Animal Madness, Bringing Books to Life, Creativity is Key, Fine Motor, Invitation to Play, Small Worlds, The World Around Me

One of the Best- Playdough Playmats!

I have to be completely honest – this is my new addiction! If you have a child that loves playdough and animals – they will ADORE these activities! It involves next to no prep, hours of fun and lots of learning opportunities!

Basically,we use the playdough as a landscape to play with our plastic animals and/or decorative objects and we love it! The playdough acts as the best playmat, especially for toddlers, because it holds the items in place- it eliminates those frustrating moments where nothing stays stood up for them.

So all you need is…

  • Playdough.
  • Animals.
  • Decorative Items.
  • A playdough friendly area.
  • A Tiny ready to have fun.

What animals and decorative items you use completely depend on what habitat you want to explore, here are a few we have enjoyed;

A Farm – We used our mini farm play set, our small tractor, a fish shape cutter and googly eyes.

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A Rainforest – We used our plastic trees, a plastic log and lots of animals.

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A Beach – We used some shells, stones, plastic seaweed, plastic trees and lots of plastic sea creatures.

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What are they learning?

These activities educate the child about the habitat they are creating and the animals that live there, whilst developing their fine motor skills and their creativity.

What else could you create?

  • Others you could create are a forest, polar, desert, glasslands, wetlands, or ocean habitat.
  • You could use smaller buildings (if you have any) and create a city.
  • To make it magical, you could use an array of objects and fairies to create a fairy world.
  • For something competitive you could use various vehicles and create an off road racing course.
  • To link it in with history, using plastic army men you could create a battlefield area.
  • Using dinosaurs and stones you could create a prehistoric world.
  • To link it into literacy, you could create the scene of a story and re-enact it.

THE OPPORTUNITIES ARE ENDLESS!

Do you love it too?

 

Animal Madness, Creativity is Key, Fine Motor, Invitation to Play, The World Around Me, With a Splash of Colour

One of the best- Keepsake Crafty Sunshade!

Admittedly, it has taken me way too long to start actually writing this blog but I have finally found some time (and I’ll be honest some courage!).

As Paige is now 2, we have already done some amazing activities which occurred before the time of this blog, so I am going to start the blog by reminiscing some of our all time favourites which I think you all will love!

The first being my absolute favourite – The Keepsake Sunshade

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We created this at an arty tots class that we used to attend as a birthday present for Dad. Paige absolutely loved making it, giving it and using it. It is a fantastic ‘practical’ present which requires very little parental involvement and therefore gives the child a massive sense of achievement and ownership.

All you need is:

  • Washable Paint – Our teacher used non-toxic paint so we never worried about the children exploring with their mouths!
  • Tape – To keep the stencil(s) securely in place.
  • A blank sunshade.
  • Stencils – Any design of your choice, we chose dinosaurs because Paige and her dad are both Dino Mad!
  • And finally, a baby or child who is ready to get messy!

*TIP* Get the splat mat out and put their apron on so you can relax and let them enjoy creating.

How we made it…

Paige was 1 year old at the time, so the way it was presented was very simplified. Paige chose the stencils and I taped them down in place, then I let her ‘tap, tap ,tap’ the colour on! She layered the colours and when it looked covered, I removed the stencils and that’s it!

Isn’t it a really simple but lovely activity?

If I did this at home, I definitely would have spent some time exploring the colours with Paige during this activity. Although, as it stands, it’s a great activity to develop creativity!

The opportunities are endless with this activity, you could:

  • Write their dad’s name on the sunshade using letter stencils if your child is older and is at the spelling stage.
  • Take it one step further and make your own stencils if your child is older and confident with their scissor skills.
  • Make it an educational activity about colour and mix your own colours to use.
  • Use different stencils to introduce them to different things such as transport or animals.
  • Instead of using stencils, use foam stampers with the paint to help develop their fine motor skills.
  • Put a range of decorative options and present this activity as an ‘Invitation To Create’ activity.
  • Explore patterns instead of using stencils.

Think this is something you and your tiny will enjoy?