Something a little different on the blog today. Play! I’ve loved setting out special play activities for Theodore ever since I found out it was a ‘thing’ back when he was a tiny newborn. My love of play originated from baby groups and classes we’ve been going to since he was 7 weeks old. I’ve seen the huge development impact they’ve had on him as he grows so I like to try incorporate that at home as much as possible.
Now we have reached toddler territory what we can do together has seemed to have widened massively. Watching him explore things other than his toys has been amazing. You can totally see them working everything out. Theodore has got to the stage that I only need to show him how something works once and he’s cracked it. A couple of days ago we had some plastic clothes pegs in a treasure basket. I simply showed him how you pushed the ends together to make the peg open and close. Within seconds he’d got it.
Without giving your children these opportunities you’re holding them back from how much further they could possibly develop.
So today I thought I’d share with you two quick Valentines related plays we have done to fill you with inspiration. I’m linking this blog post on to Simply Together’s new Read.Play.Learn.Linky! Although I ran my Sightings From Linky for a long time I never actually got the chance to partake in someone else’s. I’m super pumped about this one. Every month a ‘theme’ will be set (this months Valentines) and you can do whatever you feel you want to in the terms of play with your little one.
Like a treasure basket but laid on a mat. Simple! Here I just gathered things from around the house that represented love, or valentines day itself. I also looked out for different textured things that were pink or red. I always try to corporate a book that we can read within these sorts of play. You want to try cover as many senses as you can. So sight, sound, taste, smell and touch. Although I do always find that ‘taste’ is a difficult one if I’m trying to sway away from messy play. You’ll be surprised what you’ve got laying around to create these sorts of play. Nothing special was bought at all here, I just rummaged around the house and pulled together what was suitable. Here’s a quick list of things you could add;
- Rose petals
- Heart house decorations
- Photographs of couples your child recognises
- Old Valentine’s Day cards
- Handmade Valentines gifts
- Books connected to love
- Pink/Red beads
- Ring box
- Pink/Red materials and scarves
- Fake (or real) flowers
- Floral Perfume
- Heart shaped biscuits
He had so much fun exploring all these bits. He especially loved the photographs of Mummy and Daddy together. He couldn’t stop pointing at us in the images. The heart globe with the photo in he especially loved shaking and watching all the little bits floating around. We made sure to read the book a few times thought out the day. I was talking to him about love and kindness, reading him our old valentines day cards and also trying to incorporate learning about the colour red and pink and there differences.
I love these images of him exploring it all so much. To have candid photos of him in his element trying to work things out is something I will always treasure.
Love Bird Valentines Cards
A simple little craft to do which is age appropriate to all ages. I’ve done these to send out to Grandparents for Valentines day. The most simplest little design which I’m sure they’ll all love and appreciate. Crafts like this are fantastic to do with toddlers that are still to young to grasp the idea of ‘painting’ and crafts in general. I find if I give Theodore some paint, paintbrushes and paper he’ll do a couple of faint splotches here and there and be done with it. I look forward for to the day he understands the concept of letting your creativity out.
But for now I will just give him a helping hand in doing these sorts of activities.
What you will need for this activity. Hopefully you’ll already have items like these around the house;
- Red kids paint
- White kids paint
- Red and White card
- Orange card/paper
- Goggley eyes (isn’t a must)
Honestly it’s as easy as it looks. I’m sure you don’t even need a step by step guide. Paint your child’s hand or just put two blobs of paint on a tray and put their hand in it. Try to get the thumb part to be at the top of the card, as the thumb looks best as the top of the bird. I accidentally did some of mine the wrong way, but it doesn’t really matter!
Depending on the age of your child you might want to watch that they don’t try to eat the paint. Theodore always tries to chew on the paintbrushes, so I find using his dummy whilst doing these types of activities works best as it keeps him from doing that.
As you can see, he managed to get a few tastes of paint in! Always have a wet flannel at the ready because it gets messy! At this point his work in the activity is done. I usually like to then give him free reins on painting and creating something. I like to use washi tape to keep a piece of card in place otherwise I find it tends to slip around under the paint brush if not.
Next you want to cut small triangles from the orange card to create the ‘beak’ of the bird. Make sure the handprints are completely dry before this next step. Stick the orange beak on to the palm part of the hand. Then either with stick on goggly eyes or a pen draw on a single eye above the beak. Then some little stick legs. Done! Super simple and quick to do. If you like you can write a little bird related pun or joke like I have.
If you have any valentines toddler activities on your blog or Instagram account please leave the link below so I can get some more ideas. Also you can link up any of Valentines play posts to Simply Together’s linky. Use the hashtag #ReadPlayLearnLinky on Instagram too share your images.
Since this is my first play blog post. Would you like to see more? I’m really feeling these and look forward to creating more in the future. I have one all about Outside Play coming soon.