I'm all for doing things with your toddler. I try to have a planned activity of some sort each morning and afternoon, whether that's a going out activity - walking the dog, going to Toddlers, going swimming, grocery shopping or the library, or a staying in activity - watching some TV, baking, sticking, painting. I also have a range of quick 5 minute things to do such as hide and seek, bubbles, nursery rhymes and stories, for those moments when you can sense that the toddler is losing it a little and needs some direction.
This week, as Little Sis is getting more active and beginning to pull herself up on furniture, I pulled the soft stool into the middle of the sitting room so that she could use it to stand up. It didn't take long for it to be commandeered as a car-park and for the last few days at any opportunity Little C has taken all his cars, one at a time, out of the box, and parked them in various configurations on the stool, chatting to himself all the while about where they will park. If I had every day filled up with paid-for, time-limited activities, when would he have had the chance to play like this?
Big C got a new electronic gadget three days ago. I looked at part of the packaging and decided it would make a good post box. When Little C was in bed, I got out the stanley knife and made some adaptations. I then found a couple of envelopes from the recycling box and hey presto there's a post box. Little C has been posting letters in there, then he's been investigating it with his torch, shining the torch in to and out of the slot. He's investigated what other items can fit through the slot (not many of his cars it seems). And finally, today, he asked if he could draw on it. He's decided it needs to be red, because post boxes are red. Again, I'm not convinced that he would have had the time to learn so much all by himself if we went to more organised activities.