T is now 10 months (I can't believe that in March she will be 1) and is really starting to enjoy play in various forms as well as taking part in some of the activities that I've been doing with J - you may have spied her at the frozen lake small world play and getting stuck in the gloop last week, but decided that now it's time to start featuring some of the activities that I've been doing with her or J and I have been doing with her as he loves to play with her as well.
Today it's block play, now back in the Autumn I wrote about J's block play and how he was building animals with the blocks after a zoo visit and at that time T seemed interested in the blocks but didn't really do much with them, now though she's much more engaged in the activities - but what amazes me is how different her method of play is to J's.
J was fascinated by building - by 1 he was adding megablocks to towers making them 2 or 3 blocks high and enjoyed nothing more than clapping me to get me to build towers bigger and bigger so that he could knock them down and then I could build them up again. Yes T seems to enjoy knocking block towers down and attempts to stack them but she prefers to make noise with the blocks. Bashing them together softly and louder changing over what blocks to play with she will often mix our plastic building blocks with wooden ones or the rubber plastic ones we have as well to make different sounds.
How the fun happens
This is what works for us with having J around as well. I set up what we are going to play with making sure that J has items that will interest him as if we are playing with something then he usually wants to play with it as well so like with the block play I got out his building blocks and encouraged him to build something whilst I played with T.
We sat facing each other and I started by building blocks on top of each other - well for me that was what J loved to do at a similar age but T just kept grabbing them and hitting them against each other - then she worked out that with holding them she could change the noise she made as well as slot them together to build.
We keep our blocks in a large crate in the living room - it's also our play room as we don't have a dedicated playroom in the house and since getting the blocks out with her I've really noticed how she will go over to the crate and get the blocks out to play with - this also encourages J to explore building more and with the two of them playing side by side it gives me time to do other jobs around the house.
Here's some of the blocks that we have been using and that J and T love playing with
These are the ones that T has been playing with recently - they are also great for J as each of them has a different face on that pops up when they are stacked on the base of the container or the lid and he loves telling me whether the face is happy, surprised or sad. He's also using them for counting and number recognition as each of the sides of the block has a number on and different images to count with.
We have lots of megablocks - megablocks come in 2 different sizes (something that I only recently found out) ones that are marked suitable from 1 year old and ones marked suitable from 2. The ones from 2 are similar in shape to Duplo and will work with Duplo whereas the ones from 1 year old are much larger but easier for a young toddler to build with as they start to fine tune their motor skills.
We also have some duplo - J has really started to use the duplo now that he's over 2 it is easier for him to fit them together whereas before they were a little fiddly for him.