Today, Miss G and I did a great big deep clean of her room. During the tidying, down came the epically successful styrofoam structures station. It was time. It had been played with every single day for nearly three weeks and was starting to become a giant mess of styrofoam dust and building junk . Luckily, I had been preparing Miss G for the change for the last few days, so everything got taken apart and tucked away without any issues.
What I wash’t prepared for however, was the fact that as soon as her toy box top was cleared off and wiped down, she said “Mama tells Grae Grae ’bout da NEW toy box prajet (project)!” Uhhhh… I hadn’t thought that far ahead. Oops. I explained to Gracen that I wasn’t sure what would replace her beloved building station, but I would think of something FUN, get it ready during her nap time, and surprise her with it when she woke up. No pressure.
Since I had about a gazillion other things I had planned to get done during my baby girl’s nap time, I knew the new station had to be something quick and easy to put together. I dug through our little living room toy box in search of inspiration, came across her bar magnet, and that was that…. A magnet station it was. I gathered up all kinds of small things from around the house – some magnetic and some not – and placed them on a tray along with the magnet. At first, I thought I’d just leave it at that, but then I decided it would be fun to add a sorting element since Miss G loves sorting/matching games so much. I remembered coming across this post on Pinterest a long while ago, and though adding ‘magnetic’ and ‘non-magnetic’ jars into the mix felt a little bit too “academic” or teach-y (we don’t really do planned learning activities yet), I decided to give them a shot. After all, they could always be removed if they were too much. I retrieved 2 mason jars, drew 2 quick sketches (one illustrating magnetic, and the other one non-magnetic), cut them out, and washi taped them onto the jars. Done!
When Gracen woke up, she asked about her new project immediately (this girl doesn’t forget a thing). I brought it in, explained that it was a magnet station, and let her jump in.
After a couple of minutes of exploration, I explained the jar drawings to her. Without hesitation, she started placing things in the appropriate jars.
She was so into it that it didn’t feel like too much at all.
Before long, she’d sorted every last item into the jars and announced, “All done! Dump ’em and do it again!” (A sure sign of success, I’d say. ☺)