Laurel recently has decided to make her opinion of my periodic “thrill of the bid” shopping habits known; she yells “Ebay!” then laughs hysterically.
The shopping does serve a function, though. I recently picked up a 10-piece set of Russian nesting dolls on Ebay (we discovered while visiting relatives that she loves the nesting and un-nesting) and they have been a huge hit with Laurel and her older toddler friends (i.e., the ones past the stage of mouthing everything).
And in addition to offering impressive practice with shape sorting, matching, and hand/eye coordination, Laurel’s curiosity has resulted in a lot of conversation about artists (“Who made these dolls?”), the Russian Federation (“Where are these dolls from?”), and culturally oriented craftsmanship (“Why do Russian artists make these?”). When we’re not engaged in Q&A, the dolls also have kept Laurel busy independently to give me a little time to prep dinner, pick up around the house, or check my e-mail.