On this very cold week the kids and I spent more time than usual in the house. I came up with some new things to keep them occupied, both for school and for play. Some ideas were more successful than others. The thing that kept my 7, 5 and 4 year old most occupied: a salt tray. I got out a white serving tray and filled it with table salt and white glitter. Then I set beside it some utensils, such as a paintbrush, spoon and fork, and a few play-dough toys. The kids found other things they wanted to use as well. We used it for school (writing words/letters in the salt), and the kids sat at it, just manipulating the salt, pretending to make food, pretending to be construction workers, and being very good the whole time. This is day two for the salt tray and it is still popular.
Quiet play is really nice for everyone, and I imagine it does good things in the children’s brains as well. It makes me wonder what is the adult equivalent to a relaxing salt tray? Do I do anything like that during my day? Sometimes playing piano works that way for me. That is sensory. Gardening has never been relaxing for me, the way it is for some people. Drawing is relaxing for me, getting out all the different pencils, sitting down at a sheet of paper with a plan in my head… ahhh. I don’t do much of that anymore because I know I will be interrupted before I finish. But maybe finishing is not the point. Maybe I should simply draw without worrying about the outcome. That could be some good quiet play for me.