Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Play with Sunflower...Soon

I was trying to decide what to write today because I really wanted to bury yesterday's post when I realized that others might benefit from what I learned at MOPS today.  We had a panel of 4 women come in to talk to us about creative ways to play with our children and how to deal with the mess that playing causes.  It was honestly a very convicting message to me because I just do not like getting on the floor, even if it has been vacuumed recently.  Here are some of their truly creative ideas and wise words.

How to Handle the Mess:
  1. Plastic Table clothes, tarps, and disposable table clothes
  2. Clear expectations--you get to make this mess today, but you will have to help clean it up
  3. Set yourself up for success by not doing this when you are likely to be cranky, as in already cranky, tired, or hungry
  4. Paint in the shower--tape the papers to the wall and when they are done hose them all down
  5. If you know ahead of time you plan a messy project warn your husband so he isn't surprised when you got nothing extra done that day (the activity and cleaning up the mess took all the time)
  6. Add a little bit of dish soap to most paints and they will wash out easier

Some of the Most Fun Ideas
  1. Use different toys like cars or kitchen utensils like a potato masher to paint with so kids can enjoy the different textures
  2. Frost cookies, or if too little for frosting let them sprinkle sugar on the sugar cookies and bake
  3. Include them in cooking, even if you don't have a task necessary for them to do have them sit on the floor and stir a bowl of water with food coloring; kids are good at stirring
  4. Paint or play with shaving cream in a cookie sheet with food coloring for texture play
  5. For kids likely to eat paint let them eat it (really one lady said this) or use chocolate pudding or vanilla pudding with food coloring
  6. Paint/glue/water combo in a spray bottle for the littles to spray at paper, lots of cool texture
  7. For picky eaters, backwards dinner.  Dessert first, but they must eat their dinner.  Give them age appropriate portions, but it is a good way to introduce new foods to them.  
  8. If you have extra photos let them spend time making their own scrap book or memory pages.  It is a great way for them to be creative and proud of what they made.  Once they finish it, they can use it to practice story telling.

Messiest Ideas
  1. Playing with packing peanuts; they crunch them into little bits and you will be finding them for weeks like pine needles from your Christmas tree
  2. The lady that suggested #1 did not class this as messy, but she is crazy!  Take of their pants and let them paint on pudding pants.
  3. Owning chickens--if you do have chickens have shoes that are specific to visiting those chickens
General Wisdom
  1. It is not about the product, it is about the process.  Gluing anything on paper doesn't necessary make an interesting picture, but gives them an idea of process.  Anything you do that gives the children the chance to touch and experience different things, like letting them shape homemade pretzels, is a good project.  Letting them paint with their feet gives them new sensations, also.
  2. Make every day things that are usually kept neat messy.  For example, let them empty their clothing drawers and try everything on.  Let them put yogurt on their faces and hair.  Let them play with water in the sink/wash dishes. 
  3. Be creative and imaginative because that is how little children think
  4. It is all about presentation and clear guidelines--Today is Manic Monday so we get to clean the kitchen floor!  Today is Terrific Tuesday, Wacky Wednesday, Thrilling Thursday, Fabulous Friday, Super Saturday, Silly Sunday...  Apparently if you say it with enough enthusiasm everything is fun! 

1 comment:

Peter and Abby said...

I'm the crazy one aren't I!