My youngest and I have long swaths of time together while we wait for his big brother to come home from school. We fill our time at the park, reading stories, running errands, and playing with friends. Even so, it's easy to get bogged down at home: there is always a chore to finish, a meal to prepare. So I made this simple activity jar to give us a few ideas of projects we can do together. Inside this empty candy tin are slips of paper with various suggestions for crafts, projects, and games.
I'm creating time for us together, but I'm also being sneaky in a mama sort of way: many of these suggestions focus on fine motor skill developments such as wooden puzzles, playing with tweezers or eye droppers, sidewalk chalk, tiny sticker art, and - of course - stringing beads.
This sweet, stubborn boy feels special to have his own list of choices we can do together. And it's special for me, too. I know this time is precious; while laundry and dishes and dinners will always be a constant in my life, an almost-four-year-old boy who says 'yuv' instead of 'love' and refuses to get a haircut will not.
So he sat on my lap, sorted through my collection of beads and diligently made himself a necklace. We spoke quitely, I stole kisses from his doughy cheeks, and bead by bead, we made something together.