaving. We might need to have a few more conversations about the healing process next time we play.
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We are having a hot summer here in Ipswich with a 41 degree Celsius day recently. The slide on Cakes' fort is red hot (or green hot as she likes to call it) by 9.30am. Cakes was desperate to go on the slide on this very hot day though as it was hot to touch so she couldn't slide on it. Then we made our very normal slide into a water slide. All it took was her slide, a hose and a zip tie cable and whoala a water slide.
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For months we have had this tape track on the floor and is rarely played with by Cakes though other children often balance along it on their way through the house to the rooms or yard. I had not removed it as I am pretty certain that when it comes up something else will need to go down and I am currently out of electrical tape.
All of a sudden the other day Cakes loudly exclaims "I need to drive my cars on the track". I assumed she meant the awesome car mat that had just gone back down in her room after some successful in toilet training, but no. She went and got a few tins of cars and started driving them along the electrical tape lines. Zig zags and curves were where the cars had the most trouble, they went the fastest on the straights and often crashed on the right angled corners. Since she has started driving cars on the lines she has played with it several times a day (until Daddy put the cars away and she forgot about them). Although she has just started walking along the lines and balancing (which was my initial intentions for the lines).
All children love bubbles and there is so much learning to be had when chasing a bubble or many. Cakes chased the bubbles from the bubble machine she got for her first birthday from her friend Princess L for almost an hour. As the wind changed she changed her strategies to catch them, from moving up high to low, turning around, going behind the bubble machine and chasing them to the other side of the yard.
We talked about the ones that were near and far, high and low, infront and behind, above and below. We discussed how they were moving slowly, fast, up, down and popping. She caught a few with her mouth which resulted in a few minutes of raspberry blowing. The one thing Cakes noticed that had her thinking for sometime was the rainbows in the bubbles. She was very interested in how they got there and why they were different on each bubble. This left plenty of room to discuss the soapy solutions and light.
Cakes has been saving money since birth however she has only been placing it in her money boxes herself since just before her 2nd birthday. Like most toddlers, Cakes is fond of 'posting'. She has many toys that allow her to post including a Piggy bank, Pig and letterbox which are all great toys to develop hand eye coordination, fine motor skills and counting however Cakes prefers real world things and doesn't really enjoy these toys. In the photos below Cakes used several money boxes to spread her collected coins across. She placed all gold in one and then sorted the larger silver and smaller silver coins into the other two money boxes. We counted each coin as it went (as she has only learnt to count to 20 we stopped at 20 and went back to 1 before continuing) and discussed the numerals written on each coin and its value. Her favourite coin is the 20 cent coin as it is "a big circle" though she is considering the $2 coin as whenever she is asked how much something is it is "two dollars".
Cakes and Daddy have been playing lots of hide and seek lately. Every time Cakes gets a little better (so does Daddy). Though having been able to count to 20 for sometime Cakes often forgets to say number 1. Playing hide and seek has helped with this as she is all for doing things correctly, if Daddy starts at 1 then she will also. Often she hides in the same place Daddy just did and checks all the same places he did. Though it is a very repetitive game it sparks plenty of talking as Cakes walks around the house "Is Daddy in the fridge?, no, Is he behind the door?, is he inside the fish tank?, no". Many of the places the two of them check are places you just cannot hide, but I think this is their little joke together. There has been many times when I could hear her hiding somewhere or rather, and giggling to herself as Daddy gets closer and even louder when he gets further away. She is slowly building her self control as she is aware her laughing is giving her away. Cakes has always been very good at sharing, though taking turns for hide and seek took a few games to get right, she just didn't understand why she couldn't hide every time. She is also starting to be a better problem solver, initially she would hide with no effort put into making sure she was truly hidden, now she takes the time to move a cushion or pull up a blanket so she cannot be seen. Does your child have a favourite hiding spot?
Cakes can switch from being an indoor artsy type kid to a rough and ready outdoor kid in minutes. We never know what she is going to want to do. A simple play on the fort turned into a great learning experience as Daddy let Cakes take the truck up onto the fort (something I would have been super reluctant to do). Watching her climb up the fort carrying the large truck was gut wrenching but she assured us that it was necessary for her to do so and that Daddy could not pass her the truck (lots of discussion was had around not doing this unsupervised). Daddy facilitated the conversation explaining to Cakes how gravity works. Daddy can be a bit silly and was getting his ups and downs incorrect so Cakes spent lots of time correcting Daddy and giving demonstrations. The two of them spent plenty of time playing this game until Daddy's attention span got the better of him and he headed of too mow the yard (this left me watching her climb and slide the truck as much as it scared me).