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  1. Mid Term! I just can't believe it really! time is just flying! Christmas was only just yesterday and here we are heading into another long weekend (some of us a whole week) of holidays :) This time to celebrate getting through the first half of a scholastic year! (we really do find every excuse to celebrate right? )
    At least that's how I see it .. a Celebration! - We've got through October, all the newness that comes with it - new class, new routine etc .. We've gone through Christmas and along came January .. I've yet to meet someone who actually loves January! For most of us, exams follow, which gives us another reason for this Mid Term to actually Celebrate, unwind, unplug and play, together. 

    Here are some ideas I've thought of to get us through the week smiling and re group. 

    Let's go outside!  Location - Buskett

     

    Outdoor-Adventure-Hunt

    - Take them on a hunt, this magical place provides plenty of space to run wild and be free. Prepare a treasure hunt - tell them to find objects such as - an orange flower, a butterfly, something fuzzy, a clover, a castle, Ben Elf even! 
    Have a look at this great treasure hunt list that I've come across. Click here for the link to print

    Store all their treasures found in a treasure case like this one to take home and create a work of art with (all you'll need is glue and paper ... or tape! 

    Screen Shot 2020-02-12 at 12.23.11- Have you ever seen a nature head? Or a Nature Doll ? Once home, prepare printables, easily found and let their imagination run wild with their treasures found. 

     

     

     

     

    - Take a walk .. relax .. look up & shape the clouds and just re group and connect. 


    Screen Shot 2020-02-12 at 12.21.04- Find the tools to make paint brushes. - Twigs, leaves, feathers, orange peels etc .. these make great sensory brushes for a later painting session. 

    - Gather leaves, twigs and pebbles and create a masterpiece onthe ground. 

    - If you're lucky - Jump in a Puddle!! there are amazing puddle formations in Buskett. Take a change of clothes (inc. socks!) and a towel for after and just let your kids go wild! their smiles will be worth it!

     

    Sometimes, the weather isn't on our side, or there is other work to be done. 
    Indoor play opens up a world of imaginative play and Social Play

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    Puzzles are always a perfect idea! Psychologists have determined that a child's brain development is influenced significantly when a child acts on or manipulates the world around him or her. Puzzles provide that key opportunity. Children learn to work directly with their environment and change its shape and appearance when they work with puzzles besides, 

    • Improved Memory. Solving puzzles helps reinforce existing connections between our brain cells. ... 
    • Better Problem-Solving Skills. ... 
    • Improved Visual-Spatial Reasoning. ... 
    • Improved Mood. ... 
    • Lower Stress Levels.

    - Lava - place cushions all over the floor and tell your kids that they cannot put a single toe on the floor as it is "lava". Their mission - They need to get to the other side of the room and pick up the prize (could be a book, or a toy, or a sweet) without touching the floor. it's not as easy as it sounds! but it is lots and lots of fun!! 

     - Downtime

    For us, downtime are those days when we are tired & less motivated. This is the time where we move on to reading, puzzles, board games or we watch a movie or series with popcorn and snuggles and hot chocolate . - our current favourites are Eddie Eagle, Ace Ventura Pet Detective & Full (& Fuller) House (on Netflix)

    In other words, play matters, let the children PLAY! This Mid Term - Play together 

    Screen Shot 2020-02-12 at 13.03.07

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  2. As an advocate of outdoor play, post rain or shine, those who know me know that I get very frustrated when I'm stuck indoors. I need fresh air, I need to hear laughing in the distant. I just love unstructured and unplanned play. 

    However, there are those days where we just can't go outside. Sick days, rainy days, afterschool HW and extra curricular days .. there are many. (& as my kids get older I realise they get less time each year to do so) 

    Through playing, children learn about concepts such as wining, loosing and playing fair and also develop problem-solving skills. Indoor play gives children that opportunity to develop such skills. 

    Indoor play opens up a world of imaginative play and Social Play

    Screen Shot 2019-10-23 at 10.41.31Role playing, being superheroes, playing 'mummies and daddies', playing shop, dress-ups, tea-parties, playing with cars playing with dolls and soft toys to name a few. ... I used to love sitting all my soft toys around a table and play "schools" 

    The process of pretending builds skills in many essential developmental areas. When your child engages in pretend (or dramatic) play, S/he is actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. 

     


    Movement
     

    I have very energetic kids that love to move! Obviously when stuck at home that limits their movement. We recommend the following active tried and tested ideas :) 

    Screen Shot 2019-10-23 at 10.53.09I always leave a Bilibo lying around .. We have had this same one for over 10 years. My kids gravitate to it and always end up burning quite a bit of energy with spins and balance. We can not recommend this enough. 

    - Lava - place cushions all over the floor and tell your kids that they cannot put a single toe on the floor as it is "lava". Their mission - They need to get to the other side of the room and pick up the prize (could be a book, or a toy, or a sweet) without touching the floor. it's not as easy as it sounds! but it is lots and lots of fun!! 

     

    Spider Webs

    Screen Shot 2019-10-23 at 10.49.48Chose a large enough room and tape toilet paper across making a web. Their aim - to get to the other side without ripping the paper. 

    Clean up 

    Cleaning up CAN be fun for them! My kids love playing this game and in the end - we have a cleared room, exhausted kids and a happy me! win / win! This is best if played with more then 1 child - or + you! 
    Each child gets to choose one song. Once their song is being played it is up to the that child to clean up their toys and more as fast as they can. They need to pick up and clear & put away at least 20 items / pieces before the song finishes. Whilst that song is playing, the other kids relax, sing and dance. 
    When the song is up - the next song comes on and it's the next childs turn to clean up. 
    This is always done with a promise that what ever is left to clean up will be done by me.
    Clean up will never be a chore again! 

    Downtime

    For us, downtime are those days when we are tired & less motivated. This is the time where we move on to reading, puzzles, board games or we watch a movie or series. Now that Christmas is soon here we will soon start to watch all the classics again .. you can't really get enough of them! - our favourites are Muppets Scrooge, Jingle all the Way and the Grinch (original) 


    In other words, play matters, let the children PLAY! 

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