I absolutely love these Car Color Matching Parking Lots from Helping Little Hands (fabric version) and Love and Lollipops (paper version). I saw them awhile ago and have been wanting to find a way to try out the idea since then... albeit in a less cute way.
Tonight was the night.
We intended to go to the Hot Rod Car Show downtown... but after driving around for awhile and not finding parking... I got tired of listening to the screaming baby and decided to give up and go home. My son wasn't so pleased about that... so I told him we'd have our own awesome car show at our house.
We got out a bunch of cars, lots of markers, and some large drawing paper. He picked the cars and told me what colors to use as I drew each parking space. At the Hot Rod Car Show, the cars are displayed on a slant so that they can be seen... so that's why our lines aren't straight.
He placed each car in it's appropriate space and cutely told me, "Wow mom, you're really good at drawing those parking spaces. You do a really great job at that." (Guess if I ever need another job... now I know what I can do, right? :)).
The rest of the activity was filled with lots of language, problem solving, and imaginative play. I loved it... especially when I said, "We need people to come to our car show" and he immediately said that the Lego men would definitely want to come... and then he invited the airplane of little people to come too. I was surprised with how easily he solved that problem. Sometimes I help out too much when we are pretending. Tonight's activity reminded me to let him guide our play more and just follow along. He had great ideas... that I could've squashed if I'd been too quick to suggest things.
During this activity we reviewed colors, used descriptive language, practiced sentence expansion, practiced matching, and spent a lot of time taking turns in conversation and in play. We also used our imaginations a lot. I forget how rejuvenating it is to just sit down and be goofy and shelf my role as "parent" or "mom" for a little while. I need to do it more often!