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Harness the power of play with your toddler

Thursday 29 July 2021

Earlier this week, we caught up with Lisa Forsythe; teacher, mum, and author of ‘Simple Activities for Toddlers: A Practical Play-At-Home Handbook for Parents’ for her tips on making the most of play time with your little ones.

Creating memories

You can harness the power of play to create beautiful life-long memories with your child. Using resources you already have at home, you can have fun together, while developing your little one’s skills. 

We lead such busy lives but making quality time with our children is possible and important. Even if you aim for two ten minute periods of focussed play per day, it will add up over time. 

The key to quality time is: 

  • One–on–one 
  • Uninterrupted (no mobiles/tablets/TV) 
  • Do something your child wants to do or is interested in 

Below are three fun ideas for you to try with your toddler. 

Potion play

Materials:

  • Container
  • Measuring cups
  • Funnel
  • Spray bottle
  • Droppers
  • Flower petals
  • Food colouring

Instructions:

  1. Half fill a container with water. If you don’t have something suitable, use the kitchen sink! 
  2. Add measuring cups, funnels, spray bottle, droppers, flower petals, and food colouring to the container.   
  3. Let your child explore the items and how water interacts with them. It’s all about experimenting, observing, and having fun with various combinations of items. 

Toilet roll bee

Materials:

  • 1 toilet paper tube
  • 2 googly eyes
  • 1 pipe cleaner
  • Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Paint

Instructions:

  1. Paint the toilet paper tube yellow. 
  2. Once dry, paint on black stripes.
  3. Cut two small heart shapes for the wings.
  4. Glue the two hearts together at the bottom of each heart.
  5. Attach the hearts (wings) to the back of the toilet paper tube (body).
  6. Cut out a circle for the bee’s face.
  7. Glue the base of the circle to the top of the toilet roll tube.
  8. Glue two googly eyes to the circle (face).
  9. Cut two small pieces from the pipe cleaner and glue them to the inside of the toilet roll tube for the bee’s antenna. 

Paint stamping

Materials:

  • Construction paper
  • Paint
  • Items to stamp
  • Bubble wrap
  • Tray
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Gather items to stamp such as bubble wrap, cookie cutters, playdough cutters, or foam/block shapes.
  2. On a flat surface like a tray, spread a thin layer of paint.
  3. Press one item into the paint and press that onto the paper.
  4. Repeat the process, exploring the various shapes and sizes you create together.
  5. Cut the bubble wrap into different shapes and press these onto the paper, comparing the various textures of the items that have been stamped.

About the author

Lisa Forsythe

Lisa Forsythe is a mum and author of ‘Simple Activities for Toddlers: A Practical Play-At-Home Handbook for Parents’. She has been a member of the teaching profession for over 15 years and is passionate about play-based education and learning. 

Find out more here.

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