I'm committed to setting up a play experience for Ed everyday this week and I have to admit, yesterday was a real challenge. I work on Monday and Tuesday morning at the local community centre where I run a couple of play-based kid's activity groups. Ed comes along to both of these groups and so by Tuesday afternoon, we are both exhausted.
He put himself to bed as soon as we got home and slept for 2 hours before we had to rush off to get Em from school. After school, we headed off to the library to get some more car and truck books (I can't believe he's not sick of them yet - we keep getting the same ones!!) and then home to make dinner and have a bath.
I decided to squeeze his activity into bath time. There are so many lovely activities you can set up in the bath and most children just love playing with water - it is one of Ed's favourite things to.
I collected up a bunch of plastic containers big and small as well as some disposable plastic plates I had left over from birthday parties. I then got together some plastic animals of varying shapes and sizes. I just put them on the edge of the bath and left the kids to work out what they wanted to do.
Of course, Ed complained that there weren't any cars, but he was happy to just play with the animals for a change. I sat for a while and we talked about sinking and floating and how many animals could fit in the container. We explored concepts of heavy and light, sinking and floating, in and out and large and small, by just letting the kids experiment while we talked about what they were doing. When the experimentation was over, Em and Ed created their own imaginative play game where the animals would travel in their boats to get to an island. The big animals were the 'Mummies" and the small animals were the 'Babies'. Here, they were working on their social skills and developing their self-esteem and sense of self. There is so much learning and developing to be had in imaginative play games and the wonderful thing about siblings is that they learn so much from each other (with a little help from mum of course!).