Wednesday Tips #3 2015

playdoh Playing, rolling and shaping with dough is great for helping to develop fine muscle control and is a fun activity for young children. The downside is that if it gets walked into carpet it is very hard to remove. One way of avoiding this problem is to use the playdoh as an outside activity, however, I have also found that using a large plastic tray as a work area helps. The rim on the tray helps confine those sneaky little bits that become separated from the mass and the smooth plastic surface makes it easy to gather the bits together at the end of a play session.

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 #24 2014

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Currently my youngest grandson is fascinated by all things to do with Thomas the Tank Engine.

This week we visited a shop which specialises in this merchandise as well as several other very popular brands such as Peppa Pig and Brio.

The purpose was not to make a purchase but to play at the tables set up with toy trains. It seems to me to be a very good marketing move as at the rear of the store there are chairs and stools for parents and carers to use as their charges play happily at the various configurations on several tables. Then, to make it even better, one can buy a proper coffee and cookie or biscuit to enjoy. The day we were there, several groups of Mums were enjoying a catchup while their pre-schoolers and toddlers played happily. Happy kids and happy Mums!

My grandson and I spent an hour and a half playing together before going home for lunch. A great shared outing.

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 #15 2014

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Even when the weather is cold my grandchildren and I spend time in my garden. One of their favourite activities is to feed my goldfish. The fishpond is a simple arrangement made from a large ceramic pot and is easy to look after with the occasional clean out of weed and top up of the water when needed. During the really hot weather I place a plank of wood across part of the pond to minimise the increase in water temperature. I am also lucky to have neighbours who are happy to take over the feeding regime while I am on holidays.

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

Tip #2 2014

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The attraction between toddlers and water is legendary but waterplay is also great fun! My grandson and I enjoyed playing with a toy watering can this week. The idea was to water the pot plants but the fascination was watching the water come out the spout. There was not a lot of water involved, in fact dry clothes were not even needed at the end of play and I make sure he wears plastic clogs when playing with water, but the time spent was thoroughly enjoyed by us both. No preparation other than filling the little watering can from my large one and no mess to clean up!  

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

Wednesday Tips #24

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Sometimes I really laugh when the plans I have made for an activity are realised in a totally different way.

The other day I thought a plastic bucket and a few tennis balls would provide entertainment for my toddler grandson as he just loves putting things in containers and tipping them out again. So, off we went outside for ball play on the grass but it didn’t last nearly as long as I expected.

He found a totally different use for the bucket!

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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