Posted on

The Creative Play A-Z

Are you looking for a more creative approach to playtime?

Play doesn’t have to mean expensive wooden toys or elaborate set ups. Playtime should mean spending quality time together. Quit trawling Pinterest and Instagram for creative activities to do with your little ones and let me be your guide instead!

Featuring over 40 activities and recipes, The Creative Play A-Z is the ultimate starter guide for parents and carers who want to introduce a creative approach to play – all for the price of a couple of coffees!

For each letter of the alphabet, a new theme is introduced along with an activity idea and how to make or create it. The activities featured are intended for children aged between 2-4.  You can test out the free sample here.

Why Creative Play?

IMG_20170710_093208_892

Every day the kids and I are engaged in some element of creative play. We paint, get messy, draw, play make-believe games and generally have a lot of fun!

Each time we play, I see developmental leaps –  speech gets clearer,  imagination blossoms and motor skills get a little sharper with every activity. This isn’t me showing off my children’s’ abilities; this is simply what happens by engaging in play together.

We love bonding over play activities or creating a huge arty mess. It makes the days a lot more fun for all of us and I know that the same can be true for you too. Continue reading The Creative Play A-Z

Posted on

Discovery Table Week 10: Our City

We made it to week 10! At the time of writing this, still no baby but hopefully it wont be long now! This is the final post in the Discovery Table Series on the website, however if you follow us on Instagram and Facebook, we will still be changing the table each week.

This time around, we’ve chosen the city as our theme. Zoey has taken a real interest in both building and cars recently so we decided to combine the two! Continue reading Discovery Table Week 10: Our City

Posted on

We built a zoo…

Inspiration often strikes when we have a billion tonnes of recycling to use up! After so many trips to IKEA recently, we have a serious surplus of cardboard. Whilst we always recycle, it seemed like a shame for these huge canvases to be immediately consigned to the yellow bin.

With another baby on the way, I’m not as up for massive messy projects (literally really, since I can no longer hoist myself off of the floor!) so we made use of the dining room table to make ourselves a zoo. This project was inspired byDiscovery Table Week 8: Zoo! Continue reading We built a zoo…

Posted on

An invitation to play: muddy farmyard

You might’ve guessed by now that I HATE wasting materials! I recently used coco powder as a writing tray for one of my students and since it was then destined for the bin immediately after, I decided to turn it into mud instead!

Here’s the oobleck farm we made with it:

sensory

This went down an absolute storm with Zoey! She played with it for an hour at least. She made the animals muddy, scopped the mud into different containers and finally washed them clean with water. In toddler terms, i’m sure that you can all agree than one hour of engaged play is HUGE!

What is oobleck?

Oobleck is a fabulous introduction to STEAM. Mixed together, the combination of cornflour and water has some really interesting properties. If you were to prod it with a spoon or your fingers, it would act as a solid, but try to pick it up and its liquid like in consistency! This is activity I tend to do with my youngest (2) as a safe alternative to slime.

You will need:

  • Cornflour
  • Coco powder
  • Water
  • Farm animals or similar
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Large tray
  • Container for the ‘mud’

I’m not going to give you quantities for each ingredient since this will depend on the size of the container you use. My advice is to add each ingredient gradually!

 

Invitation to Play:

I set up the container, utensils and farm animals as an ‘invitation to play’ so that Zoey could choose the direction of play herself. We’re constantly doing sensory activities so she knows exactly what she wants to do HOWEVER if this is the first time you’ve ever tried something like this, you may want to help out a little!

sensory 2.jpg

 

The little scoops found in washing powders are a fabulous way for young children to practice hand-eye coordination. Zoey enjoyed moving the mud from one to another then ‘feeding’ her farm animals with it.

sensory 3.jpg

 

Once the novelty factor of the mud had worn off, we extended the play session by adding water in squirty bottles (the one in the photo is an old honey bottle) to wash the mud off!

sensory 5

 

Then we just keep adding water with the introduction of warm, soapy water in a bowl. I actually think that Zoey loved this part the most and it also saved me the job of cleaning up – win!

sensory 4

Posted on

Discovery Table Week 9: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This is the penultimate week in our discovery table series and I couldn’t finish without featuring another of our favourite books: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle! We have LOVED sharing the tables on the blog each week but with a new baby on the way, these posts will finish after 10 weeks. Not to worry though, as we will be keeping them going in real life – just keep an eye out on our Instagram and Facebook pages!

 

First look:

IMG_20180321_094828.jpg

This week’s table features a lot of play food! At the recommendation of my insta-buddy Julie Curtin, I decided to feature Eating the Alphabet alongside The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a way to explore healthy eating and occasional foods.

The inspiration:

The very lovely Johanna from Hello Pear sent me these gorgeous story stones and they’ve already proved a massive hit with both my children and one of my students too:

IMG_20180321_094244.jpg

Story stones are a fabulous way of helping children to retell stories in their own words. With my student we combined the stones with these days of the week blocks – both are available from Hello Pear. 

IMG_20180322_115540.jpg

 

Food glorious food!

For the rest of the set-up, I simply gathered together a range of play food into a felt IKEA shopping basket that would fit the  ‘healthy’ and ‘occasional’ categories for the children to sort:

IMG_20180321_094329.jpg

Want more? 

Check out the rest of the discovery table series by clicking on the links!

Discovery Table Week 1: Baby Clinic

Discovery Table Week 2: The Alphabet

Discovery Table Week 3: The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Discovery Table Week 4: The Ocean Waves

Discovery Table Week 5: Rainbow

Discovery Table Week 6: Nature

Discovery Table Week 7: Music

Discovery Table Week 8: Zoo!