What We're Doing at "Nearly Two"

I'm not sure when it happened, but I recently stopped referring to Wilson's age by the month. It started to seem cumbersome, awkward... and, in all honesty, I kept having to count in my head to figure it out. So, now he is "nearly two." We still have a few months until his birthday, but his development is on fire and I am starting to see him more and more as a two-year-old. 

Here are some of this "nearly two"-year-old's favorite activities lately:

Gardening: Although we haven't done any planting yet (here in New England the rule is after Mother's day), W has seen us till, weed, rake, and prepare our small yard for the summer months. He loves to help with his child-sized tools and watering can. 

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Trains: Something clicked a few weeks ago, and suddenly W was fascinated with the train table at our local library. Another mom was gracious enough to give us some tracks and cars that her children had outgrown, and it has been a favorite since. 

Spray painted tracks!

Spray painted tracks!

Open-ended Art: I blogged about this a while back, and this area hasn't changed much. Playdough, crayons, and dot markers are still favorites, as well as an easel! So far we've done chalk as well as water painting (which helps to offer practice with a brush before any paint gets involved). 

A very simple art shelf, kept in the kitchen (where cleanup is a lot easier). 

A very simple art shelf, kept in the kitchen (where cleanup is a lot easier). 

Pretend Play: A lot of Montessorians will tell you not to encourage pretend play because real experiences are more valuable, but I don't agree! If I gave Wilson a real hammer at "nearly two," we would be in trouble. Instead, his play tools allow him to act out all the fixing and renovating happening in our home. 

Wilson's "tool bench" 

Wilson's "tool bench" 

Using his pretend drill to help build a sandbox

Using his pretend drill to help build a sandbox