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Babywise II talks about the importance of free playtime for your baby. It isn’t a time when you allow the baby to cruise around the house doing whatever they want but it’s times when the baby plays with toys at a specified play center. I have two play centers: our bathroom and the kitchen. When I’m getting ready Kye uses two or three toys in the bathroom to play with. In the kitchen I keep 2 old pots and 2 big spoons in a drawer for him. I pull these out and let him play his heart out so I can put dishes away, put laundry in the wash, or do whatever I need to get done in the kitchen area.
The idea of play centers is that there are certain toys in designated areas for your baby to freely play with. I doesn’t mean that there are toys all over my house though! Babywise II talks about how important play is for a child because the repetition of play activities gives them a chance to develop and consolidate the skills that a particular kind of play requires. It also gives them the opportunity to resolve mechanical problems with his own toys. Since I don’t sit right with him and help him with everything, he figures things out on his own. How much would he be learning if I just jumped in to “rescue” him every time he got a little frustrated with a toy?
Right now he is very into opening and closing the doors. He likes to swing them back and forth but when the door shuts all the way he gets very upset. Do I run and re-open the door? No! I let him be a little upset then show him that he shut the door and try to move him on to something else. He is learning on his own what the door is all about! I know the day will come soon that he’ll also learn that little fingers can get smashed in the door. I’m dreading that one but I don’t think I should squash his learning just to prevent him from getting a little boo-boo.
I’m really glad I finally got around to implementing the play center concept as before I’d keep him in his high chair while cleaning up the kitchen or put him in his jumperoo while doing some laundry. Now he’s able to be there with me while enjoying the fun with his pots and pans! He will sometimes crawl off and try to get to the dog food and actually the #1 thing he continues to get spankings for (on his hand with the “no sir” paint stick) is putting his hands into the dogs’ water bowl. He KNOWS when I say “no” that he’s not supposed to but he just can’t help himself. He’s learning though!
Here is a video of the first time Kye got to play with the pots in the kitchen…I guess this is just so cool to me because it’s such a baby thing. You always see on shows and stuff the baby banging on some pots and it’s so neat that now my baby is old enough to do it too!