Lewis is really getting into the stage now where he likes to put everything into containers. He has been taking things out and of course dumping things for a long time now, and for several weeks he would occasionally pick up an object and put it into a basket/bowl/etc. Now just about anything he is holding he wants to pit it into something.
This means that he can and will now help us to clean up his toys. It takes some prompting to put things in the basket at the right time and stay focused to help pick up all the toys, and he is also fairly likely to put a few toys in, take a few out, put one back in, etc., but it’s still fun to see him “helping.” Last weekend we walked to the library with Daddy and there was a slightly older boy there playing. Lewis and the other boy played with the blocks for a bit, and when that boy was getting ready to leave Lewis helped clean up the toys with him (with some prompting from Daddy.)
Unfortunately this desire to put things in has also extended to wanting to put everything into the garbage can! All of our smaller trash baskets we have moved up out of his reach. (Love the trash sitting on the table with our plants and my crafting supplies. Really adds to the decor.) The big trash in the kitchen we can’t really move to anywhere else, but Chris found a way to put it up against the wall so that Lewis can’t open it for now. However, I don’t think that will last long as he is far too clever for his own good. (As I recently posted on facebook, he has now figured out how to pull the caps off of pens, Sharpies, etc. and had a fun time trying to eat some of my colored Sharpies yesterday!)
He has long enjoyed playing with the box of dominoes and dumping them everywhere. A few days ago he had stolen an olive jar from the recycling and sat down with it, very focused, to put dominoes in and out of the jar for a very long time. The jar is just big enough for him to reach his hand in to take the dominoes back out, but it isn’t a super wide mouth so it does take focus and concentration to put the dominoes in and out. Since it is a glass jar I took it away once he started walking around with it, for fear he’d throw/drop it on the hard floor and it would shatter. I replaced it instead with an empty Puffs snack container, which is similar in size. He liked looking down inside the container to see the dominoes at the bottom.
Any clean plastic container from the recycling would be great for this. I found a link on Pinterest to a Chasing Cheerios post about using old fashioned clothes pins and a 2 liter bottle for a similar toy. Lewis doesn’t have quite enough coordination for that yet, but I’ll keep it mind for when he does! A milk jug would work great too.
We’re planning to buy him a shape-sorter as one of his birthday gifts. Probably a fairly simple one to start, with a lid that comes off and the options to put the shapes just in and out of the container since I know he isn’t quite ready to actually push the shapes through their slots. My mom also found this Crocodile toy at a yard sale which has pieces that can be put in and out as well as stacked (another skill that he is just beginning to work on – he can successfully make a tower of two blocks most of the time now). It will be a couple of weeks before we can get the toy from my mom, but I think he will have a lot of fun with it once we do!
As always, I am loving seeing these new skills developing and watching as he makes connections and finds new ways to play with his toys.