I’ve got my sensible parent hat on today so thought I’d revisit one of the very topics which lead me into blogging in the first place; child development. While I may have hung up my hat in that industry coming up 4 years ago, it still crops up in conversations and remains the baseline from which I parent my kids. Albeit with much looser reins these days. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from raising teenagers it’s that there’s a lot more trust in them making the right choices and less rule setting, but I still have a 3-year-old to help teach independence and educate on the healthier side of life.
Take the turn in seasons, for example, longer warmer days means less excuses to hibernate. And while I still yearn for duvet days, watching movies and trying to stay in my pj’s for as long as possible, the reality is I have a little boy who needs exercise as much as the dog. He goes stir crazy if kept inside for too long so while we get the odd late start to the day, we’re always up and dressed by midday at the latest and off out whatever the weather. On days when I’m overloaded with housework and work-work, my mum comes to the rescue. Either way, he’s never had a day when we’ve stayed in unless ill.
So back to that child development thing I mentioned; well all this thought of being outside more has got me thinking about how I can vamp up my small front garden. My boys will be 4 in a couple of months so the toddler slider and builder tray of sand just don’t cut it anymore. At his age, he’s very much about imaginative play and role play. So I’m going to have to bite the bullet and go for a mud kitchen. It actually pains me to say that, but a quick scour of Pinterest I’m sure it’s the way forward (and a lot cheaper than a garden full of brightly coloured plastic)
So, let’s say, for argument’s sake, I’ve acquired some pallets and created a corner in the garden where said mud kitchen will go, now it’s let’s think about what I’ll need to make it a go-to place while I sit nearby and crack on with some work. (I’m thinking ahead now to the 6 weeks summer holiday where I try and juggle work with mum stuff.)
I’m on a water meter so ideally, some sort of rain collecting system would be ace, nothing too big but large enough to allow him to access water when needed. And then there’s the mud, obs, I quite like the idea of these old tyres which I can fill with mud, leaving him to dig and scoop to his hearts content and to finish it off, some small water play tables for mixing said mud and also, where he can wash his hands quickly before coming in the house. I’m not completely insane and I quite like my grey and white decor WITHOUT a 3-year-old height brown hand splatter pattern
In an ideal world, I’d have another little corner where I can create a little den. Think tree house minus the tree. This is the point at which I stopped searching Pinterest for outdoor play ideas and my imagination ran wild.
No harm in having a vision and I consider this parenting without guilt; My boy can play, get fresh air, work on all those senses and physical development skills while I get to work and do boring housework, meal prep stuff.
And who knows, I may even dive in and join him!
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