and the "Play" Goes On..

Have you been playing along this week? I posted earlier about the 30 day Hands On Play Challenge hosted by The Imagination Tree and Hands on As We Grow  for the month of November. As busy parents it's easy to get distracted from our best intentions of focused play with our children each day. This is a great challenge that offers us some daily playing cues to keep our play interesting and exciting. I've really been enjoying it.
 For the most part we've been following the cues, with a few changes here and there. The kids loved the island play and that has been requested a few times.  We even played at Nanny's house and had her join in. Of course we were jumping over shark infested waters, ahh! I love the fact that we start with the idea of 15 minutes of uninterrupted play but it usually grows into a half an hour or more.
Sunday was about family game time. We have a lot of  board games, but struggle using them because of the big age gap between our youngsters. So in playing a board game together a few adjustments in the rules comes to order . So in other words, we kind of make up some of our own rules so we can all have fun together.
  I've found playing together early in the day works best. The kids are thrilled we started the day playing,  they are less likely to be clingy for attention in the afternoon. It's also a good way to start the day enjoying the moment and not being caught up in to-do lists.

 Many of these activities lend themselves to independent play time later in the day. Have you found that in your home? We really enjoyed the doodle challenge this week! We got giant pieces of paper and taped it to the floor.We all drew together. The kids then started to come up with ideas for dragons and castles, then a few dinosaurs and oddly enough a tea house, garbage truck and zoo were thrown in the mix. It was a great activity that was played with for the next 2 days. The kids loved it. We'll being doing this more often.
Then it was time for water play. It was a warm, sunny day here in TN yesterday. We took this as an opportunity to get outside and play. We headed to the creek and had boat races. Next time we'd like to make our own boats. This time we just grabbed a boat from our bath toys for Lil Z, and cut off the bottom of a box for Big Z's boat. They worked and we had fun cheering and using sticks to get them from being stuck. Afterwards the kids had a warm bath and some time for more water play. We used watercolors to paint the bathtub, and the kids painted themselves.
Play dough and sensory tubs were other playing cues for this week. Our play hostesses have some great recipes for home made play dough on their sites. Counting Coconuts is my favorite site for sensory tub ideas.
We made a simple recipe of 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of baby oil to make a sort of sandy dough (think moon sand). Use the cheap flour, no use in wasting your organic King Arthur on play dough. I had a few bottles of baby oil that needed to be used, so it helped clean up my bathroom clutter too, cool!

We made a whole day out of play today. We met friends and went to the local children's museum. It gave me some great ideas to use at home. Puppets, musical instruments, trains, dress up and playing rocket ship. Many of the play rooms at our museum are very simple. It goes to show that kids really just want to play and be creative. They don't need fancy new toys with bells and whistles. They really just want our undivided attention and focus for a portion of the day. What a great gift, don't you think? 


2 comments

I love that so many of my bloggy friends are participating in this project. I'm getting a lot of inspiration! My 3yo is going to flip over moon sand.

Also, Counting Coconuts is one of my faves, too.

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So great, I love your idea about starting the day off with structured play! Thanks for sharing this, I got a ton of ideas from it :)

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