We’re getting ready for the Carnival of Junk Play on Friday 3rd December!
What do you think of our riding school? We have stables, jumps, a daisy filled paddock and some prize winning rosettes – and all made for free using re-cycled materials from our beloved making box. B has been off school ill this week and we needed a good ‘sitting down’ activity to keep us busy and cheer us up – and this is what we made. It was a totally spontaneous project, put together after a rummage through the junk box to see what materials we could find.
The base is made from a big piece of cardboard from a packing box, which happened to have a circular shape marked out in the centre which seemed to say ‘paddock’! The jump is made from two Smarties tubes, turned inside out, with a wooden skewer, snapped in half and poked through the tubes to make the cross bars.
The stables are made from tissue boxes, and the one on the end which has proper stable doors is made from a teabag box. We covered them in sugar paper, held in place with sticky tape – as you know we can’t wait for glue to dry when we want to get playing. The prize winning rosettes are made from little gift bows salvaged from some presents, with a ribbon made from sugar paper.
We have a bucket with a pipe-cleaner handle, wool for straw and a biscuit tray cut up and stuck inside each stable to make a feeding trough (there’s probably a proper horsey word for that isn’t there?) The bunting is made from wool, old wrapping paper and held up on wooden skewers. And the paddock was painted with poster paint, sprinkled with a little glitter while it was still wet, and with some daisies (cut from a remnant of edging from my sewing basket) glued on.
Not all our junk models are this grand – L’s boat was very simple, but they both sum up what I love best about junk modelling:
it’s recycled, it costs nothing, it’s creative and it’s makes a toy with lots more play value to it.
Want more happy handmade crafts?
Our Happy Handmade resource is bursting with colourful and imaginative crafts and DIY toys that are designed to add even more colour and creativity to your home. With easy-to-follow tutorials and free patterns and printables, you can read, make, and start playing today! See more of Happy Handmade here.
Have you ever seen such a pitiful looking kitten? Good job the vet is on hand with raisin tablets to bring her temperature down.
To make our vets kit we used our doctors’ set and added in some cotton wool, cotton buds, a jar of raisin tablets, some water to go in our syringe to irrigate any wounds, and some bandages made from an old muslin cloth.
Role playing is a great way for children to rehearse everyday situations and try out new experiences. It’s also a really good way for them to develop their language and practise co-operating with others as they play. Do your children enjoy role playing?
Happily shared with ABCand123 and Childhood101
The highlight of Little’s week was a ride on a double decker bus. We had to sit on top and right at the front of course- something I remember always wanting to do when I was a child. When we got home she wanted to make a double decker of her own.
We used a shoe box for the bus and found two biscuit containers which we stuck in place with sticky tape to make the decks. I used a craft knife to make the bus open-top and to add in some windows.
It’s always good to add in some letters and numbers, so we made a sign for our bus too.
This kind of small world play lets children try out situations they come across in real life. By testing out scenarios they can gain confidence for their own encounters in the big world. It also lets them use lots of language and if you play along with them you can add in some new vocabulary. There’s usually a song you include too – The Wheels on the Bus would be perfect here.
We have more transport theme activities you might like too.
And you can find lots more play ideas at the Childhood 101 We Play link up
Yesterday, boredom and a well stocked craft box were the spring board for creativity and play. Today it was a story book which gave a play idea.
Shirley Hughes books are favourites in our house and The Big Alfie Out of Doors Storybook (Red Fox picture books) is Little’s favourite of them all. It’s a collection of short stories and poems about outdoor play and adventures. One tells the story of Bonting, Alfie’s treasured pebble – so of course Little now has a Bonting of her own which she carries with her in her coat pocket. Today’s story though was about Alfie’s camping trip. Little is in awe of Alfie going to sleep out at night in a real tent. Now, the weather is still a little chilly to get me in a real tent overnight, so it’s forturnate she was satisfied with a play tent.
She knew from the story all the things she needed to take on her trip. Having said that, we have read the story several thousand times so she’s had plenty of time to memorise the list!
She even made a campfire to cook her breakfast on.
What’s your child’s favourite story? Could you bring it to life for them?
Come play at the Childhood 101 We Play link up for more play inspiration.
Little is starting school in September. (See how calmly I typed that?) She is already excited about it and can’t wait to follow in Big’s footsteps. She currently attends the local pre-school each morning, where she has two best friends and lots of fun. She is confident and gregarious and I’m thinking she’ll find the transition to school OK, but I’ve been thinking about how I can help her get ready for her next step. I have no checklist of ‘Things Your Child Should Be Able To Do When They Start School’ in mind – that’s not how I think at all. But there are certain things it would be useful if she’d practised or skills she’d tried, before September rolls around.
Thinking ahead gives us plenty of time to play around with the idea of school. I thought I’d share some thoughts with you on a ‘Starting School’ theme as we go along – and hope you’ll offer some comments and ideas too. (And if you are homeschooling I hope you’ll still find some of the later topics relevant.)
Launching the Starting School topic is ‘School Dinners’.
Eating lunch somewhere unfamilar, helped by unfamilar adults can be a big deal. So how about some trial runs before the big day? We started off by going shopping for a special lunchbag and drinks bottle, chosen by Little herself. Then I let Little play with them – getting used to opening and closing them and having a pretend school lunch. This gives lots of opportunity to practice what might happen at school. We chatted about what she might like to eat and who she can ask to help her peel her banana. (Please note how many slices of cake she packed for herself.) If your child is going to be having dinners provided by the school they might benefit from practice at carrying a tray.
After Easter Little’s pre-school is running a Lunch Club one day a week, where the children can stay half an hour longer than usual had have lunch. This is a perfect first step, in a familar environment. If your own pre-school doesn’t offer a lunch club, maybe you could suggest one? Alternatively you could pair up with a friend and take turns hosting your own lunchclub at eachothers house.
Even if your child is used to having meals at a nursery this kind of roleplay is valuable. Get them used to the bag, bottles, containers they will be using at school. Can they open their own yoghurt pot? Unwrap the clingfilm on their sandwiches? You’d hate them to go hungry simply because they couldn’t get at their food.
So, those are my thoughts around school dinners. Do you have any other suggestions – I’d love you to leave a comment. And if there are any other topics you’d like me to cover, please let me know and I’ll do a post so we can swap ideas.