Recently I’ve been searching for lots of ways to play that allow me to take a less active role, in both the set up and clearing away, and the actual play too. I’ve been so sick with this pregnancy and I’m sad to say that we’ve spent far too many days doing very very quiet activities or nothing at all as I stick my head down the nearest loo. We’ve not been outside as much as I would normally either, and I cannot tell you how guilty this makes me feel. So I wanted to keep a hand in with the kids’ activities, as I know how much they love them. I had a very willing volunteer to help me make lots of different coloured play dough one rainy Sunday afternoon, and we used that in lots of play in the following days. So, here is ways to play with rainbow play dough!
I always follow The Imagination Tree’s playdough recipe, you can find that here. I add colour and scent according to what we’re doing so in that case I made, red, yellow, green, blue, purple and orange.
I set up the tray with a few items- different shaped cutters, ice cream scoops and cones (sand toys), colourful milkshake cups from the tea set and some cutters and rollers) and basically left the kids to it. I wanted to see what they would make, but I also wanted this to be as ‘hands off’ as possible too.
This was invitation enough for them. While the toddler liked to use the tools and her fingers to cut, press and manipulate the dough…
the elder two preferred to play more imaginatively. The Big One helped The Preschooler to make milkshakes, ice creams, shapes and patterns. She spent ages playing and it was really nice to see her get involved. The Preschooler enjoyed the role play side to this activity, insisting on making me ice creams to make me feel better, and chattering away as he played. There was no direction at all from me and it was lovely.
Later that week, I wanted to use the play dough in another easy activity, but one with more direction this time. I’m keen to get The Toddler to practise her fine motor skills and to concentrate for slightly longer periods, so I set up a little spaghetti and cheerio activity for her.
The Toddler LOVED poking the bamboo skewers into the dough (this needed supervision as one end is fairly sharp, but we managed fine) and we had fun counting as she did it. I think she would have done this for the whole session if it were up to her, but as it was just the two of us, I wanted her to practise some other skills too. I encouraged her to use the cherrios and pop them onto the sticks, counting as we went. This flexed her fine motor skills muscles and was a good counting practise too.
Next, I introduced a few materials that we were sent from Baker Ross. The whole kit has an Under The Sea theme (which I shall be writing more about soon!) and one of the most intriguing items in the package was seashells. Immediately, I knew they would be perfect in sensory play, and this activity lent itself really well to them. I showed The Toddler how to press the shells into the play dough, counting as I went. We talked about the patterns we were making and the shapes that were left in the dough. She loved pressing them into the dough, and lifting them up again to see what had happened underneath. We also used the chunky felt tips Baker Ross sent us to write numbers and letters on some of the shells. We practised counting 1-10 and spelled The Toddler’s name too. She loved this activity and it was nice and relaxed for poorly mummy too!
These activities were inspired by the wonderful award nominated Adventures of Adam, who not only supports women suffering from HG, but blogs about HG friendly activities to do at home. I’d love to hear about the ways that you’re playing too!