It's school holidays here in Victoria and all over the state, children of different ages are coming together to play. I like to have lots of time at home while the kids are on holidays and love to find ways to get my two kids happily and busily playing together. Here are some of my best 'play together' ideas:
Find a common interest - my two just love to play games with their soft toys. So, I have all they need for their imaginative play games available to them always. That way, they can play as the mood strikes them and cater their play to the interest thay have at the time. They have their school, beds, clothes, food, textas, paper, pens all tucked away neatly in these baskets so they can pull them out whenever they like (without involving me - yipee!)
Like I said, my kids love tehir soft toys, but these baskets could be easily filled with rocks, animals, cars, blocks, rockets or dress-ups.
I like to set things up for them too. Sometimes it can take just 5 minutes to throw an open-ended activity together that the kids will play with for hours.
Our favourites are
I pour out some colours, put out brushes and a few other painting utensils, paper and a drying rack and leave them to it. Sometimes we use cardboard cut-outs we even like to use canvases sometimes too.
I've written about this before, but just taking a bit of time to set up Lego for 2 or 3 or 4 can make a big difference to how long children will play there. Of course this works well for all types of building materials
We love water play here, but these containers could just as easily be filled with sand or mud or coloured cornflour and water. Now that the kids are bigger, I'll just pull out the container of water toys and plonk them in the middle. They need a bit more space now too, so I like to give them a couple of different areas to play in. It makes the play a little more elaborate and so keeps them busy for longer.
I think it's great to sacrifice a small area of lounge room to make a dramatic play space that can stay set up too. Our favourites are a zoo, a restaurant, a cafe, a doctors surgery a shop and of course, good old home corner! (my apologies for the grainy photos, but you get the idea!)
I'm going to take a little bloggy break for the rest of the holidays. I'll be back on October 10 with another "Play Moment Monday". In the meantime, Happy Playing!