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“What shall we do today…….?”

“What shall we do today……?” – Some essential ‘Back to basics’ play ideas!

Once we had finished the mammoth task of unpacking all the gorgeous toys, furniture and equipment for the nursery, we found ourselves with an entire room full of boxes of all shapes and sizes, some of which we could even get in ourselves! Some we sorted for recycling; however with the remaining boxes the team decided to put these to some good use. As parents alike we all know that once the unwrapping has come off the Christmas and birthday gifts and the toy taken out of the box, the thing children want to do more than anything else is to play with the box! So, with this in mind we created an amazing playroom filled with nothing more than the very boxes we had spent the last few weeks unpacking!

As experienced childcare experts we know that play opportunities, equipment and environments don’t necessarily need to be expensive in order to challenge, stimulate and allow the child the opportunity to explore, learn and discover.

Cast your mind back to when you were younger…..…what was your favourite game? The play opportunities we had (as children of the 70’s/80’s!) were a lot simpler than the manmade predetermined toys children have today……..mud pies with a bucket or one of mums saucepans and wooden spoon in the back garden, daisy chains on the lawn, hide and seek, pressing flowers in between dads heavy encyclopaedia, den making with a blanket tucked into the top draw of the chest of drawers to allow you to ‘magically disappear’ when it’s time for tea! Creating towns and people with mums clothes pegs!

We are at The Gardens, Homes and Lifestyle Etc Show at the Brighton Centre next weekend (2nd and 3rd March) http://etchomesandgardens.co.uk/ and we will be demonstrating some ‘top tips’ on back to basic play opportunities that can easily become part of your own children’s play in the home (without breaking the bank!)

Here are some ideas to get you going utilising everyday household objects

Kitchen utensils are fab for

  • Making musical instruments (yoghurt pots, toilet rolls, greaseproof paper, rice and an elastic band!)
  • Creating a marching band (saucepan lids make great cymbals!)
  • accessorising a den
  • Use the story book ‘Whatever Next’ by Jill Murphy http://tinyurl.com/9wc23lc  recreate the story or create one with your children
  • Water play – try adding some glitter or food colouring to the water for added variety and fun!

Use boxes and recycling items to

  • Build a giant (or smaller!) volcano, be sure to make a hole in the top and when your creation is finished fill it up with bi carbonate of soda and yellow/red/orange powder paint and then add vinegar, watch it erupt
  • Build towns and cities out of boxes then add cars, people and other toys for a new way to play with old stuff
  • Open out big cardboard boxes and lay them flat in the garden and then get the children to do some really fun and messy body painting, for those that don’t like the feel or too much mess give them the tubes of paint to squirt everywhere!
  • Just make a crazy junk creation have fun sticking and building and then let the children choose how to decorate it.
  • BIG boxes……just play in them! Or create bigger towns, boats, cars and just watch the children’s (and your) imagination run wild!

Delve into your airing/linen cupboard for

  • Old sheets to make dressing up outfits, accessorize with buttons, wool and your sewing skills!
  • Sheets and blankets are  great for secret den making  (indoors and outdoors!)
  • Old sheets laid on the floor or lawn to create a massive art attack with glue, paint and whatever else you can lay your hands on!

Have some free fun and see what ideas you and your children can come up with.  Happy ‘back to basic’ playing!



Posted on 22/02/2013 in Childcare Tips, Nursery News, Uncategorized