I asked Ellie if she would share some of her current favorite things on my blog. Here's the list she gave me:
Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game!: This game is awesome! It is great for fine motor skills + everyone has a chance to win, which means we all get to learn about being a kind winner and what it feels like not to win. Ellie says, "I like when you get a storm and all the acorns blow away."
Ellie says that The Very Hungry Caterpillar Puzzle is her current favorite because it comes in a box you can easily carry. She just about has the book memorized and loves reading it to herself. Puzzles have been a favorite for about a year now.
Melissa & Doug's Pattern Blocks are a favorite during evening quiet time (something we are doing after bath time to ease into bedtime). Ellie has fun choosing which animals and colors - sometimes matching, sometimes going for the rainbow look. Listening to her commentary is always a treat.
Ellie and her Daddy love reading Ladybug magazine. It's for ages 3-6. It contains a variety of different mediums - poetry, art, and short stories, and it has recurring characters that they can follow from issue to issue. I love that it gives them something special to do together. It's also available in digital format, which would be awesome for traveling. They also enjoy reading Disney Junior magazine.
Ellie also wants me to tell you that she loves her Elmo nightlight. It came in handy when we almost lost power a few weeks ago. It was early evening and the light were flickering every now and then for about thirty minutes. Ellie kept it close to her so she could turn it on right away if the lights went off. She's still talking about how "prepared" we were if the power went out.
A little more about the evening quiet time: Around Thanksgiving, we found ourselves neck deep in the "I don't want to go to bed" excuses. For weeks we tried different things. It got really intense. One day last month I asked myself, "When I look back on this six months from now, what do I want to remember?" It was a take on my word of the year practice, thinking about how I would hope this time would look like if I came at it from even more love.
As I thought about this question, I had this vision of Ellie and I sitting in my bed. Me reading. Her looking at books or playing quietly with stickers. I realized that this time could be more about just being quiet together, letting the day fall away as we eased into bedtime. I could let go of "if you are a good mom, then your three year old should be in bed by this time or she will be exhausted and not thrive and her brain won't grow like it is supposed to" and all the other crap that gets piled up on a parent trying to do the best she can.
So we're trying quiet time. Sometimes it happens at her little white table or on the couch or next to me in bed. I'm letting go of the pattern of what the evening used to look like and letting this new way be okay. I'm listening to what I know and remembering how this serves me, us, again and again.
Note: Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I receive a small commision when you purchase something from the linked website.