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.
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.
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.
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?