Thursday, 7 May 2015

It is the Simple Things

                                           Ideas for simple and affordable play

Many of us have been there.......your child gets some amazing gifts for Christmas or Birthdays and yet it is the cardboard box it came in which offers the most entertainment! But, having my daughters has made me realise that it is the simple things which really are them most fun and educational!

Take the other day......those of you who follow my Facebook page may have seen the picture of my eldest playing hide and seek. We had been to a family fun day at a local community centre, which had been fun, but the walk home provided more excitement as she knew there were willow trees nearby which make great hiding places! The look of pure freedom of joy on her face as she ran through the long branches was priceless.

Even my youngest daughter seems to prefer the simplest of games. Her favourite at the moment is the movement of a blanket or coloured scarf going up and down above her face. At five months old, she finds it most amusing and far more fun once her sister joined in underneath the material with her! (Rather tiring for Mummy's arms though!)

It just goes to show that it really is the simplest of things which can really help your child's development and enjoyment. Why not try a few of these simple (and cheap!) activity ideas with your children:

1. Junk Play : Save up lots of old containers, tubes and bottles for your child to play with. Our eldest enjoyed playing with an empty formula milk box recently, which she used in her role play with her dolls!

2. Make Sensory Bottles: We are currently in the process of making these for our baby using old drink bottles and various art and craft materials such as glitter, pom poms and sequins. These are going down really well, and our eldest loves them too!

3. Collect old receipts : Yet another simple thing our eldest loves to play with during her role play. Yes, it can get a bit annoying finding bits of paper everywhere, but the enjoyment is there and she is learning about money and numbers through playing with them.

4. Playing in the dark with torches : Always great fun and it has proved to be helpful to ease our eldest daughters fear of the dark. In winter, being outside in the dark to discover the things you can only see in the dark such as stars, is very interesting and exciting for some!

5. Go on a "Treasure collecting" walk. Ask your child to fill a box or container with things they think are treasure as they walk around the garden or local park or even just on the way home from school one day. It can really open your eyes as to how they see the world!

6. Use water and a paintbrush to create works of art ( see my post on this here:

7.  Turn a cardboard box into something exciting (like we did here : )

8. Write stories about your child's adventures to share with them. I have done this and have discovered how it is a great way to remember the fun we have had as a family.

9. Make a den indoors using chairs and sheets. Again, an easy and fun activity which children remember and enjoy! Our eldest has been trying to make her own one this week in the front room using the baby bouncer and some of her small chairs!

10.!! It doesn't matter what you look like, laughter is free and sounds so good coming from a child! It really doesn't take much to be silly or to just have a dance in your house with your child. I know my girls love it when I have a "Crazy moment" and just start to dance around the room!

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