By Victoria Donlan
Friends, it's always important to look on the bright side. For me, this is the fact that when the shut down of the library became a reality, I just happened to have a DUTY TOY in my possession. And now, it’s mine, all mine for the entirety of the closure. Silver linings, like I said.
The Duty Toy in question is the set of Fascination Plates, colourful tiles that squish and move into fascinating patterns as you step (or crawl or roll) onto them. My two year old loved them when we first brought them home. I resisted the urge to move them into a neat arrangement that I liked and to my delight, he started moving them himself so that they were a path to where he wanted to go.
I can tell you, it’s a sight to see a toddler bending down to grab and drag a plate while grunting to himself ‘Be strong’ or ‘I doing this’.
Sometimes he would line them up from the front door, other times he would spread them across the kitchen floor, occasionally he would make a sort of checkerboard with them leading out of our bedroom. They are just moveable by a two year old so they present a nice level of challenge, heavy but allowing for success. I can tell you, it’s a sight to see a toddler bending down to grab and drag a plate while grunting to himself ‘Be strong’ or ‘I doing this’.
But over the weeks, the fascination wore off the fascination plates and as he started to ignore them, we found a novel new way to enjoy them. Fascination plate disco. They provide the perfect base for little dancing feet and are super fun to play musical statues on. Just pop on your favourite party music and enjoy the swirly patterns and effects.
You could set them up as bases for musical ‘chairs’, when the music stops everyone jump on a square and freeze! Big family and not enough plates? No problem! When the music stops, call out a number and each plate can have that many people balancing on it, no more no less!
You could even calm down fidgety, cooped-up kiddos with some fascination plate yoga. Who can make a tree? What about a downward facing dog? Wiggle those fingers and toes and watch the patterns.
Just a small cautionary note, make sure those jumpy, dancy feet are BARE feet, our plates don’t like shoes.
Got an even better idea for the fascination plates? Make sure you let us know!