Are you ready for the motherload?
WE ARE ON DAY 18 of self-quarantine and still really like each other! Here are some of our favorite play ideas that we’ve loved doing as a family and independently.
WE GOT THIS, MAMAS!!!
Oobleck (cornstarch + water)
Playdough (recipe saved under my highlights on ig @rachealkwacz)
Simple dough (flour + water)
Slime (recipe on ig!)
Organic slime (psyllium husk + water heated up)
Ice (add water, add salt, add food coloring, freeze it w a toy inside, the list is endless!)
Baths (bubbles, bath bombs, “swimming”, use your sand toys, kitchen tools, etc)
Mud (soil and water)
Clean mud (shredded paper + soap shavings + water)
*Food sources are a precious commodity at the moment (we haven’t been to a grocery store!) so we’ve really been conserving all our dry goods for however long we might need to quarantine for which means we’re really rotating between just a few things (water, soil, slime, etc) so don’t worry about having to come out with something new everyday. They are honestly happy to play with the same medium, it allows them to come out with different creations and explore deeper!
Hide and seek
Jumping on the bed
Arts and Crafts
Coloring – there are a ton of cool printables including a very fun one from sereni & shentel
Papier mache – glue w paste made from cooked flour and water
Different textures of paper
Honestly, Ella Grace has a little art table so she really just leads this. We just make the materials available for her and she comes out with some gems! My best advice however is for painting or anything that’s “messy”, let them paint in the shower! We strip her down, she paints on the glass to her heart’s content, the clean up and hosing it down is part of the fun then a shower after! No stains on clothes, no worrying about wet paint or where to hang all the artwork later and best of all, minimal clean-up!
The sky is the limit on this one and honestly, the world (or anything she can find within our four walls) is her oyster
Blanket – she has a soft bamboo muslin wrap from when she was little that she uses for everything. It’s probably her most used toy in the house she plays w it so much – cape, hat, skirt, scarf, etc
Forts – use flat sheets or blankets and pillows and see what you can build with what you have!
Cardboard – build a robot suit or an entire landscape!
Restaurant – there’s an instruction leaflet from a game that Ella Grace likes to use as a “menu” which again goes back to…use your imagination! You don’t have to have a “kitchen” to play cooking!
Salon – hair, facials, manis, pedis, even daddy gets to have a go!
Construction – one of our favourite things to do is just build. We recycle old egg cartons, boxes, packaging material, magnatiles – Bueno Blocks has an incredible selection of open-ended toys!
Real life – honestly this the best and total win-win! She helps me cook, cut, prep, mop, sweep, vacuum, make beds, wipe, clean, etc and is actually a really big help!!
Reading (she does a lot of this both independently and together as a family)
Writing/activity books – this is really optional. Our ethos is play is learning and learning has to come from within so we don’t push “school” at all. She has a bunch of workbooks gifted from various places that she likes to take out and work on whenever and we just allow it to be part of free play and because it’s not a “chore” she loves it
Pretend cooking show!!
Podcasts (refer to previous post for our extensive list of favorites!)
TV time – she has set tv time while I make dinner and her favorite programs are Hi-5, The Wiggles, Fireman Sam, Paw Patrol! We also do movie night once a week and it includes snacks and lots of cuddling!
Gardening – grow a little patio/balcony garden. We planted some cilantro roots and sprouted onions!!
Make a jumprope!
Learn a new language or skill
Picnic on your balcony if you have one or a pretend picnic in your living room!
Balls – seriously, there are so many things you can do w ball! Ella Grace had an entire afternoon of fun and made-up games by herself with just a little wooden ball and basket.
Mostly, just remember this. It’s okay if they get bored. In fact, allow them to be. Remember the ball and the basket story? She had so much fun because we’ve actively allowed her to just explore, be creative, be bored, use her imagination, and not micromanage or set up all her play for her. The key to surviving and even thriving(!) isn’t to plan out every second of their day, the key to surviving MCO is to trust her and allow room for adventure and fun. Be flexible. Freedom within boundaries, mama.
The only way through is to do it together and sometimes that means having her play by herself while I work and the other times, it means really checking in, being present, and playing along with her!
That’s the secret.