Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Just Play

I don’t pull out the camera often enough when we’re just PLAYING, so I made a point to do that this past week.  (We’re taking a little ‘spring break’ from MFW K right now, by the way.)

My kiddos play with cars, dolls, foam swords, and all sorts of other typical kid toys.  Tonight the boys were driving Mack and Mater to Alabama.  (Apparently Alabama is now in our front hallway, ha ha!)  They love to dress up in costumes, play ‘restaurant’ with Jensyn’s play kitchen, play on the computer or the Wii, and do all those other fun kid things.  All three kids are into coloring right now, and Keith and I have a ‘gallery’ of kid-art hanging over our bed.  I smile every time I walk into our bedroom!

This past week, I kept the camera out on the kitchen counter so I could snap a few shots here & there from our learning through play.  PLEASE don’t think we just sit down and ‘do school’ all day.  PLEASE don’t try to do that with your little ones.  HAVE FUN with them!  Lots of fun happens in our house each week.  School is just 1 – 1.5 hours a day for Alex, and Max gets about 1 hour a *week*.  That’s all.  The rest of the time is fun, puzzles, games, and imagination.

Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks

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We have the beginner pattern blocks, too, but Jensyn wanted to do what Max was doing.

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Baking with Mama…Alex is starting to understand the measurements on the cup, and he can scoop out the ingredients if I read the recipe for him.  He also LOVES to scoop the cookie dough onto the pan.  The cookies might not be uniform in size, but he’s so proud of himself!

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An old Discover toys set – seriously, I don’t know why they stopped making this!  This set belonged to my nephew, and my sister kindly passed it down to us.  This is a GREAT toy!  It keeps Max busy for at least 45 minutes at a time!  (If you’ve spent any time with our active little Max, you know that’s an amazing feat!)

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The closest two toys I can find are both ‘easier’ than the Picture Pegs, but still look fun:

Melissa & Doug Sort and Snap

and

Fantacolor Junior

Here’s a picture of what we have….if you ever spot this at a garage sale or thrift store, snatch it up in a hurry!  This is a really fun toy that teaches color matching, fine motor skills, and more!

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Alex wanted to practice writing Rs on the Aquadoodle.  This was not school time; it was just what he felt like doing when he came across the Aquadoodle in his closet.  I wrote the Rs on the top; he practiced on the bottom.  While he waited for it to dry, he did more Rs in the salt box.

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(This is just a Rubbermaid container filled with a thin layer of salt,
using a popsicle stick to ‘write’.)

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Of course, if big brother is doing something, Jensyn has to have a turn as well!

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giant Chuggington floor puzzle
(Jensyn doesn’t help…she hinders the process,
so we just let her take it apart when we’re finished!)

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Connect 4…Alex is learning the rules of the game, but Max loves to fill the grid and then send the pieces tumbling out.  It’s great fine motor skill practice, and it’s just plain FUN!

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Oh, I shouldn’t forget three kids CHASING each other around the house with a scooter, a 4 wheeler, and a toy shopping cart.  They squeal and giggle and run in circles through the living room and kitchen with their little ‘parade’.  I can’t wait ‘til it is warm enough for them to release their energy OUTSIDE! Open-mouthed smile

QUESTION: What are YOUR kids favorite hands-on learning toys? 
I’d love to hear what gets play with the most in YOUR house!

3 comments:

serenity quest said...
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serenity quest said...

My 4 year old is a bit of a puzzle fanatic so we do A LOT of those. (14 this afternoon!) her favorite toys are her plastic animals, stuffed animals, Design and Drill, (although she prefers to use her fingers which I think is great fine motor practice), dramatic play areas and anything school work like. I wish the Picture Pegs was still available- looks like a great toy!

Dawn @ Our Little Monkeys said...

I have heard good things about Design and Drill! We may need to consider that for the next boy birthday :)