A little bleach and water = new!

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Today’s find on the side of the road!  will turn this into new, plastics are very durable (and saved me @ $100). Different types of “houses” are a very important part of imaginative play. Children can use them with dolls, Shopkins, Fisher Price people, Star Wars figures, or other. Houses add a component to play that allows children to pretend and create scenarios they experience every day (going to school, the doctors, and even just being at home). Having different house options changes the dynamic each time when they are alternated in and out. I always pick these up on the side of the road when I see them. And, when my children outgrow them or our collection of houses get too large, I donate them. I love seeing my girls faces of excitement when a “new” house waits for them as they get off the bus! Hours of fun to come!

Different options = exploration!

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A room with different options provides children the opportunity to explore and find their interests! However, even if a child is drawn to a preference like dolls, it doesn’t mean they will always play with those toys. Nor should you get rid of toys they don’t play with frequently. Just put them away. When toys are reintroduced, weeks or even months later, every time they are taken out they feel like new! This is called “rotating the toys”. My son didn’t play with the construction toys for weeks but this week he used them often.
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My water table was one of the best $100 investments!

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Water play is such a wonderful sensory and stimulating activity for any age! Children love the water, any kind; rain, baths, sprinklers, lakes, oceans, snow, puddles. It is part of our world and part of us. My water table was one of the best $100 investments I ever made. I started with the small blue one in the link below, then transitioned to the larger when my oldest turned 4. At 9, 7, and 6 they still find different ways to play with it. We use measuring cups, bottles, bowls, and any other type of plastics we can find. Plastic can go a long way! They love anything that can pour or shoot water (like the medicine dispensers from CVS). Often they put the water table on the ground, fill it, sit in it, dump to make a stream to lay in, pretend it’s a pool or boat, and more. We also mix up the activities with bubbles, food coloring, utensils, buckets, and water guns. Water tables are worth every penny!! Just set it up in the driveway full of plastics. A hose and clean recyclables host hours of fun.

The two water tables I purchased:

http://www.environments.com/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?product=1540&keyword=water%20table&scategoryid=0&CategorySearch=&Brand=&Price=

http://www.environments.com/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?product=1539&keyword=red%20water%20table&scategoryid=0&CategorySearch=&Brand=&Price=

Dancing in the Rain!

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As adults, we often experience rain as cold, wet, disruptive, and time to spend indoors… but to a child rain is a wonderful sensory experience. Children love to feel water fall and touch their skin, catch raindrops in their mouths and hands, dance and splash in the puddles, and get wet on purpose! Children do not care about staying dry or “warm”. As adults we often forget the pleasure in the changing weather and wonders of Mother Nature, let alone experiencing the sensory pleasures of it. Let your children be free to run in the rain, feel nature, experience life with their bodies, and find adventure in the everyday things. © Jodi Healy