Last night the two of us were playing downstairs. She was exploring her oatmeal sensory box (as seen below) along with one of her favorite dolls Lila. I say "doll" but she's really a tall, skinny, metal lawn ornament that I think is supposed to be a lady bug. I tried packing her away for the winter, but Ella just wouldn't have it. So now she stays in the basement for play times. Anyway, I was in the Annex and could hear Ella talking. She said, "Naughty, Lila, naughty. Bed." Then, right before I heard the door shut, she said, "I love you." When Ella came in the Annex, I asked what had happened. She told me, "Lila naughty." When I asked why, Ella responded, "Lila eat oatmeal." It's true, Ella isn't supposed to eat the dried oats in her sensory box. Apparently, neither is Lila.
This morning when I went to get Ella up, she gave me a giant hug, looked up, and very carefully chose her words when saying, "Ella's favorite mommy." I often tell her she's my favorite girl, but she came up with the mommy phrase entirely on her own. What a sweet girl.
And just now I was up in her room following a timeout. I got down on my knees so I was on her level and told her to look at my eyes. I said it's important to obey Mommy. After a second, she was still looking at me without saying anything, so I asked, "Are you listening?" She quickly responded, "What?" So obviously she wasn't listening at all. I really tried not to laugh, but I couldn't help it. I gave her a hug and hoped it wasn't a reflection of her listening skills once she hits her tween years. Yikes.
I mentioned that Ella has an oatmeal sensory box. This is one of the things I put together for her this week in my search for toddler/preschool appropriate games, crafts, and activities. Now that I'm on break from classes, it's really nice to be able to focus my time on things for her. I've scoured the internet and have been pinning ideas on Pinterest like crazy. I really liked the idea of these sensory boxes for the cold days that Ella can't play outside in her sandbox.
I got the idea from the Pink and Green Mama blog. As a former art teacher, she's got tons of ideas that we could do for days and days. I started with the sensory boxes. I already had a few shallow tubs, so I bought two tubs of oats and a few $1 animals at Target. The other toys were things we already had. I also bought a $1 plastic table cloth to go under the box for a quick clean up of spilled oats, especially when we're playing in the basement on a rug.
Ella has spent lots of time at her oatmeal box already. Sometimes I play with her and sometimes I let her play alone. It's fun to see her be imaginative with it.
I made another box using rice, which I'll post a little later. That one has a different theme. The nice thing is that we can always change the themes if we want.