Wednesday Tips #20 2014

Recently  I experienced the unexpected major breakdown of my fridge/freezer which necessitated the purchase of a replacement.

Feeling cross about the unexpected financial outlay, I fortunately asked the installer to leave the packaging box as I thought it could be useful for my grandchildren as a play item. My thoughts were running along the lines of perhaps a cubby house, but as usual, the children came up with their own ideas.

On the day they all visited my home for a family lunch, all four grandchildren were delighted to find the box on the lawn in the back garden. For the next hour or so they played together 2014-09-14 02.41.56 climbing in and out of the box, tipping it over and generally having fun together. They then added a couple of balls to the game. Great interactive entertainment which threw a positive slant on my unexpected financial displeasure!

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Wednesdays at Gam’s
Providing daycare for grandchildren: What really works
Available from http://www.bookpal.com.au RRP $24.95

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Wednesday Tips #19 2014

2014-09-02 01.43.56The “honey bucket  water painting activity” kept in my outdoor toybox has always been popular with my grandchildren.  Treasure #4 has now moved on from painting the concrete terrace to painting various articles in my back garden.

With the bucket half full of water and having the 5cm paintbrush tied onto the handle of the bucket, most major spills and the frustration of the paintbrush getting lost are eliminated. The little fellow has now got the idea of carrying the bucket with him as he paints. He becomes very engrossed in his painting which is helping to develop his concentration span. As he goes we talk about what colour he is using. This stimulates his imagination and helps develop his oral language. The colour of choice for my other grandchildren has usually been “rainbow”.

Of course once he has finished there is an upturned bucket and usually wet feet!

 

Wednesdays at Gam’s
Providing daycare for grandchildren: What really works
Available from http://www.bookpal.com.au RRP $24.95

Wednesday Tips #18 2014

2014-09-01 22.14.05My grandchildren love to draw, paint, colour and generally pursue artistic projects. From an early age I have made drawing materials and a variety of surfaces for them to draw on available. It is worth remembering that a drawing activity for a very young child is much more satisfying if the marks can be made easily. To this end I have a collection of washable, felt tip pens in various colours and thicknesses. (For my own sanity I keep the waterproof markers in a completely different place well away from small fingers!) Clean up of smudges and overflow is easy with a piece of old newspaper placed under the drawing surface. As the children get older I introduce coloured pencils, crayons and pastels into the mix. When the drawing is finished I always ask the child to tell me about their picture. The one in this photo is “Mummy”.

 

Wednesdays at Gam’s
Providing daycare for grandchildren: What really works
Available from http://www.bookpal.com.au RRP $24.95

Wednesday Tips #17 2014

vietnamese boatMany grandparents experience concern  that their special treasures on display will be inadvertently damaged by grandchildren when they visit.  My grandchildren spend time with me every week, so to minimise anxiety all round, I have a simple solution which works for us. My grandchildren are not permitted to play in the formal living area of my home. Instead, the casual area is their domain with a toybox  they can access easily, a book box containing appropriate material and various other toys and activity options. The low storage unit is called “Gam’s Fiddle Shelf “and it is here I put interesting things for the children  to inspect, handle and explore.   Simple things like a large magnifying glass, interesting rocks, feathers and shells all provide interest. In addition I add small souvenirs from my travels and tell my grandchildren the stories about their acquisition. Currently a model of a Vietnamese woman taking her fruit and vegetables to market by boat is a favourite. The children know they will always find something interesting to see and hold when they visit, with no fear of being told not to touch. Not only are they exploring using all senses but their language is being extended when we talk together about what they have discovered.

 

Wednesdays at Gam’s
Providing daycare for grandchildren: What really works
Available from http://www.bookpal.com.au RRP $24.95

Wednesday Tips #14

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I was never one to push gender specific toys for my children . My  boys had the opportunity to play tea-parties, dress-ups etc if they so wished and in fact often did so, while very young, with the daughters of my friends. The same applies to my grandchildren. Both the boys and girls have enjoyed playing with the model train and cars, dressing the dollies and taking them for a walk in the pusher, playing with bats and balls, building with blocks and having tea parties with the soft toys. All too soon it seems that peer pressure and advertising pushes the girls one way and the boys the other in their toy selection.

Master Two enjoyed feeding the baby doll the other day as a change from  playing with the cars and trucks but I guess it won’t be long before this option will  be unattractive to him!

 

Wednesdays at Gam’s
Providing daycare for grandchildren: What really works
Available from http://www.bookpal.com.au RRP $24.95

Wednesday Tips #19

ImageIt is always interesting how children construct their own games to suit a situation.

In the toybox outside, my granddaughter discovered a small net once used long ago in the maintenance of a fishtank . 

“Let’s play a fishing game,” she announced to her cousins. “We need some water please Gam,” they called.

So with a bucket of water and a variety of articles which could float, the fishing game was instigated. This kept them amused for over an hour as they took turns, counted how many items they caught, and fantasised about the size and type of fish they were catching.

Imaginative, child centred and inexpensive entertainment.

Wednesdays at Gam’s available from http://www.bookpal.com.au RRP $24.95