50 Ways to Play together (Part 2)

Lego building

Young children don’t learn in the same way older children do.

They learn through play.

 They learn through interaction.

 They learn through discovery and exploration; through trial and error.

Let the children play!

Thank you to the Hackney Playbus for the reminders.

Playtime can certainly be a fun experience.

11. Blanket Games

Blankets can be used for lots of lovely games. We used Nanny’s crochet blankets and shawls; Isabelle really likes being able to see you through the holes.

For Alexander the best cover was the duvet. We could both climb inside and make a tent. Alexander decided it was a spooky ghost as we crept up on Grandad. The idea that he really couldn’t hear or see us coming made me laugh.

Tent “We will stay in here for ever and ever.” Alexander would say,

The duvet cover was a great tent… but we did have a tent too. In fact, covers of all sorts make good tents.

12. Sponge Construction

No building bricks at home and don't fancy shelling out for a set? Pop over to a pound shop and get yourself a stack of sponges as building blocks instead! We've seen towers, castles, farm yards and more built out of sponges over the years. The best bit is that when you knock down a tower it's a soft and gentle landing!

I haven’t tried this one myself because sponges set my teeth on edge when dry.

13. Boxes

BoxesHow many times have we seen little one’s ignore the toy in favour of the box it came in?

When Nanny’s new fridge arrived, she kept the cardboard box and painted it.

Nanny made a door which opened and Alexander loved going inside and shutting the door. He loved posting keys through the hand holds.

Nanny had a second box which she used for ‘Cardboard Box’ day on her Early Years online learning day. EYFSHome.

Box carThe box had holes where Alexander could plug in bottle tops (from baby food pouches), which were attached to screws (flat ended rather than points of course.). The idea was to create a fantasy cube just like the box we once had on our Playbus. No matter what age, the children loved it and it became so many different things.

Nanny later painted up her box and added paper plate wheels and a string to pull along the car. It was supposed to be for teddy but Alexander loved riding in it until it broke.

Christmas and Great Uncle David (of Bin Day fame), bought Alexander a Cardboard train kit. He LOVED it. Nanny wasn’t too sure, where indeed could she keep it each week, Mummy and Daddy thought it should stay with Nanny. As a result, it lasted for ages and was even used as Santa’s Sleigh for role play Santa.

It eventually broke (Phew!) but as Alexander loved it so much Nanny bought him a rocket kit for his 4th birthday.  He absolutely loved both boxes, which came from hobbycraft, the pirate ship looks good … but we have other ideas to create.

14. Water Play

fountainsWater play is more than just a splash of fun, it's also a lovely learning experience!

We have played in the sink, washing hands and catching the slippery soap.

Oh No! Painting ended up with face and hands covered in paint. There was only one thing for it!

“Don’t touch anything!” said Nanny, as she carried Alexander up the stairs and straight into the bath.

Washing off the paint and then time to play in the water.

Alexander loved stripping down to a nudey boy. He loved playing with the hair spray shower and playing with all of Nanny’s ducks and boats.

“Don’t spray Nanny!” cried Nanny.

Time to wrap up snuggly in a towel before getting dressed again.

Funnels, boats, ducks, tubes all add to the fun.

15. Puddle jumping

puddlesJumping in puddles is a lot of fun too, with Wellie boots and sticks to stir up the water.

We also enjoyed using umbrellas on a wet day.

If it wasn’t raining Nanny might even use her watering can to pour rain on the umbrella.

Alexander’s umbrella is a froggy one.

16. Sock Puppet

Socks make great puppets, easy to make!

Socks are always falling off little feet and they make easy little faces to play with.

Old socks come in very useful for making your own puppets.

We recently used little socks for a role play Christmas Elf game. Alexander wanted us to take turns sleeping while the other searched for some little things to put into the little socks then waking up and excitedly finding out what was in it. Nanny did keep half an eye open to check Alexander didn’t find anything he shouldn’t.

17. Pasta

Need something to occupy the children quick sticks? Check your cupboard for some old pasta and choose a way to play! Simply scooping and pouring pasta pieces will keep the little ones busy, or you can try threading the shapes onto a piece of string to practice those fine motor skills and make something marvellous.

If you have more time, you can add colour by shaking up the pasta pieces in a sandwich bag with a drop or two of vinegar and some food colouring, then leave out to dry.

We haven’t used pasta yet but I do remember using it on the Playbus and in school.

18. String painting

A fun and easy action art activity for kids. You need a piece of string, paper and paint.

Put the string into the paint and fold the paper in half.

Drape the string onto the paper and hold it down.

Let the children pull out the string and see the patterns that it leaves behind.

The process is a lot of fun, and each print is unique!

Try different lengths and thickness of string or wool or even try another colour too.

(Be careful where the string flies off too when pulled out of the folded paper.

19. Marble painting

Using plastic boxes cut paper to fit inside.marble prints

Drop a marble in paint.

Add the marble onto the paper in the plastic box and put the lid on tightly. Then shake the box and let the marble roll over the paper.

Open the box to see the patterns made.

(You could also do this using conkers or acorns, anything that might roll around.)

20. Mark Making

easter cardEncouraging little one to make their mark!

Whether doodling with crayons, pencils or pens. Alexander and I had a special book to write in each week. Which I date and kept as a record.

Sometimes I would draw a simple picture for Alexander to see. He might even try to copy.

Making marks with hand prints is always fun ... and messy too. We like mess.

Check out some of our fun days together on my Alexander Day's blog posts

Part One

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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