Well I think we’d all say that it’s been a bit of a challenge in keeping our little ones entertained during this period of having to stay at home.
It’s a total juggle, trying to keep on top of all the monotony of the usual household tasks and reassembling the house seemingly 8 times a day. We have a 5yr old needing home schooling, and trying to keep the middle one entertained and getting the littlest one down to nap to get the home schooling done is like aligning all the moons of Jupiter.
Inevitably this time has been challenging for all of us in adjusting to the change in our daily routines. My wife and I have tried to scour as many ideas we could muster to keep our little ones entertained at the same times so that we aren’t trying to orchestrate three different age appropriate activities but one that they can all get involved in and share together.
Most of you have probably seen a load of interesting things to do online and these have been a saving grace for most of us, and summoning as much of the old Blue Peter spirit (showing my age here) of creating perfectly fashioned models or toys from loo roll tubes and a washing up liquid bottle has been nostalgic.
Using our unwanted cardboard and plastic packaging has been a great way of involving them all. We placed a plastic table cloth, that we normally use for painting on the kitchen floor and laid out all the items to decide what to make. Thankfully, a Rocket to go to the moon was decided upon.
The feel of the different materials was a great sensory experience for our 12month old. She’s been loving the plastic wrappers, enjoying the feel of rustling them in her hands and the sounds they make. Playing drums with plastic bottles whether it’s using them as the drum itself or the drum stick. She’s at the stage of collecting things and placing them in baskets, boxes or bags, so any loose item gets placed in anything in which they can fit and be carried.
Then the paints were set free. Yes, it was messy, very… but that’s what it’s kind of about. The paint between the fingers and the feel of the brushes was another opportunity for contrasting texture and touch. Whilst we were waiting for parts to dry we were looking at what we could glue or Sellotape, the stickiness of the Sellotape intrigued our littlest one, as she sat there quietly, slowly peeling them from finger to finger.
Learning and development is so much about visual stimulus but it also factors in all the senses and sensory touch is vital. Sensory development is of paramount importance to us hence why we have chosen bold black and white designs to provide visual development on the softest cotton and bamboo mix for our Mesmerising Muslins not only for them to see but to feel as well. It gives them a fantastic sensory experience.
Give the junk modelling a go and just remember (like I keep telling myself with our attempt) the further away your creation is from your intention the more you’re developing your little one’s imagination and sense of fantasy.