Playing With Plungers.

I am forever struggling with allowing the kids to explore and experience "grown up things" I'm always thinking "kids need to explore everything in their world that they can-in a safe environment" I'm always bookmarking articles on learning through experience, allowing kids to use tools, and embracing their natural curiosity.

But, in all reality I was finding myself saying several times a day "Oh, no! Plungers are not toys!" I have a toddler here who LOVES to run in the bathroom, and grab the plunger and plunge the toilet at every opportunity. And there I was, stopping her every time, and  of course that just made her want to do it more we're working on potty learning, hence her not being denied full bathroom access whenever she needs it.

Anyway, last week on about our fourth trip into the bathroom I thought "Why exactly can't she play with the plunger?....Umm, the toilet is nasty, and full of germs, and generally not a safe place to be....yeah, but I have that one under the kitchen sink, we've never used it, ever, why couldn't she play with that?...Toilets are gross...outside?...Well, DUH!"

Like that inner dialogue? So I took the never used plunger out from under the kitchen sink, found an old tub, grabbed the kidlets, and headed outside.

I filled the tub with water and let them go to town, they loved it!

After about twenty minutes the water was dumped

And plunger abandoned. 

Moral of the story: let them play and explore, in a safe and supervised way, and what did it hurt? NOTHING! In fact, it helped. Once I allowed free plunger play, the one in the bathroom hasn't been touched, and I think that is greatly because the "no-no" aspect was no longer a factor, they had fun and enjoyed playing with it, and all is well with the world.

Now, if I can just remember this little lesson the next time something like this happens....