Instagram Challenge #nov_playalong

    This months #nov_playalong hosted by the lovely Katie over at @mama.smith.to2  includes a Nursery Rhyme week, which I’m really looking forward to! Road Safety awareness, Children in Need and Bonfire Night, to mention but a few of the word prompts! 

    I am really looking forwards to getting deeply involved within this playalong! This s a relatively new concept for me on Instagram and so far I am really enjoying it. Watching my children experiment with new ways of playing and interacting, learning and discovering new things, completely fills me with joy. This week we have also had far fewer whiny days and less tantrums and I believe this is down to planning these activities. I have also started to become more creative with my photos!

     Week one has been brilliant and has really got me thinking about the ways in which I play with my toddlers. This week has also lead me to setting up some independent play time too!

    Day 1 – Bears

    Teddy Bears Picnic

    I set Sebastian and Ophelia up a Teddy bears picnic. They love role play! I said choose some teddy bears and this is who they chose… Only one bear made it to the party today even though they have so many!

    Independent play is so important for their imaginations, and learning to play together. It also gives me a chance to do housework, or feed Rosalie in peace!

    This activity also bought with it some nostalgia, as I remember when I was small both my Mum and my Nan setting me and my sisters up with a teddy bears picnic. We would sit for hours playing like this, especially in the winter months, when it was cold and rainy outside! If we were lucky we would even get real cake with it! I dare not give my two cake unsupervised… lets just say my lounge would probably look like a crumb factory! 

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    Day 2 – Sparkler

    Toddler Safe Sparklers

    I love #sparklers but my toddlers are a bit young for the real thing yet. So I decided to have a look around for some toddler safe versions and I came across ‘Make your own Sparklers’ on Pinterest of course! .

    We had so much fun making these with my two little ones! Best thing is they sound amazing and catch the light well, so I will be using these for sensory play with my 9 week old baba too!

    I am always looking for simple craft activities for under 2’s. Sebastian has just started to become in craft activities, although his attention on one task does not last long. I have noticed that each time we do a craft he is able to concentrate just that little bit longer each time. Ophelia is at the age where she just wants to dismantle everything and anything she can get her hands on. She will have a go, but often ends up putting craft bit in her mouth or ripping bits off! I cannot wait until they start creating their own little pieces of art!

    Day 3 – Toffee

    Making Taffy

    Toffee can be a bit harsh on the old munchers, and there’s no way my toddlers could munch it. So I made some taffy for the first time! .

    This is honey taffy and it was amazing, if you like honeycomb then you’ll love this. Softer than toffee so my toddlers could have some! To warm for little hands to handle but they enjoyed eating some! .

    Fairly easy to do too, and stretching it was quite the arm workout! There was lots of stretching and folding, so satisfying and the kids loved watching me stretch it out. Next time I’d like to make a slightly creamer, pepper mint flavoured taffy – watch this space lol! .

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    Day 4 – Apple

    Counting Trees

    We made some apple counting sticks today! Sebastian has been counting for a while so I though he might enjoy these and Ophelia is just starting to count so these will really help her! Best of all they can use these for adding and subtracting when the time comes!

    Great way of using up all those left over ice lolly sticks we saved from the summer too! 

    You can find most of these activities over on Pinterest, but go to 
    #nov_playalong over on Instagram if you need even more inspiration. My children are all under 3, but there are other mums and dads taking part in this play along with children who are older, and there are some fantastic ideas over on the ‘gram’ for all ages. I really cannot wait until mine are old enough to do some of the other activities! 

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