Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Play Time!

Playdough by ragamufyn on Flickr

I've recently rediscovered a book that one of my sisters gave to me a couple of years ago. It's called Creative Play for Your Baby and it focuses on simple, home-made toys that encourage parents and kids to play meaningfully with each other, while teaching little tackers about concepts like caring, love, role play and imagination, as well as the value of handmade creations.

I have to admit that I didn't take too much from the book when Isy was younger, but upon re-reading I've been really struck by the simplicity of the toys and activities and the importance of little ones learning imaginative and creative play from an early age.

I get it, kids like toys. But I feel like toys have gotten out-of-hand complicated. After Christmas this year I think lasted about a week on Toy Mountain before going on a sorting spree and putting two-thirds of the kids toys away. I plan to rotate them every few weeks (I'm not mean, I promise!) but it just gives us space and means we're not constantly surrounded by a thousand bright, loud plastic things. Now I feel that Isla plays with her toys. She's not so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of toys that she races from one to another.

Today we spent hours playing with cardboard boxes, balls of wool (I'm on a pom-pom making binge) clothes pegs, balloons and Little People. I know none of this is ground-breaking, but it's just been a really nice reminder to me that kids are happy to play anywhere, anytime and that their imaginations will take over when given the opportunity.

On the cards for the coming weeks are a few projects featured in the book, including a pom-pom menagerie and a mobile for Tobes, as well as a family of simple soft dollies for Isla.

It's times like these that I really, really wish I could sew. But I really, really can't.

The rest of the week is shaping up to be garage-sale-prep-alicious, with so many old books and CDs getting the ol' heave-ho, along with furniture, knick-knacks and homewares. I seriously can't wait.

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Merci! Ta! Xie xie!