As usual, I've planned our Summer holiday, although things have had to change a little bit...no beach trips, no camping, and certain activities will need to wait until Dollop's plaster cast is removed. We jumped straight into the plan, and have been doing lots of activities. Mostly craft stuff and baking because I find these bring us close, and are 'together' activities.
I want to share some of them with you...until a few months ago I was writing another blog Cakes, Makes and Bakes, where I wrote, funnily enough, about cakes, makes and bakes, with recipes and craft activities. It seems silly to keep up that other blog, when this one is where I write about Mini and Dollop. So from now on I'll share some of the things we make here on The Boy's Behaviour, and I hope you'll find they're things you can do with your children too. Cakes, Makes and Bakes will stay live, so do have a look at things we've done in the past...I even posted about a disaster that we made, it might make you giggle if nothing else.
So one of the first things we've done is a simple craft activity to make a useful toy/game. This was inspired by something I saw a few years ago in a shop, and as I was tidying up a few little bits and pieces, I thought I'd give it a go. Mini helped, and has since spent ages playing with it...Dollop too.
Rice Maze and Story Maker
A large (ish) plastic bottle with a screw on lid. Try to find one with a relatively wide hole.
Rice - enough to mostly fill your bottle.
10-20 small objects, that will fit into the bottle, we used:
- Small plastic sword
- Hat pin
- Toy spider
- Butterfly sequin
- Mini peg
- Leaf sequin
- Mini pom pom
- Moon shaped bead
- Pink bead
- Hama bead
- Plastic bow
- Googly eye
- Wiggly shaped craft foam
- Foam flower
That's it. Now there are several games to play, and if you have any more ideas I'd love to hear them.
Put a 20-30 second timer on and ask your child to shake the bottle and call out as many things as they can see. Adjust the time based on your child's age and ability. Mini LOVES this - he's 6.
Call out items for your child to find - this works better than the above game for little children. Dollop prefers doing this - she's 3.
Use it as a story teller. Shake the bottle and using the first item you see, make up a story. Regularly shake and spot an item that you can work into the story. Great for inspiration when you're struggling for a new bedtime story. Using this Mini's made up several short stories already.
Because Mini and I made this it gave us some time together. He got excited about finding what to put in it. He could do the whole thing himself, but we talked and he listened to my instructions. The other great thing about this is that Mini *could* play with it himself, but it wouldn't be so much fun. So it helps us all interact and be close and connect. We high five or hug when he's found the pieces. He's using his imagination (and so am I) to make stories. It's a quiet, calm activity that we can spend 5minutes or 50minutes on. He's even sat and made up stories with and for Dollop, so they've played together. Such a simple idea, but works in so many ways for us.