We collected some of the cards from my birthday and also picked up a packet of cheap kiddie ones, and I put them out on the table with a basket of crayons and pens.
She has enjoyed these cards and taken them around with her in her various bags, baskets, buggies and trollies, stuffing crayons into pockets and whipping them out to scribble on here, there and everywhere.
We got out the now battered post-box that we made and she enjoys trying her best to stuff and cram the cards into their envelopes so that she can post and repost them, and then deliver them to some lucky recipients around the house.
What else do we have set out for play? Some party hats for dressing up and role-play. Baby Pop is particularly keen on these. She doesn’t like to be seen without accessories!
Some gorgeous wooden cupcakes from Melissa and Doug that can be doodled on with wipeable markers (I’m in love!) and that have detachable icing and candles. Just perfectly designed for imaginative play for little ones.
We have lots of kitchen toys and real implements for imaginative cake mixing, baking and decorating. Whisks and spatulas, cup cake cases and candles bring a realistic element to the play and introduce opportunities for discussing real baking, recipes and ingredients. And I absolutely LOVE the beautiful set of wooden cakes and biscuits that sit on their very own little doilied cake stand (a very special gift from their late Grandma.) These are wonderful for counting, sorting, ordering and discussing, as well as pretend eating and serving of course!
And I occasionally get out a big helping of the strawberry sparkle play dough that we made back in February so that they can make “real” cakes too, squishing in candles, straws and crayons and blowing them out after singing Happy Birthday To You! over and over again. [On a side note, that play dough is hands down the best ever recipe we have made. It is still as soft and silky as the day we made it, and since I tweaked that recipe to make it my own I am very pleased to pass it on and recommend it! I think it will be going strong for quite a few months yet.]