About a year ago I tried some water bead play with Monkey as I had seen so many great examples from other bloggers, but he just wasn’t that interested in it. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when we tried again, and he had a whale of a time playing with them. Just goes to show that just because they aren’t ready or don’t enjoy something once, it is always worth trying again. I set up the Tuff Spot with the water beads and a few other bits and bobs from the kitchen.
So, what did Monkey get up to with them?
He started by scooping them and pouring them.
At which point we discovered they bounce! They are funny and plasticky but also wet and slippery feeling which makes it great as sensory play. He had great fun picking them up and dropping them to watch them bounce!
He then decided a car needed to drive through them (?)
Before having more fun bouncing them again!
Then Monkey decided it was great fun to squish them, first with his fingers, then using a rolling pin,
Then with his fingers again. Check out the glee on his face?!
I’m not sure how to describe what he did next, he poured the beads back into the muffin tray and started wiggling his fingers around to make the beads bounce around all over the place! Which he really enjoyed
Whatever makes you happy Monkey!
As you can see, Monkey absolutely loved our free play session with water beads in the good old Tuff Spot
After the recent success of the Tuff Spot play with water, I was keen to see what other easy activity I could come up with for Monkey that didn’t involve much prep but would keep him entertained. Ages ago a post from Loving Life with Little Ones reminded me how much fun could be had with lentils and I had wanted to get some out for Monkey to play with for a while.
Much as I love doing more structured activities with Monkey, to make cards, or pictures or baking, some of my favourite activities are a lot more free play based. Activities I can set up pretty simply and then leave him to it. Watching where his imagination takes me always cracks me up and it’s also great to literally watch him learning as he plays.
Since LM was born and with all of the illness we have struggled with this year, I have gotten a bit lazy with regards to setting up activities, mainly out of fear. Fear of the mess I have to clean up. Fear of how stressed I am going to get dealing with him and the baby at the same time. I have pulled myself together a little though and one day decided to get a job done that has needed to be done for ages, and involve Monkey in a bit of free play at the same time.
We spent a lot of time enjoying the beach while we were on holiday, and I was loving how much Monkey was enjoying it, and how occupied he was with building in the sand. Now we are home and the nearest beach is over an hour away and too far to go for a day other than as a special event really! So with the sun shining last week I decided to re-create the beach feeling at home.
We got the paddling pool out and filled early in the morning in the hopes it would warm up. Last time we tried the paddling pool the water was just too chilly for Monkey and he didn’t like it. I thought it was worth a try though. I then got out his sand table, which he does love but is a bit small for making castles etc in, and then decided to use our Tuff Spot for added beach style fun.
This week I am linking an old post about a failed messy play attempt from about a year ago.
A few weeks ago I saw some other posts about playtime with water beads – but up until then I had never heard of them before! Designed for keeping plants watered they come in little pouches and are tiny until you soak them in water, when they gradually expand. The ones I bought said 4 hours so I did them overnight.
It is funny stuff, looks a bit like frogspawn, though is a bit bigger!
I chose the blue as I had visions of Monkey playing with it along with cloud dough, so it would be a bit like sea and sand. I got the Tuff Spot out and we had a go. As I expected Monkey was a little wary and unsure of how they felt at first.
He seemed to be having fun, but I was quite surprised at how easily they got smushed or broken up by his little feet and fingers, I hadn’t read about that on anyone else’s post! It’s part of the fun though I guess, Monkey like smushing them up more than anything, though he wasn’t that keen on them getting stuck to his feet!
He had a bit of a play, but unfortunately he got bored really fast.
And after about 10 minutes he was desperately trying to get out of the tuff spot, so I had to strip him off, clean his hands and feet and let him go. I was gutted, all the effort and all that mess for about 10 minutes, took me longer to clean up afterwards
I will try again with it as I have read lots of posts about kids enjoying it, and it’s not like he hated it… but it’s always a bit disheartening when you plan a new playtime or messy play activity and it just doesn’t go the way you hoped it would!
Have you had many play ideas like this, which haven’t worked out the way you’ve hoped?