Free fun at ONE!

One. ONE! My word, how fast did the last year go. My Little Beastie is not so little anymore. Her first birthday has been and gone already. Little sob. Bigger sob. I want my baby back!

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So what is occupying the demonchild angel at the moment? Here are her top 5 free activities 🙂

1. Books
I know, I know. This was on her list last time. But it is still a winner around here. ‘Touch and feel’ books, and books with photos of real animals and objects are the most prized.

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Utilise the library to keep this activity free

2. Dress ups
Well not actually dressing up, but playing with clothes is a massive hit. I just leave a jacket or two on a chair for Miss Wynnie to discover. Wrapping clothes around herself and putting them over her head amuses her for the longest time. I just swap the clothes every few days to keep the game interesting for her, and to facilitate exploration of more patterns and textures. A gift of hand-me-downs in a bag from a friend…MIND BLOWN!

3. Crawling through
My Little Beastie seems to be really focused on internalising the experiences of on and off, in and out, and going through. She is loving climbing on and off the couch, hiding under furniture, clambouring onto the bottom shelf of the bookcase and crawling in and out of small spaces. Cue cubby building, obstacle courses of cushions and chairs, and this…

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This is so simple yet so much fun! It is nothing more than strips of fabric attached to the underside of the table in our designated learning space. You could use off cuts from a sewing project or old linen. Even purchased new this only costs about $2 for the fabric. This ‘going through’ activity has added interest to our multi-age learning space and keeps the wee one joyfully occupied when her big brother is concentrating on a tabletop activity 😉

4. Gardening
While she is admittedly not too good at planting yet, Wynnie loves getting her hands dirty. There is plenty to explore, plants to taste, chickens to watch and dirt to dig in. She is getting pretty handy with my little shovel and isn’t too bad at foraging for potatoes. Unfortunately they don’t all make it to the basket without a bite taken out 😀

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5. Singing
This is the BIG one! I couldn’t even guess at how many times I have had requests for ‘Twinkle Twinkle’, ‘Incy Wincy’, ‘Round and Round the Garden’ or ‘Where  is Thumbkin?’.
Do you still sing these songs to your little ones? They are a little old fashioned I know, but there is a reason they are classics.
The beauty of songs with actions is that not only are they encouraging fine motor practice, they also allow pre-verbal children to request their favourite songs. Circling a finger on my palm, holding her hands in a rough diamond above her head, a particular finger fidget all let me know she wants a certain song. It removes the guess work for me and reduces toddler frustration levels. And anything that can reduce a toddler’s  level of frustration has got to be a good thing. Am I right or am I right?!

All fun. All free. All natural learning.
What free activities are your kids finding joy in?

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