6 ways for Baby to Play

Jul 23, 2014

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Welcome to TUESDAY TOTS. Apologies that it is late this week (again). I really should call it Wednesday Tots, haha. 
Brought to you weekly by Learn with Play at home (that's us), Rainy Day Mum and One Perfect Day.



This week we are showcasing

"6 Play Ideas for Babies"

There are a million and one "baby toys" available in the shops. That should be enough to keep baby entertained and learning, right? Shame my babies were never really interested in the colourful plastic that kept showing up at our house, and the uses of many were so limited that it's no wonder they never really captured their attention. There are so many ways that babies can play and learn from the materials you already have in your house or can buy cheaply from craft shops. (They usually find them much more exciting as well.) Here are 6 interesting ideas for babies that will keep them entertained and more importantly will aid in practicing a variety of different skills and learning areas.  **As with all activities involving young children, be sure to supervise.


1. Tissue Box Play from Learn with Play at Home

2. Ball Treasure Basket from Living Montessori Now

3. Baby Sparkle Bottle from Picklebums

4. Baby Obstacle Course  from Octavia and Vicky

5. Velcro Chains from Laughing Kids Learn

5. Rolling Ramp Fun from Learn with Play at Home


Congratulations if you were featured. You can grab a Featured Button here.


See here for even more baby play ideas.


-----------------------------------
Now for the Tuesday Tots link-up
Announcement: In order to keep up with the demands of our own households and also those of our readers, Cerys (from Rainy Day Mum), Ness (from One Perfect Day) and myself, have decided to open the Tuesday Tots link up to play ideas, activities and child related posts suitable from birth to teens. 
Where once we only shared ideas for those under the age of 5, we will now be sharing activities, ideas and posts for a larger range of ages/abilities. We look forward to seeing all the new material that is linked up from talented bloggers worldwide and featuring our top picks for the week.


Be sure to check back on all the fabulous ideas that are linked up each week starting on a Tuesday. It is from these linkups that we choose posts to feature.

(please read the guidelines before linking up)








Happy playing,
Debs :)

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Invitation to Play. Pinecones, playdough and pompoms

Jul 19, 2014

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We have many pine trees around where we live so every time we go for a walk, the kids are bound to come home with at least a couple of pinecones to add to the collection. 

In a simple Invitation to play, I set out some of the pinecones alongside some of our homemade playdough and pompoms. 

We used this activity to further fine motor skills, creativity, sensory development, language, learn colours, textures, letter sound knowledge and more. Mainly just for fun though. :)

Ages: 12 months+
(See the handy tips at the bottom for ideas to suit your child's needs)


Materials used:
For my younger son (2.5), I started off a pinecone, using the playdough to stand it up in and the pompoms to decorate around the pinecone, to give him some direction.

My older daughter (5.5) needed no such encouragement or examples. She was set to use the materials as she saw fit.

Finding gaps to fit the pompoms was challenging for my toddler. He really had to utilise his fine-motor skills and pincer grip to get the pompoms and attempt to squish them into gaps and make them stay.

These types of open-ended, tactile, creative experiences work well for both my children of different age groups. I love the peer learning that takes place, plus the laughter and discussions that come from working side-by-side.

We discussed colour, size, texture, patterns and more.

I love watching them be focused and able to concentrate on tasks for a period of time. You can usually expect that the older the child, the longer they will be able to remain focused and concentrating on the task.

Even after Noah had lost interest, Maddie spent quite some time ensuring that each pine-cone was as decorated and beautiful as it could be. I loved watching her flair for creativity as she encircled them with pom-poms and displayed them for us all to see.


Handy Tips

Simplify this activity by searching for pinecones with big, wide gaps. This will make it easier for little fingers to manipulate the pom-poms to stay in. The squishier the pom-poms, the easier it is to fit them in the gaps.

Extend this activity by:
  • Working in some counting and grouping. Each pine-cone could represent a different value that the children have to match. (ie, 5 pompoms in the number 5 pine-cone)
  • Allowing children to free play with their materials and then draw or write about their experience or what they made
  • Use as a beginning activity for some creative story writing about magical coloured pine-cones
  • Have children first make the playdough themselves

Mix it up by adding in a variety of embellishments such as pipe-cleaners, sequins, beads, matchsticks etc. to further decorate each pinecone.

- Use descriptive language that goes with this experience to help develop your child's vocabulary. Eg. "squishy, gap, space, fit, manipulate, pompom, pinecone" etc.

-  Playdough is a material that we tend to use daily. Here are just a few of the other ways we've played with it. Click the  pictures to take you to the activities.

 Length, Measurement & Patterning with Playdough Snakes. Hands-on, Playful Maths for kids.          playdough activity, open ended, sensory activity  toddler, kids, activities for kids, fine motor skills, playdoh, pipe cleaners  play dough, kids activity, science 


Happy playing,
Debs :)


We like to play here as well. Come play with us :)
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5 Activity Ideas for Creative Kids

Jul 16, 2014

Follow us on Pinterest for tons of great kids activities and ideas.

Welcome to TUESDAY TOTS. Apologies that it is late this week. 
Brought to you weekly by Learn with Play at home (that's us), Rainy Day Mum and One Perfect Day.



This week we are showcasing

"5 Activity Ideas for Creative Kids"

Here are 5 creative, arty, open-ended activities for your kids. Most of these activities use materials that you're bound to already have in your supplies and are simple to set-up. Suitable for creative kids of all ages. (My 2 year old and 5 year old both equally loved doing #1 in their own ways and would have a red-hot go at any of the others.)


1. Cardboard Comb Painting and Mono-printing from Learn with Play at Home

2. Leaf Creatures from Dabbling Momma

3. Symmetrical Sticker Pictures from You Clever Monkey


5. Painting with Flowers from The Gingerbread House


Congratulations if you were featured. You can grab a Featured Button here.


Have you seen our e-book especially for Preschoolers?  Get your copy today.


Your creative kids may also be interested in this previous Tuesday Tots post,  10 Ideas for Pretend Play setups.


-----------------------------------
Now for the Tuesday Tots link-up
Announcement: In order to keep up with the demands of our own households and also those of our readers, Cerys (from Rainy Day Mum), Ness (from One Perfect Day) and myself, have decided to open the Tuesday Tots link up to play ideas, activities and child related posts suitable from birth to teens. 
Where once we only shared ideas for those under the age of 5, we will now be sharing activities, ideas and posts for a larger range of ages/abilities. We look forward to seeing all the new material that is linked up from talented bloggers worldwide and featuring our top picks for the week.


Be sure to check back on all the fabulous ideas that are linked up each week starting on a Tuesday. It is from these linkups that we choose posts to feature.

(please read the guidelines before linking up)








Happy playing,
Debs :)

Look where else we are. Are you following along? :)
New Here? Subscribe to get all activities sent directly to you
Enter your email address:


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Bricklaying for Kids. Invitation to Play.

Jul 13, 2014

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Here is a fun construction building invitation to play that I set out to occupy my toddler (currently aged 2.5). The main components for this easy set-up activity are simply playdough and blocks. Making the playdough a grey colour to simulate concrete and providing a couple of little construction tools all added to the scene but aren't necessary to still have a fun and creative activity for kids of all ages. My kids loved this little bricklaying activity.

We used this activity to further language skills, fine motor skills, building skills, knowledge of gravity, understanding of bricklaying, sensory development, imagination, role play and more.

Ages: 12 months+
(See the handy tips at the bottom for ideas to suit your child's needs)


Materials used:
  • Play concrete. AKA Playdough from our No-cook playdough recipe that I coloured grey. It's nice and soft so easy to spread.
  • Wooden blocks (we used some from our Spielgaben set)
  • Plastic knife
  • Plastic shovel/tools
  • Toy cars
  • Construction hat
  • Wooden road signs

I started off a little wall (mainly to check that it could be done but also because it was fun, haha) and then left it and the rest of the materials out on a table for my son to find.

 Without further instruction he got his builders hat on and dug right into his "concrete."

There was digging, scraping, cutting, spreading, squishing and more.

He followed the building prompt and continued to stack and build up towers and walls, simulating a similar method used by bricklayers. I took this opportunity to talk about how it's done and we looked at some examples of brick work to see the patterns and how the cement is used as a glue to hold all the bricks together. This discussion and further learning helped to consolidate understanding of the activity, process and what he was experiencing.

It was obvious by his enthusiasm and the length of time he spent on this activity, just how much he enjoyed it.

I marveled at his concentration and perseverance, even when his constructions were not going the way he wanted them to.

I couldn't help myself. I had to build a bigger wall.

When my son was done with the activity, I left it out. What do you think the first thing my 5.5 year old daughter wanted to do as soon as she got home from school and saw it all? Yes, play!


Handy Tips

Simplify this activity by providing fewer accessories and just a ball of playdough and some blocks. Encourage children to break small bits off the playdough and squish between blocks to make playdough sandwiches. Practice spreading the playdough onto a block with a plastic knife.

Extend this activity by:
  • Encouraging children to draw a design and then try to simulate it using blocks and playdough
  • Allow children to free play with their materials and then draw or write about their experience or what they constucted
  • Use as a beginning activity for some creative storywriting
  • Have children first make the playdough themselves
  • Challenge children to make two structures the same. One incorporating their pretend concrete (playdough) and one without. Which was easier/harder to build? Why? What differences did they notice?

Mix it up with different sizes and shapes of blocks and other building materials. Provide a variety of embellishments such as pipe-cleaners, craft sticks, etc. to add to their constructions.

- Use descriptive language that goes with this experience to help develop your child's vocabulary. Eg. "spread, concrete, construction, shape, squish" etc.

- Test that the playdough you use comes off the blocks easily without leaving any marks behind. Our no-cook playdough recipe came off without any effort and did not leave any marks behind. You can always use plastic blocks if you are concerned about it.

-  Playdough is a high use material at our place. Here are some other ways we've played with it. Click the  pictures to take you to the activities.

 Length, Measurement & Patterning with Playdough Snakes. Hands-on, Playful Maths for kids.          playdough activity, open ended, sensory activity  toddler, kids, activities for kids, fine motor skills, playdoh, pipe cleaners  play dough, kids activity, science 


Happy playing,
Debs :)


We like to play here as well. Come play with us :)
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Enter your email address:


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