Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Play Date

No posts for a while - we've been busy giving each other winter viruses!  Thought I would tell you how I set up for a play date Pip had with her best friend.  Knowing that they both have short attention spans (what toddler doesn't) I set up 6 stations in the family room. We had ...

Baby dolls

Pip's friend had great fun with this, pretending to toilet one of the dolls, then tucking them in bed.  I've bought Pip a toy baby bath with accessories for Christmas so we can expand on this theme and hopefully  introduce her to the idea of having a sibling soon.

Farm set up

I made the mat from construction paper and sticky-back plastic (aka contact paper).  It was really fiddly to do and the mat is full of air bubbles.  The farm was accessorised with a few stones, peg people that I'd painted myself and some sprigs of rosemary stuck in green play dough.  This was probably played with the least - although the rosemary provided some sensory fun, before Pip decide to pick off all the leaves.

Treasure Box
I've only recently come across the idea of heuristic play and treasure / discovery boxes.  I've probably not got enough in here (perhaps only 20 different items).  There's pegs, an egg whisk, egg box, coasters, measuring cups, a paint brush, spanner, leather covered sponge, toilet roll, shells, small metal buckets, milk bottle lids, a mug tree and curtain rings.  Pip's friend took one look at the box and tipped out the entire contents.  The contents was largely ignored by both of them, although Pip's friend took a shine to the spanner and carried it around for most of the afternoon.  Perhaps it was not successful because the items were not link in some way.

Play kitchen
This is my bargain buy from Sainsburys.  I've been looking at play kitchens for ages and finally found this one at half price (I think I paid £20).  I'm please as it's not pink and it folds down flat for easy storage.  It's perhaps not the most robust of play kitchens, although much better at my cardboard kitchen I made a few months ago.  I used one of the dinning room chairs to extend the kitchen space with a microwave.  This was the most popular play station - especially with Pip's friend.  He was engrossed in using the little tea strainer to strain the plastic veg cooking in the pans.

Den with books and soft toys
Both kids liked the Den, although Pip decided she wanted to climb on top of it....one cut lip and screaming toddler later.......

Drawing Area
The drawing station was ignored.  It was on the dinning room table and out of their line of sight.  This would have been better on the floor or a low table.

So did we turn on the TV.......

...Yes!  Pip lasted all of 2 minutes before asking for Tumble Tots DVD to be put on.  We managed to stretch this out for about 1hr 30mins.  By then both kids and Mum's were getting bored and tired so we retired to the sofa for 20 mins of TV before Pip's friend left.  Overall I think the set up worked well, although I might have to rethink the treasure box and perhaps have some puzzles out.  Hopefully Pip's latest cough will clear up and we can repeat the play date soon.