My, my, my, how time does fly. Three years ago I was hopeful for what the future held, two years ago I was waddling around counting down the matter of days before I got to meet my little one. Last year we celebrated our first year of being parents (with a glass of prosecco and relief that we three had actually survived!!) and so plans turn to this year and how to celebrate 2 years of The Wriggler!
The little guy is now not so little…he is a bundle of energy, jumping, running, funny, chatty traits that make him his own person. I had no idea just how much fun toddlers are. Don’t get me wrong, it is also exhausting, challenging and some days you relish sticking on a DVD and snuggling under the blankie with them.
But the rest of the time I adore doing fun and creative things with him, hence the reason we hosted a messy play party last year.
Yes, I actually set up a party in which I requested that the guests came in clothes that they could roll around in jelly in. Or sit in a mound of multi-coloured sticky spaghetti. Or, (as my child did) lie face first in a puddle of Rice Kripsies and stuff their faces.
There is so much inspiration out there for fun things to do at home and you can be as adventurous as you like. And yes, whilst it is chaos cleaning up, encouraging your child to delight in different textures, tastes and smells is great for their learning and development.
The plus side for me is that The Wriggler is a child who doesn’t mind getting messy, I know some kids hate to have anything on their hands. But the child we all thought wouldn’t go near the messy stuff was the first to plant her bottom straight into the jelly pool!
So here are some recommended activities to fill a few hours with the kids:
- Decorating digestive biscuits: now, this is an easy 20 minute activity if you don’t feel like baking cupcakes, but want to allow them to mess about with icing sugar paste and sprinkles. They get to mess about, lick their fingers (admittedly this is a bit sugary, but every now and then that isn’t so bad) and then decorate til their hearts are content. Although The Wriggler mostly eats the sprinkles.
- Rainbow Alphabet Spaghetti: I found this gem on a fab site called The Imagination Tree. Cooked spaghetti, dyed with food colouring and then in a paddling pool ready for eager hands to get messy with.
- Playdough: home-made or shop brought, rolling, stamping and cookie-cutting, this encourages imagination and play, and you can interact with what the child creates
- Jelly: honestly a bowlful of jelly and a spoon…little ones can eat it, play with it and squish it…or sit in it.
- Sand play: this can start will simple sieving, castles and running hands through it, but can move to imagination play where the sand become a desert, like I found on the Learning 4 Kids website.
- Indoor camping: if you have a tent then great, but you can make a sofa fort, a bed tent or something strung up around the clothes horse. Stories can be told, hide and seek played and time will disappear.
- Egg Hunts: great at Easter time, but can be changed to hunt for anything…even each other!
- Don’t forget, there is the usual baking, painting, sticker, glitter, felt, feathers, pasta, flour and beads that can all be commandeered to be stuck,
- And finally, the cardboard box. You’d think the child would be interested in what is in the box, but nope, they want the box. It becomes a boat, a fort, a house, a cradle…
Other sites that I found really useful were:
Enjoy playtime and don’t forget to take some photos!