Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Project Play

I've been taking stock.
Every now and then I think we all just need to stop.  Stop and take the time to think.  I guess its 'me' time... which is really quite a rare thing when one juggles the demands of everyday life.  I know you can relate... its all of our lives!

For me, this time comes not when I'm at my best, but when I'm struggling to make sense of life!  Its a moment when I literally scream in my head, 'what about me?!'  And funnily enough, once the time has been taken, the plans written down, and the ideas alive again, I find what makes me happiest is mostly doing it for my family anyway!  Aaahh, complex things are we women!

Amongst these plans and selfish (but oh so justified) me dreams comes a settling reality that I am actually on the track I want to be on (well mostly) but I've just lost sight of a few things that have always been important to me.

One of these things (and you'll hear about more in time to come) goes right back to my Early Childhood Training many moons ago... the importance of positive role models, learning through play & experiences for our little people.  Back track pre children, and I put my all into making sure other peoples children had every experience/tool I could offer to help them become the confident and skilled people they were to be.  Along came my Number One, and again, every opportunity was grabbed and given.  Number two and I have to admit, I started to slip a little (being a partner in a 7 day a week business may have a little something to do with that one!)  And then hello, Number 3, now 22mths.  I suddenly realised that I wasn't doing all I want to do for my Small People.  Yes, the positive role modeling hadn't gone, but the experiences and opportunities for varied learning through play had!  Can I honestly say that with the knowledge I have, that I'm doing all I can?  Quite simply... no.

And so Project Play began!  A conscious effort to do more each day with my children.  (And this doesn't always equate to more time.  Sometimes its just giving them the tools)  To provide more opportunities (and I don't mean classes).  To stop.  To be child lead.  To laugh, make-believe and be silly.  To make memories.  To take more pictures.  To just be... with my Small People.

Project Play.  An energy to strive to learn new things to offer my Small People.  A push to remember to take pictures!  Pictures capture the moment... so I can see I'm on track, and we have a record to look back on in years to come.  (Don't you often wish you had more pics of you doing the things you loved as a child?)

A project that will only benefit us all.  Exciting huh? (Join me!)  I'll be posting some of our Learning through Play pics, and what we've been up too each week.  Maybe you'd care to share too, and we can all get ideas.


This past week or so, my biggest challenge has been remembering to take pics!  (and please excuse the quality - terrible light + hopeless camera = shoddy pics!)  Anyway, here's a visual snippet of what we've been up to...

We started off with brushes, and paint.  Moved onto finger painting, and by the time we were done, it was whole hand painting!

Moneybox Play: Exploring, sound, texture, counting, sorting, fine pincer grip... Simple and fun.  No setting up.  Lots to learn. 

After a game of cards... building is fun.

Water/Bubble Play:  Throw in some containers, sponges, cutlery, and you have at least 30mins of fun!  Great when doing dishes yourself!  And forgot the water that reaches the floor - its just water, and takes all of 2mins to wipe up!

Glass Painting.  Lots of fun, and looks super!  Use water paints, and it literally takes 3mins to wash away.

1000 piece Puzzle fun!  We keep this out, and everyone sits and has a go until complete.  Even the littlest member gives it a go!  She's not yet 2 but knows the puzzle rules (she's mostly learnt by example) 

Building Blocks.  We also added farm animals once building was complete.

Making her own necklace.  She kept at it until she had about 15 beads done!  Huge effort for an under 2!
Then it turned into a sorting game.  She sat and played with the containers and beads for about 45mins!

Again I apologise for the quality of the pics... I will try to do better next time!  
Hope your week is kicking off to be a great one!

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