A few months ago the hubby cut down some bushes to clear up some much needed space (what for - don't ask; the site is still empty, except for a pile of dry twigs). These bushes provided habitat for some of the birds. So naturally I felt very bad (although, we've got enough bushes and trees left on the property to house most of North American birds).
Anyway, I felt bad and, with winter fast approaching, I finally made my way to a home improvement store and bought a bird feeder and a big package of bird seed. Ok, to be honest, I wanted to buy the seeds for both the birds and Mr. M.
Don't call the authorities yet! Of course, Mr. M doesn't eat the seeds. Instead, I pour them in a big plastic tub, hide some small toys and let Mr. M dig for them. It's a great sensory game plus it's quick to set up and is practically free (if you plan on eventually using the seeds to feed the birds).
Well, back to the birds. After I explained to Mr. M about the bird feeder - what it's for and how the birds eat out of it, he wanted to help. So I let him pour seeds from the bag into the feeder with a little scoop. He absolutely loved the activity. Besides, he was totally fascinated with the sound the falling seeds were making on the sides of the feeder.
Once we were done, we went outside on the deck. I decided that it was about time to sweep all the leaves and pine needles off the deck and got to work. What d'ya know! Mr. M immediately started running around and stomping on the leaves, essentially negating my hard work (the push broom IS heavy).
Fortunately, I came up with an idea of making a giant leaves-and-needles pile for him to jump in. He LOVED the idea and patiently waited until the pile was just big enough (and more importantly, off the deck). That was some great gross motor work, jumping and rolling and climbing and walking all over the pile. Oh, and of course all the sensory work - touching leaves, needles, pine cones, twigs and listening to all the crunching and rustling. Fortunately, Mr. M never suspected a thing (or else he'd be inside playing with the trains).