Many times all I have to do to entertain this girl is…nothing. I just sit back and observe what she’s doing with awe and pride. The things she comes up with are so clever sometimes it’s amazing.

And part of my job as a mom is to just let her do her thing to figure something out. So besides her “games” that she comes up with, I generally don’t fuss with her if she’s curious about something. For instance, I let her empty drawers out so she can inspect the contents, etc. Of course I re-direct, distract or tell her “no” if she is getting too wild or getting into something dangerous. But she’s not a trouble maker (yet) and she’s a smart kiddo so she’s been extremely good and very interesting to watch. I can tell by just looking at her that she’s working everything out in her brain. So fascinating for both of us.

Anyway, here are some things she came up with all on her own.

Bouncy legs: I guess this one could also be an interactive, but because she started doing this one on her own I thought I’d include it here. One day she came up to me while I was eating breakfast at the table, sat on my crossed and dangly leg and started bouncing on it. It’s a pretty good workout for me but also super tiring. And  now I am forever forced to sit with my legs uncrossed if I want to enjoy a meal or time of rest. *sigh*

Rock & Roll: Sonora loves rocks and usually puts them in her mouth. But lately she’s gotten better at that and actually just carries them around and plays with them. One day she discovered that they made a fun noise when she dropped them into a long, empty tin container. We keep it in the office for no apparent reason and it’s the perfect toy to keep her occupied while I work. She’ll play with this “shaker” for up to 20 mins  – just taking rocks in and out and shaking them vigorously. It’s a bit headache inducing but I can manage, ha.

Stair climber: Really, all you need sometimes are stairs inside/outside the house. She’s an expert climber now – up and down – and now she’s mastering the outside stairs leading up to the front door and to the deck in the back. They are a bit more dangerous since there is cement at the bottom of both so I have to “spot” her whenever she decides to do this activity…which is every day.

Box Transport: I threw an empty disposable diaper box (her nighttime diapers) in the hallway the other day while I put away some of Sonora’s clothes, etc. and she took it upon herself to put some blankets and toys in there to transport all around the rooms upstairs. Pretty inventive if you ask me.

Ice, ice baby: This kid is so cute. Seriously every time I go to put ice in my water bottle before a walk or an outing, she hears me – even from great distances (aka the upstairs) – and comes to help me put ice in the bottle. She loves doing it and I love that she wants to help me. She has also now started helping me close the freezer afterwards to complete her task. I die.

Water bottle: Speaking of my water bottle…Sonora loves stealing my water bottle and drinking from it. She can hold it by herself now and looks like a little water lush when she takes a swig. It’s pretty hilarious looking because she’s so small and it’s so big. But lately she’s been stealing it not only to drink but also to do some “work” with it. This is her work process: unscrews the top, takes it off, removes the rubber piece from inside the top, drops the rubber piece in the bottle, swirls it around with her hand, puts the top back on, screws it loosely and takes a sip. Then repeats 10 times, at least.

Cupboard door slam: She has four favorite cupboards that she likes to play with. They contain nothing dangerous (except for a fire extinguisher…oops) so I don’t mind if she messes with them. She opens the doors, peers inside to inspect the contents then goes to the next set to do the same. Then…SLAM SLAM. I usually tell her to close them gently but “gently” to a toddler isn’t so gentle. So she’ll play this game for a few rounds until  I notice that my ears are ringing.

Junk drawer galore: We have a junk drawer (of course) and it’s just become within reach of her little grabby toddler hands. It’s funny because I’ll suddenly hear some rattling sounds, look over from the sink where I’m doing dishes and I’ll see the top of a little blond head and then some little bitty hands reaching into the drawer. Since she can’t see into it yet, she just feels around until she comes up with something she likes. Her favorite items to grab are a bag of old dog treats and a box that contains a bunch of pens, a set of keys and bubbles. This leads me to her next game.

Neat-o Treat-o: After obtaining the bag of stale dog treats, she promptly starts forcing Sadie to eat them. Most of the time our dog {surprisingly} enjoys the treats but after the 15th one, she grows weary of this game. She tries to run away or hide under the table but Sonora follows her closely behind with her little hand outstretched and saying, “She-she” (Sadie). She obviously just wants to give the dog some love so she gets frustrated when Sadie doesn’t reciprocate by eating 1,000 dog treats in one sitting. Naughty dog!

Talk back: This is a fun yet can be a very loud game. Sometimes Sonora starts it, sometimes I start it. But what happens is one of us makes a weird noise and the other person repeats it and then most of the time we match each other’s tones and make the noise in unison which makes it even more fun (and loud). Sonora’s favorite silly phrase to say in a sing-song voice is “oh ho, ah ha, ee he.” Quite frankly, it’s adorable. And I love to repeat it back. Another thing that’s been happening lately is family Yell Fests. Sonora will excitedly shriek or yell about something and we’ll all join in. The other night it got very raucous in the house. Yelling isn’t necessarily encouraged here, but sometimes it’s just fun.

Robot leg lift: Sometimes I sit on the couch. It feels awesome. I watch Sonora play and I relax at the same time – I win! But this is about games. So we have a couch game, too. She comes up to me when my legs are a “bridge” and resting on the ottoman. She’ll then tap or lift my foot and I’ll raise it and hold it until she taps or pulls it back down. Again, it’s a workout. Especially since she makes me do it with both legs. So much for relaxing…

I feel like every day I’m jotting down a new “game” she comes up with and I know there will continue to be more. I’m telling you, this job is way fun. Sonora can get a little overwhelming at times (not very often!) but honestly, the majority of the time I just love spending time with her. Especially with stuff like this when I discover things right along with her.