If it is true that play is a child’s work, then let me tell you, Gus has a great work ethic! Jon and I just love to watch the little man play. It is fascinating to set a few toys out in front of him and see how he explores and learns about them. He seems like a genuinely curious boy, and I wonder how much of that is just the way babies are and how much is a unique part of his personality. We have some wooden blocks that he can play with for ages, even just one block—staring at it, chewing on it, banging it against the floor or another block, or dropping it and picking it up again. I certainly get bored way before he does.
We try to give him toys of lots of different sizes, shapes, and materials. He loves non-toy things like fuzzy scarves, crinkly paper, real plates and spoons, and especially the wicker basket that all the toys are stored in. And of course, Pa’s glasses and Mama’s hair! He’s got a Lamaze moose and a brand new Sophie the Giraffe that he loves to chew on—yum yum. He loves rattles and often will try and shake any toy he picks up to see if it will make a noise!
Sometimes I worry that we don’t actually play with him enough; rather, we sit near him as he plays by himself. I do think that if you provide appropriate materials for play, it is important to let the child direct their own exploration of those. But we need some fun interactions as well, which, for us, mostly means songs! His favourite song at the moment is I’ve been working on the Railroad, although other favourites include Horsey horsey, Jelly on a plate, and Pat-a-cake. Now that he is a bit bigger, we do more physical play together as well, like flipping him upside down and gentle roughhousing. Or, if we want to make him giggle, raspberries on his tummy or an avalanche of kisses on his head or feet will usually do the trick. And of course, the great outdoors is filled with wonderful possibilities, including Gus’s favourite, simple and unassuming grass J
One toy that has really served us well is his jungle gym. What a great space that is for him! He started off at about 2 months just lying there, listening to the music and watching the lights and hanging butterflies. It has taken him through reaching and grabbing at things, rolling over to reach the toy too far away, and now sitting up to play with the toys. It’s even been useful for the dreaded tummy time—the mirror and crinkly leaf would hold his attention for a whole 2 minutes befoe he got sick of being on his front!
Of course, the most wonderful thing about Gusses is that Gusses are wonderful things. I do think sometimes that this kid is made of rubber and springs, the amount he bounces! Luckily for Mama’s arms, we have a lovely little jumperoo in which Gus can bounce to his heart’s content. He and Jon love to bounce together, Gus in the jumperoo and Jon in the middle of living room.
|bouncy bouncy bouncy|
Seriously, he’s such a fun kid. Can’t wait to see what sort of games the next 6 months will hold!