Thursday, February 21, 2013

Play Simply at Home

Play Simply!

As a mom to a 2 1/2 year old little girl, and a nanny to a 4 1/2 year old boy and an almost 2 year old girl, I spend lots of time playing and/or supervising play.  I'm not a "home body" by nature, though I'm growing in my contentment at home, as long as I know what our day might look like.  I tend to prefer going out (even to run errands, or take the kids to play) because my little friends seem to enjoy breaking up the day that way.  We all tend to get restless and stir crazy when we're at home ALL day!

On to thriftiness though... going out to a variety of children's activities isn't totally thrifty.  While some outings are free (library story time, nature center, park, etc.) the cost of gasoline is a deterrent.  Instead of insisting that we find daily activities away, and to save money here are some of our at home activities.  You may have similar toys laying around that have been overlooked lately, or you might find inspiration to make a "toy" out of something you certainly have or could easily obtain.

I compiled this list for my mom when we recently went out of town, leaving our daughter in our home with grandma.  Grandma's rarely need ideas, but I hoped it would help if she did :)

·         paint her toenails
·         make a smoothie
·         play “I Spy”
·         change Baby Jane’s clothes
·         listen to music 
·         Play-Doh (store bought or home made - find inspiration on Pinterest)

in motion, making "apple pie" with homemade
cinnamon play dough
·         rubber stamps
·         markers, crayons, dry erase crayons and board, window crayons, etc. 
·         construction paper, coloring books 
·         play Curious George board game
·         spray shaving cream on high chair tray to play in,
trace with fingers to make letter, shapes, etc.
(wear a smock, encourage her not to worry about messy hands!)
·         play with buttons
(sort by color, shape, size or scoop, and pour them into cups, etc.)
·         play with magnets and cookie sheet or refrigerator
(matching letter magnets to her written name,
or a sheet of paper with the alphabet written)
·         paint on easel 

·         thread beads 
·         build a zoo with little wooden animals and blocks
·         watch a Scholastic storybook DVD
(I've found these at TJ Maxx for around $5 in the past)
·         play grocery store
(use paper bag, baskets, shopping cart, purse, coins, list, receipts)
·         play doctor 
·         play “Ring Around the Rosie” on our bed
·         set up the tent and tunnel

·         have a tea party with all stuffed animals and dolls
·         play ambulance with couch (or call it the “purple car” or “ship”)
·         toss rolled up toddler socks or bean bags into laundry basket
·         climb the “mountain” (a hill near our apartment)
·         play with any toys in her closet
(I rotate toys, so some are stashed away and can be "new" again, when I
switch them - this also helps with the limited space available for toys!)
·         use your fabric letters and match toys to each letter
·         write cards and letters to mail in little red mailbox
·         cook together

·         work on puzzles
·         play with felt farm 
·         play with dry feed corn or dry beans and John Deere tractors,
Gator, and farm animals
·         read!  
·         take baby Jane for a walk outside with the plastic stroller
·         blow bubbles outside 
·         play instruments 
·         make an obstacle course, or balance beam with masking tape on the carpet
·         play with pasta in box
(add scoops, spoons, bowls, cups, etc. from kitchen or play kitchen)

·         make Valentine cards (her favorite activity with Grandma most recently!)
·         make paper snowflakes, or paper doll garland
·         make hair bows
·         listen to a book on CD

Hope these are helpful and thrifty thoughts for any stir crazy
cold days you may have with your little ones!


1 comment:

Jenny Free Style said...

Great post! Perfect for our big snow storm we just got! Thanks Laura!