Now that it's getting cold and we're stuck inside most of the time, I need to find new ideas for playing with what we have in the house. That sounds silly, because obviously the girls know how to play very well themselves, but I'm the one who needs help. I get a little bored playing "let's have a picnic" every day, and I also tend to get distracted by housework or cooking or a phonecall or a book or email or whatever. So, one of the blogs I read has a challenge in November to spend 15 minutes a day actively playing with your kids, and they give you a different idea of a fun way to play each day. I like that they focus on play-based learning and child-led activities, and that everything you need to play is something that we already have in our house. Check it out at The Imagination Tree.
Oh, and I should add that I think it's also good for Ben, because I've noticed that he interacts best with the girls during playtime if he has a specific goal in mind. If I say "Here's your challenge: let's see who can build the biggest block tower!" he and the girls all get into the spirit and end up having a lot of fun.
The first challenge was to build a fort. Not a problem in our house! That day I had brought home a parachute from Amelia's preschool so that I could reinforce the handles that were coming apart, and so we used the parachute to make a huge fort in our playroom. Once we had the fort built, Amelia decided that she wanted to play with stickers, so she and Megan both put stickers on paper (thank goodness for Joanns which has 600 stickers for $1 because Amelia probably used 80 stickers on her page). I helped Megan a lot because the stickers had a tendency to get stuck on her fingers, but I did pull out the camera to snap just a quick photo or two. Here is Amelia telling me that she is too busy playing with stickers to get her picture taken:
The second challenge was to build block towers. Amelia is a great tower builder but Megan just wanted to knock the towers over. You would think that would make for a good team, but Amelia got upset when Megan would knock her towers over before she was done building them.
After we had made towers using all different kinds of blocks, I challenged Amelia to build a tower with the squishy plastic blocks using only her teeth!
Then she challenged me to build a tower using books. Challenge accepted!