I think to myself, “I should get D1 some shape puzzles and stacking toys.” She is busy unloading the dishwasher, sorting the right lids on the right plastic containers and testing which ones fit inside each other.
I think to myself, “It's too bad she doesn't have a pegboard.” She climbs up to the dining room table and starts playing with the cribbage board I forgot to put away, taking the tiny pegs in and out.
Her brain knows what kind of stimulation it needs far better than I do. It's amazingly adaptive in finding ways to satisfy itself. And it doesn't need to spend any money to do it.
I always had considerable faith in the ability of children to direct their own learning, but the more I watch her, the more it grows. By now I am pretty sure that whatever activity she tackles has some purpose behind it.
A favorite one lately has been standing at the sink, putting her hands and various utensils under the runnning water. What is she learning? I don't know. But I'm sure it's important.