Playdates are great to get out and enjoy the company of others, especially when cooler weather hits and days spent frolicking outside are limited. More often than not toddlers need encouragement to initiate play and leave mamas side. Playdates planned around a structured activity functions as a great ice breaker and incorporates an educational element to the play. Here are a few great ideas for when planing your next playdate!
♥ Flower Arranging
To some this might sound a little strange, but it forms part of the Montessori curriculum where it is referred to as a practical life component. Practical life components allow children the opportunity to partake in everyday activities. You can provide the flowers or pick them from the garden. Each child can have a tray, vase, scissors (if old enough), water jug and even floral foam if you wish add a variation.
This is so much fun! Prepare your dough and toppings in advance. Each child gets a ball of dough, a roller and a few teaspoons of passata for the base. They can assemble their pizza on their own, adding topping as they please. Pizzas are then baked and their hard work enjoyed!
Threading beads is a lot of fun and a great way to practice fine motor skills! Head to your local bead shop and indulge in different colours and shapes, maybe even adding a few bells or charms (these are really affordable and make great accessories). If you don’t want to use beads you can always try making edible jewellery. Try Otees or Cherios.
Clay is always a crowd pleaser and rightfully so. Not only is it great for imaginative play, but it is excellent for fine motor development. Try making your own clay (recipe here) and experiment with different flavours. Using jello is a great way to add flavour and colour.
♥ Scavenger Hunt
The scavenger hunt you host will depend on the amount of planning you wish to do. You can do a simple colour scavenger hunt where the kids find different coloured objects to put in coloured baskets (toddlers often find this harder than you think). Alternatively you can print a tick box sheet with various objects (toothpaste, shoe, ball, wooden block…) and have each child look for the objects and tick them off when found.
Painting is great and the possibilities are endless. Cover the floor and wall with paper. Powder paint washes out easily, if you are worried about a mess. Give the kids a variety of painting mediums like brushes, roller, feathers, earbuds and stamps. Encourage them to experiment!
♥ Cardboard Creations
Next time you wonder whether or not to recycle the cardboard box…DON’T. Cardboard boxes, a little imagination and some supplies can go a long way to create anything from cityscapes to reading nooks to cars. Supplies can include wash tape, stickers, wrapping paper, fabric scraps, buttons, scissors, glue…the list is endless. A must try for the creative souls!
Happy planning and playing!