Yesterday, I spent most of the day at my parents' house because we had relatives visiting. After Oliver's nap, my mom decided to give him a bunch of stuff from the kitchen so he could pretend to cook. She gave him a large bowl, a small bowl, a small appliance of some sort (I think a water boiler), some measuring cups, some spoons and dried pasta.
I have never seen my son so happy and occupied for so long. Oliver played chef for about an hour and a half. He scooped the pasta from bowl to bowl, had fun putting lids on and off, stirred it around, and just enjoyed himself immensely.
Today, I decided to reenact the scene from yesterday. When Oliver and I were at the store this morning, I purchased a box of rigatoni pasta. The noodles are wide enough to fit on fingers.
Once we were home, I poured out about 1/3 of the box of rigatoni into a bowl. I cleaned out the mostly-empty flour canister and put that on the floor. After surveying my appliances, I selected the food processor. I obviously didn't give Oliver the blades. I put that on the floor with the flour canister and added a pot with a lid and a cupcake holder. I grabbed a few spoons and whisks, and, then, I presented Oliver with the pasta.
Oliver was elated and got to work right away. He transferred pasta into the food processor. Sometimes, he'd take the lid off of the processor, and other times he'd put it down the food chute.
After twenty minutes (literally), I went and heated myself up a mug of tea. I kicked my feet up, relaxed, and watched Oliver play.
And Oliver kept playing. And playing, and playing.
We started our activity at 3pm. Oliver continued to play until dinner time at 6:30pm. I got to play with him a bit, relax, fold laundry, do dishes, make dinner and clean up after dinner. Oliver didn't want to leave his pasta. In fact, he had two accidents while playing! I can't remember the last time he had an accident while he was awake, but he had two while playing with the pasta. Oops! He didn't want to come to dinner, either, even though I'd made some pasta for him to eat. Throughout the entire meal, he kept begging to go back to the pasta. After dinner, I let him play until bedtime. Even then, he was unhappy to be leaving his pasta behind.
I can't believe how entertaining pasta is to my son. Typically, I consider an activity to be a good one if it keeps him happily occupied for twenty minutes. The fact that he played with pasta for hours is unbelievable. I give Pasta Play an A+, and I'd give it bonus points if I could!