A couple of weeks ago I decided that it would be helpful to have a bit more of a plan for the week when I’m not at work. There are so many fun things I can do with T but without a bit of forward planning so many of them get left undone. I thought I’d see if having a theme for a week would work. Being me, I made a table and did a plan for the next four weeks – The Gingerbread Man, Dinosaurs, Easter and The Three Billy Goats Gruff! For each theme I just listed five or six activities around the theme that we could do. I tried to keep the activities simple with minimal preparation so I can be sure to stick to it! This first week went really well – T loved it and I found it so much easier to get on with things when I’d already planned them out. It made for a much more productive and fun week. Here’s a few pictures of the things we did:
Transient art – I’ve been meaning to try this for ages and she loved it! It kept her engaged for ages and she kept coming back to it. Really simple to set up, too – some buttons, pom-poms and googly eyes and a cardboard gingerbread man cut from an old cereal packet. I’m trying to build up my collection of loose parts to give us more options for this kind of play.
Small world activity. I quite often set up small world things in this tub. Some she loves and others, not so much. This one wasn’t her favourite, although she enjoyed playing with the gingerbread man puppet (cut from some foam we had in the craft drawer). At the moment T loves playing families with anything. So, of course, this gingerbread man was ‘the baby’ and the cardboard cut out was his mummy! The lovely fox finger puppet that you can see is from The Puppet Company on Amazon – they make beautiful puppets and we got this as part of a woodland set for her Christmas present!
Playdough – of course! T loves playdough so we got it out and used some gingerbread man cutters. I didn’t take many pictures of this but here you can see ‘Baby Elephant’ watching on! I did thing about making some ginger-scented playdough but did not get round to it!
Gingerbread man painting. I wimped out and used our dot markers! Thankfully T didn’t mind and enjoyed drawing their facial features and buttons! She was also keen to draw long lines down their arms and legs. We don’t do an awful lot of ‘colouring-in’ like this – usually I just let her go for it with blank paper – so it was interesting to see how she responded!
Finally – gingerbread men! Of course! We nearly got to the end of the week having not got round to this but I thought we really couldn’t! T loves weighing out all the ingredients and mixing them together. And eating them of course! Here they are before they went in the oven. Slightly streaky because my sugar all lumped together and I didn’t break it up before mixing it in. But delicious anyway!
Having a more planned week like this definitely helped me to feel we had engaged in some really fun activities together and had some good quality time. From speaking to friends, it’s not just me who finds it difficult to just play with toys together, and it can get quite repetitive which is when I get distracted! I don’t imagine I’ll be organised enough to do this every week, but I’m hoping to stick to it for the next few weeks at least and see if they go as well as the first! How do you structure your weeks?