Ways to Keep on Playing!
Wow! What an amazingly busy month! We have been so thrilled that over 600 of you signed up for daily play prompt emails, and many thousands of you checked in daily for the ideas on our sites!
The most wonderful thing of all has been some of the feedback that we have received, about the quality of play time with your little ones improving so much, or discovering new details about their interests and abilities! This has made all the hard work very worthwhile indeed.
Jamie and I have both found how much this has impacted our own play time with our children as well. It’s easy to think we are engaged with them all day long, but often we are just being busy next to them, not really focused or communicating with 100% attention. We have committed to put away the distractions and keep up the challenge in our own homes, permanently. And I hope you will join us!
5 ways to help achieve every day hands on play:
* create a dedicated time each day for play time and stick to it! what time of day works best for you? and what time is best for your child’s mood/ tiredness level? remember to turn off all distractions and forget about the jobs and eternal busyness. They’ll be there waiting for you 20 minutes later 😉
* using the play ideas from this month as a starting point, think about which were the most successful and interesting from your child’s point of view. Create a list together of all the fun you want to have and write it out somewhere (maybe a little like this Advent activity tree we just made.) Go straight to the list each day and choose what to play together, so that you don’t have to think of a new idea each time!
* put together a box of easy, go-to resources that you can pull out at a moments notice. You could have a craft box: pens, crayons, paper, scissors, glue, tape, pom poms, pipe cleaners, paint, glitter etc An investigation box: funnels, pipettes, baking soda, vinegar, colouring, sieves, scales etc. A sensory box: zip loc bags filled with a range of materials such as beans, rice, pasta, cotton wool, pom poms, pine cones etc. A play dough kit: no-cook play dough, straws, buttons, marbles, pasta, cutters and rolling pins etc. If the resources are there ready, play times are easy to fill!
* collect great ideas for play activities from around the web and bookmark them using the fabulous Pinterest! If you haven’t discovered it yet, you will love it! It’s so easy to use and visual, and lets you choose your own categories to divide ideas into such as crafts, science investigations, sensory play etc. You can follow my pinboards on Pinterest here and Jamie’s here!
* be realistic and remember, something is better than nothing! Even if everything goes wrong and there ends up only being a chance for a tickle-fest, game of hide and seek or quick doodling session, remind yourself that every moment spent in quality playtime is better than none! Your child feels valued and thrives on every moment of this special, dedicated time together. These are the moments that will be remembered in the future.
Did you miss some activities this month? Would you like to have them all together in one, easy to access place, ready to use at your fingertips? Then no fear! We are working on putting them all into an eBook ready for you to download sometime in the New Year- hooray!
Many of you wrote blog posts about your play challenges as you played along with us this month. We weren’t expecting that at all and are so thrilled to read them! There is a linky open today for you to link any and all posts from this month that are specifically related to the 30 Day Challenge! Please put your blog name and the specific day of the challenge in your title e.g. The Imagination Tree: Day 29 Role Play
Thank You so much for playing with us this month! We love you all!
I have enjoyed this series although fell off the boat with keeping up with the daily challenges. This last post is especially useful for me-like the idea of keeping a specific time for play and a list of ideas. This could fit in very well with other plans for older children-thank you.
Sorry to have just completely spammed your linky – I didn’t even link up all of our posts, that’s how much inspiration and fun we’ve got from this.
This has been such a great challenge and this last post is very inspiring and motivating. I have noticed so many changes and developments in our household and in my relationship with my little one, and the little lady I look after. It’s crazy to take note of how often we are busy or distracted, I never even realised it was happening before.
I hope you guys will consider another challenge sometime soon. I know we will definitely be playing along!
Thank you Anna for the challenge and giving a different aspect for play! You ladies did a wonderful thinking and the challenges were easy to play and inexpensive!
This post is such a great resource. I love the picture of the boxes of stuff and I LOVE the pinterest boards to follow. I have a feeling I am going to be repinning a lot of stuff today!