Dumping bins!!!

For the last couple weeks, O.C. (1 1/2yr) has gone over to the art shelf upon arrival at StrongStart.  He pulls out a bin of misc materials (pompoms, tissue paper pieces, foam letters and numbers, ect…) and dumps the entire bin on the floor.  His mom would encourage him to help pick up the items…she has tried different approaches…do not dump it, let’s pick it up, redirection from the art shelf!  Many times when the bin was almost filled he would grab it and tip it over again.

The first couple times, I just giggled and carried on.  Then as it continued, I began to take the time to watch him, try to get in his head as to why!

Most often O.C. ends up sitting and picking up one object at a time and feeling them.  I noticed he would rub the foam letters between his fingers, he put some up to his face which appeared to be smelling them, and sometimes just picking an item up and placing it in the bin.

Mom is nearing the end of her pregnancy and finds it hard to get up and move quickly and bending and getting to the floor is rather challenging!  So I wonder a few things:

-is he continuing this “activity” because he can stay a step ahead of his mom?  Is it her reaction he seeks?  Or a game?

-is he exploring his environment?  Feeling the different textures?  Smelling the objects?

-is it just fun!?!?

What I found very fascinating was the fact that it was the same bin of items and that the activity of dumping, feeling, smelling, picking up and re-dumping would continue from several minutes up to 1 hour!!!