Need a way to keep your toddler busy for a short while? Look no further than a few items you probably have in your kitchen cabinets: a wooden spoon, an empty container (or plastic bowl), and canning rings.
For set up, I cut a hole in the lid of a big yogurt container so the handle of the wooden spoon could fit through it. Press play dough into the bottom of the container and wedge in the spoon so it doesn’t wobble around, then secure the lid.
I presented this apparatus to Veronika with the canning rings already piled on. So her first task was to slip one off!
She loved this, and immediately pulled up the top three or four. She discovered that if she slid up one from lower in the pile, the ones above it toppled off the handle at the same time and made a spectacularly loud crash! This was a delight.
Then she turned her focus to putting them back on the handle.
“Circle!” she said, recognizing the shape, and started counting them as she slid them on or off.
Like so many projects at this age, the game then veered in a direction I hadn’t anticipated. But sometimes toddlers know best! When she reached the bottom of the ring pile and could peer down into the container, she noticed the play dough holding the spoon in place.
Well now she needed the lid off! She loved squishing the spoon into the play dough.
Then it became a game of toddler field hockey, whacking the blob of play dough around the room.
She was so proud when she could scoop the play dough up and drop it back into the container. Goal! So really, we got two games for the price of one.