A Thursday evening ritual

Since Zander was about 2, we’ve been going to Lethbridge Family Centre on Thursday evenings for Me and My Family , a free drop-in play program for children 0-5 and their family members. This fall, Jax (18 months) started to come along.

What I find interesting is the boys’ enjoyment of the ritual of this outing: parking in the parkade, finding our way to the Centre entrance (Jax likes to lead the way), trying to guess what materials will be out, and always hoping there will be dinosaurs in the sand table. Tonight, it was quite a surprise: shredded paper, styrofoam and plastic instead of sand!

Another part of the ritual is to create an obstacle course in the gross motor play area. Tonight there were some new circles which Zander was keen to incorporate for a ‘hopping path’. If only he could get his brother to cooperate and follow the course, but Jax usually has other ideas.

Since Jax started coming, one of his favourite activities has been hammering golf tees into styrofoam in the building area. It’s cool to see him so at home there now — gathering the materials from the cupboard and setting himself up on the carpet. Today he even put everything away when he was done!

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Zander, meanwhile, pulled some wooden blocks from the shelves, saying ‘Let’s do this!’ ‘This’ turned out to be building a house.

One of the new things that the boys tried tonight was drawing on the Smartboard. Kind of brilliant when you think about it — no stray ‘marking’ on the walls or furniture and all kinds of potential for creating cool digital things. Makes me want to install one in my house. (Maybe in my new little ‘makerspace’ — coming soon!)

Last, but by no means least — we always ride an elevator down and take the escalator back up. But tonight was the first time we rode this glass elevator up and down…and up…and down instead. On the way home, Zander said riding the elevator was the best part of the evening.


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And you know, if you spend time with toddlers or preschoolers, now that we’ve done it once — it’s gonna be our thing!



A Thursday evening ritual

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