Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Creative play (4) – travel version!

Over the last few weeks we have spent a lot of time at Doof’s grandparents’ house as his granny was very sick. Travelling up and down in the car with a travel cot, buggy, clothes for all of us, hospital bag in case I went into labour…. You can imagine there was not much room for toys! So we tried to think of some easy and slightly different games Doof could play which were still fun and/or messy but with minimal equipment/set-up etc needed


Here are the top two he enjoyed the most:

1. Daddy-O

I have to give full credit to my OH for this game – he even devised it while letting me have a lie-in :) #winwin

What we used
- a kitchen roll holder (handmade by me aged 10!)
- collection of napkin rings (would definitely advise against using any of the family silver ones… ours were made of plasticy/woven material so they couldn’t break or hurt anyone if D ate them/threw them etc)

You can probably guess what to do. Drop the napkin rings onto the pole and take them off. And drop them again and take them off. Repeat infinite times (if you are a toddler!).

Add in a wine-cooler and the game can carry on for even longer!

The joy of this was the simplicity – everything needed was from his grandparents’ house – but yet it still occupied Doofy for about 20 minutes the first time he tried it. And then he kept going back to it over the next few days, ignoring all his more brightly coloured/flashing/noisy toys!

2. Travel messy play

I love doing messy play with Doof and so even though we were going to be away from home I wanted to be able to do something with him. The main criteria I had was it had to be light and easy to transport (so no rainbow rice), needing minimal equipment and a simple set-up (so no multi-coloured oobleck).

What we came up fitted the bill perfectly. Everything needed fitted inside the tub for easy transport, set-up was less than 5 minutes and even better it all doubled up as a snack!

What we used
- packet of angel delight
- rice krispies
- assorted plastic animals
- tupperware box with lid

I made up the angel delight as per instructions (haven’t made it for yeeeears but it is super simple and was ready to use in 5 minutes) and then half-filled the tupperware with angel delight (the sea) and half with rice krispies (the island). I then set it on the floor and put the plastic animals beside it. Then it was time for Doof to explore…

The first thing he did was put the boat into the ‘sea’ so he obviously understood what I had been trying to achieve! Then he methodically put the animals in one by one, watching as they all got pink gunk on their feet and then their bodies as he slowly submerged them.

He has eaten rice krispies before so quickly started sampling them and then tasted small bits of angel delight. We did this play quite soon after his tea so I knew he wasn’t super hungry and so therefore unlikely to eat vast quantities (and so not sleep later on!).

He played with this sensory tub for about 15 minutes which is pretty good for his attention span and enjoyed getting his hands messy. I then put the whole tub in the fridge ready for use again the next day (I probably wouldn’t use it much beyond that).

Even though I thought this was pretty quick and easy to make up, to make it even simpler next time I might use yoghurt (e.g. a big tub of plain fromage frais) instead of angel delight.


Have you done any creative or messy play while away from home or on holiday? We're going to the States for a couple of weeks in a few months time so would love to hear other ideas/suggestions :)

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