From as soon as she could crawl I’ve tried to involve my youngest in my hobbies so that when we spend time together I can spend my time off doing a little of what I like to do to.
This has allowed me to find ways to keep her entertained and now she’s pretty good in the kitchen, garden and around the house.
In The Garden
Before crawling, baby would happily sit in the garden on a play mat watching as I weeded and planted yet once mobile it was difficult to keep her in one place at a time, so this is what I did.
• At 8 months: I discovered by accident that two cups, a spoon and some soil would keep baby entertained for quite a while when she filled up a cold cup of tea with mud. It sounds so simple, but add a little water and they love believing they’re making a concoction, it’s quite amazing to watch.
• At 15 months: At 15 months I let baby loose with poster paints and the shed. The brightly coloured result was so appealing that I was disappointed when the rain washed it all off!
• At 2 years: Now Percy plants, weeds and looks for worms. She is fascinated by every creature she sees from worms to butterflies and bumble bees. Sometimes she will pull the petals off a flower but she’s mastered the art of digging a hole with her trowel and planting plants.
In the Kitchen
I love to bake yet I only have time when I’m not working and thus in charge of all children. Some friends will only bake when their toddlers are out of the house as they simply can’t with children around.
This is how I introduced Percy
• At 6 months: At 6 months I gave Percy bread dough to play with while in her high chair. It got quite a battering and I had to watch to make sure she didn’t eat it. The dough she played with was made into a small bun and rose better than any other!
• At 12 months: At 12 months Percy was given her own rolling pin. From her high chair she’d spend ages bashing and rolling pastry. She would also slice it with a plastic knife and add the odd raisin!
• At 2 Years: Now Percy likes to help with everything in the kitchen. She loves mixing and making concoctions. She will crack eggs into recipes, (I go in and scoop out stray egg shell), she loves to whisk, she’ll chop peppers and soft fruit and still loves her rolling pin. Of course it’s always messy and we do have a bit of waste, but standing on a chair next to the kitchen counter with me, she’s been known to spend hours while I cook and bake!