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Monday, April 20, 2015

Circus, anyone?

Once upon a time, there was a tent. It was a lonely circus tent. No cheering people. No performing animals. No peanuts or popcorn.
But one day, just when the lonely circus tent wanted to collapse, a neat happened by. He was a talented bear who wanted to make others smile.
When the bear saw the tent, an idea came to him. He would travel the world in this tent with other animals. Together, they would make others happy.
 
So the bear packed up that tent, meeting new and equally talented friends along the way.  They formed the Red Tent Circus and did indeed make lots of people smile.

The end

Have a fun and playful day
Mel

The Land Down Under

Koalas, kangaroos, and wombats - oh my!
In Music Together music class, we learned a song about Australian animals, which lead to this playful scene.
I take experiences - like music class or songs - and expand those experiences into play.  It creates a more meaningful experience.  These are Safari Ltd Toys from the Land Down under Toob

Have a fun and playful day
Mel

Making Snails

When I saw that Safari Ltd had put out a toob of shells, well...my imagination went right to snails! Yep, snails.  I gathered a few items and we got started.
1. Shell Toob
2. Crayola Magic Model (or playdough or clay will work too)
3. Wire (or pipe cleaners)
4. Googly eyes
The snail body is basically a long lump of clay.  The 21 month old did this right along side us. Then you pick a shell, pop it on its back, poke in the wires with googly eyes glued on, and...drum roll please...you have Snails!!!

This was fun to do on a rainy morning.  And G said, "I think we should put some snails out in our fairy garden."  Okay!  This one is always making plans :)

Have a fun and playful day
Mel

Math Games Mondays - Checkers Ponies & Fairies

Math Games Mondays - Checkers Ponies & Fairies

Cinderella Inspiration

I STILL have not seen the new Cinderella movie, but hear it is A-MAZE-ING!  Maybe when I get back from California, I will go see it.  Cinderella has always been one of my favorite fairy tales. Besides the obvious beautiful dress, fairy godmother, and Prince Charming, I like it because, despite what the world threw at her, she still was sweet and kind and sang and didn't complain.
I decided (with the help of a couple little friends) to "dress up" a couple of my play mats in Cinderella style. Mice.  Garden. Pumpkins. Glass Slipper (I ate the Jelly Belly jellybeans out of it just for this picture - just kidding). Blue birds.
We had about an hour and half of playing, reenacting the movie, making up our own versions of the beloved tale.

More play mats can be purchased from my etsy store at www.mybigworld2015.etsy.com NOTICE: all orders placed between Wed. April 22 and Fri.May 1st will be shipped out of Saturday, May 2nd as I will be on a "work-cation" in sunny California.

Have a fun and playful day!
Mel

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Hamsters and Hedgehogs Play Mat

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with teeny tiny toys. I think most kids are. Lalaloopsy, My Little Pony, Schleich, Safari, Palo, Palace Pets, Calico Critters, etc. All teeny tiny.
I never really grew out of that obsession, and, now that I am a nanny, I get to keep playing. I loved imaginative play with my daughter's then later with my preschoolers.
When I am thinking about play, I take the theme or the child's interests in mind OR I surprise them with something totally new and not yet seen.
I set the scene for play - an invitation to play if you will. This scene says, "Come play with me. Make up a story. Include me. I want to play with you."
The scene should be uncluttered - only 3 to 5 Toys. (too many can be overwhelming to the child) The golden rule of thumb is the simpler the better. Simpler allows the imagination to take over, expand, and fill in the story.

Play mats can be created in your own or I sell them in my etsy store. See more at www.mybigworld2015.etsy.com

Have a fun and playful day
Mel

Good Luck Play

Everyone needs a little good luck or at least the hope of luck, right?

Safari Ltd has a whole plethora of good luck creatures - dragons, unicorns, animals, roses, butterflies. So many.

You could pop them in a lunchbox for your kiddo to brighten their day or mail to someone. Or just play with them like we did above.

Play Mat available in my etsy shop at www.mybigworld2015.etsy.com

Have a fun and playful day
Mel