Next week is going to be a crazy busy week for me, and I'm going to have to be away from Carter a lot. So I wanted to make sure we had fun together today!
I had originally planned for us to go to the Children's Museum this morning, but I learned about a new indoor play place that just opened nearby, and I decided that we'd go check that out instead. It's called Stay n Play, and they just opened this week. It's basically a big play area for toddlers and preschoolers. They're going to have classes and organized activities, for example toddler yoga -- I'm looking forward to checking that one out! There's a comfy seating area for parents, and free coffee and wifi, so you could even hang out with your laptop and watch your child play. I like that you can pay by the visit or get a membership, and that if you're a member you can come whenever you want. We currently go to Gymboree, and though it's a lot of fun and Carter really loves it, it's expensive in comparison to a place like this one. It's always nice to have another inside place to play when the weather is yucky.
Here are some pictures from this morning. I thought I took more than this, but apparently not! I guess I was having too much fun, heh.
It looked like they had furnished they place almost completely from IKEA. We have this train set at home.
They had storytime while we were there, but Carter was more interested in doing his own thing, as usual.
I'm looking forward to seeing all the classes and activities they'll be adding. There was an art area with lots of art supplies, and we spent some time coloring and writing. Carter is starting to get interested in writing letters now, and though his efforts are fairly primitive, I can see the letter he's trying to write in the squiggles. His fine motor skills need to catch up with his ambition, I think. He also knows his colors really well now. There was a period of time when he knew a few, and would get others right occasionally, but he's been very solid on his colors for a while now. If you ask him what color something is, he'll now tell you, for example. I'm not actually sure when that happened, but sometime in the last month.
His counting is completely solid now from 1-12, and I'm starting to count up to 20 with him to see if he'll go higher. He will point to things while he's counting, but the idea of one-to-one correspondence isn't quite there yet, so he points and counts, but not simultaneously! He definitely understands the concepts of "one" and "two" as numbers, but I'm not sure he gets that numbers higher than that represent quantities. When I ask him "How many?" he doesn't seem to understand what I'm asking yet. But he picks out twos of things everywhere, so I know the concept is forming.
After playing we went to have lunch with Doug at a Burger King near his office. It's been ages since I've been to a BK, and we've never gotten a kid's meal there before. It turns out they have a lot of options for kids. We got Carter mac & cheese and apple slices, which is probably what he would've eaten if we'd had lunch at home. It was nice to have an alternative to chicken nuggets, actually. Carter really had fun playing with Doug in the play area after lunch, though. He's getting to an age where he really wants to play with Daddy, and he lights up when he sees Doug.
It's interesting to watch other kids watch them play when we're at places like that. Other kids will often watch them with a real look of longing in their eyes, like they wish their daddies were there playing with them too. A week ago we were at an indoor playplace and a little boy kept trying to get between Doug and Carter. Doug would eventually pick Carter up and carry him someplace else, but the little boy would follow them around. The weird thing was that we finally realized that boy was there with his own father, who was just sitting and watching the whole time!
When we got home Carter wanted to play in the sink, so I pushed his tower over and filled the sink with some water with a few squirts of soap, and he played there for an hour. He was fascinated that simply whisking the water could produce so much foam, so that was fun.
Of course this always makes a big mess, but a mess of soap and water is not a bad thing at all. The floor there is now very clean! He even gave the tower a good washing, something it really needed.
So it was a fairly simple day, but a fun one. I'm incredibly grateful I get to spend this much time with him. :-)