My new birdhouse arrived in a very large box surrounded by packing foam. As soon as I opened the box I knew that Jet had a wonderful treat in store. The packing material was not the usual clingy, static-attracting, peanut-shaped annoyance but soft, pliable, biodegradable pieces.
I hid about two-dozen plastic Easter eggs in the foam. Then I emptied the pop-up hamper used to store stuffed animals and gave her the hamper, the box of foam, some scooping utensils and instructions to find the eggs.
Jet went to work on this joyful mission and quickly uncovered all the eggs and wanted to do it again, and of course again. Soon, the box was empty. Some of the foam was in the hamper, but much of it was on the floor. Jet sat in the box, she rolled in the foam on the floor and she used it as “food” for her stuffed animals. At the end of the day, I got out the dustpan, which she loves to use in the kitchen with the broom and we enjoyed gathering all the pieces and putting all the foam back in the box.
Before she left for the day, Jet let me know that she wasn’t done having fun with this exciting new toy: “Grandma, don’t put this box away when I go home! I want to play with this again tomorrow!”
The next day, I took measuring cups and cooking pans from my kitchen to use with the foam. Jet bounced with excitement when she saw them. “You’re going to let me play with these?”
“Yes, I am. I thought you might like it!”
“Yes! I do like it!”
Jet spent much of the morning creating meals for her stuffed friends and me. Soon she needed plates and bowls to serve the food and I was more than happy to oblige!
When she wasn’t finding new things to do with the box of foam, we did some gardening, watering, and drawing. I took the photo below of the first representational drawing Jet has made for me: a picture of her best stuffed-animal friend, Penguin. He was drawn with a dry-erase pen on a wipe-off board.