I am of the philosophy that I don't need to always be playing with ds. He is a kid and thus naturally creative and curious and can make up his own things to do. This will in turn encourage the building of more creativity and curiosity in his brain. Plus, at 14-nearly-15 months, he's starting a little bit of immitation of me here and there in my daily tasks, which is a great thing kids will do on their own.
When I do play with ds, it is because I am finding him to be enchanting in whatever he is doing, which leads me to feel an urge to join him. Either that, or we're both in the mood to wrestle. We do a lot of wrestling, and I do a lot of gently but enthusiastically swinging him around.
The things my ds does when left to his own creativity right now include...
- Wander around the house...room to room. Pick up things. Bring them to other spots. Put them down. Pick them back up and take them somewhere else. Open cabinet doors, get stuff out, close them. Open them back up, put stuff back in, close them. Open them back up, and so forth.
- Open and close the back door. Go in and outside. Let the dogs in and out. Shake the hose. Crawl or walk after the dogs. Shout after the dogs. Talk to himself. Bring stuff from inside outside. Bring stuff from outside inside. Go to the fence and body slam it. Try to open the back gate.
- Look out windows. Bang on windows. Bang on tables. Make lots of noise! Talk to himself. Shout to himself.
- Play with bubbles (he's recently started signing "bubbles," sort of). Get mommy to blow them or use a bubble maker he got for his birthday that he can do by himself by pushing and holding down a button (though he still needs me to get the bubble soap on it).
- Stand at the bathroom sink and play in the water. Splash. Put things in there...toys, toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, etc.
- Let mommy know he wants to be picked up. Get put in the Ergo carrier. Watch as mommy does her thing.
- Open the jars on his small snack table to get snacks. Sometimes take out snacks and eat. Other times just open and close the jars.
- Just recently, after watching me play with his "baby" (doll) for my own entertainment, he started using a bowl and spoon to "feed" his baby as well as-- just today-- his Koala stuffed animal. He also takes a hat off and puts it back on his baby. And he tried for the first time today to bottlenurse (he is bottlenursed due to being adopted) his baby.
- And other stuff if we're outdoors-- try to turn on the water to the hose, and if mommy is willing to help, play with the hose or in the sprinkler; pick grass; wander around the yard; "help" mommy weed; look inside the windows to see what's going on inside the house...
I find the trick to keeping us both happy is to get out and about plenty. On days I am working, we go to the park once a day, and on days I'm not working, up to three or four times. He adores the park, but mommy doesn't do any of the work for him (except helping him onto the swing)...he climbs to get up to the slide, etc. etc. all on his own.
Oh, and we've done swim lessons together (I really hope to get started with this again soon!) and also do things like trips to the local children's museum, the beach, etc. We take lots of walks and some hikes.
This thread has a lot of the other stuff we've been up to:http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=457464