50 Ways to play (part 3)

Snail Trail Bus
“We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything than when we are playing.” -Charles Schaefer. 

21. Window condensation

Drawing with a finger through condensation on a window, can be fun.

Or on a rainy day watching the raindrops grow and dribble down the window.

Choose a raindrop and see whose raindrop will run down the window first. A race.

Mark-making strengthens little fingers and helps build the foundations necessary for writing. Children really enjoy the physical and sensory activity of mark-making, learning over time that they can control their marks - and this is when their creativity starts to thrive.

22. Dressing Up

KingDavids hatYou don't need fancy dressing up clothes to enjoy the fun of imaginary role play. Just use what you've got! A colander for a space helmet! Marigold gloves for duck feet! An old pillow case for a cape! There are so many possibilities.

My brother David watched the bin men passing wearing bobble hats and with a hat on his head he became a bin man! the story book took Alexander on his Bin Man Adventure when he watched the bin b=men passing by with their noisy truck!

Alexander used his grey cloak with his wolf hat and then with a crown he became a king. He even burst into song. 'I just can't wait to be king!'

23. Hats

hats Dressing up can be as simple as a hat on your head.

Nanny made lots of crochet animal hats to sing along with. Georgia loved the ‘Baby shark’ hat and Alexander loved the ‘wolf’ hat.

Crowns; minions; paper bags and boxes. If it fits on the head, it can be fun.

Our recent play was about being Christmas elves and Alexander wanted me to make him a costume,; I went as far as a hat but we were ready.

(He used the elf hat at Nursery when dressing up as a country mummy thought it might be good to represent Ireland so he took Nanny’s green ribbon stick to wave and some green playdough. I wonder if he said he was Irish or a Christmas Elf… but at least he and mummy were happy.Elf hats

24. Sand

The sand pit on the Playbus was always so popular and very calming.

Dry sand slips softly through your fingers and through holes in funnels or colanders.

Wet sand is great for building sand castles, squishing and moulding shapes.

Both wet and dry it’s great for burying and discovering treasures, feel the different textures of wet and dry sand!

Playing on the sandy beach is good fun too.

Dripping wet sand from a watery bucket can create stippling shapes.

25. Sorting

Grouping objects by colour, size or shape is a developmental milestone for children's learning, thinking and problem solving?

It's also an early childhood maths skill!

You can sort so many things in so many different ways.

Matching socks, sorting objects by colour side or materials.

26. Scooping and Pouring

This is one of the most popular activities at any Playbus session, and for good reason too. Little ones love the sensory experience of scooping and pouring, exploring texture, sound, movement and weight as they transfer materials from one container to another, learning as they go about cause and effect as well as size and capacity. Younger toddlers may focus on the sensory element while they practice their control of tools, while older children often use this activity as an invitation for imaginary play. It's a simple but really engaging play idea!

27. Shakers

rainsticksIsabelle loves Nanny's rainshakers.. (oops. Did I tell you it makes it rain?)

Make your own musical instrument at home using an empty plastic bottle filled up with dried pasta, rice or lentils. Add a little colour with bits of cut paper if you fancy! Making a shaker is a fun activity to do together - and then you can make some music and SHAKE!

28. Scissor Skills

Snip, snip, snipping. Old cards or paper. Practice holding the scissors. I had to hold the card and guide the scissors for Alexander to snip.

29. Leaf cutting.

 Here's a way to practice scissor skills without creating a paper confetti mess! Gather some pretty leaves from the ground Fresh fallen leaves are best but crunchy leaves make a great sound For the little ones, adults can model how to handle and use the scissors and encourage children to make little ‘snips’ around the edges of the leaves. For a greater challenge, draw over the ‘veins’ of the leaves and encourage children to cut along the lines Cutting leaves releases their smell too, a great way to incorporate another sensory aspect into this activity!

nature weaveWe made a nature weave.

30. Gloop

Mix cornflour and water together and you get the most curious substance that seems to behave like a liquid and a solid at the SAME TIME. How is that possible?! An engrossing activity for children that encourages curiosity and experimentation while activating the senses and creating amazing moments for learning new vocabulary - among many other benefits!

More ideas here Part One

Part Two

Stories about playtime fun.

Where to get my books

Books are available from the following:   My Books

Amazon.co.uk     Amazon.com     Waterstones    

Barnes&Noble    Foyles (amongst others)

Don't forget to look and ask in your local Museum, book shop or even buy on your Sainsburys on line shop!

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