Over the years, I have found the BEST way to enhance my children’s play is to add inspiration through regular items around the house. A little set up can go a long way. Below are some examples:
1. Milk Bottle Lid Plates for Dolls
Save a few milk bottle lids, print out some food pictures (or cut from magazine) and stick them in and you have plates for dolls. There a printable here if you like.
2. Stick TeePee
I used a few twigs and a piece of scrap fabric (can use paper instead) to create a mini teepee for Lego. My daughter took it outside and created a game around it with her toys. Tutorial here.
3. Just Add Water
So many times I have laid out a towel outside with an empty ice-cream tub of water and plastic animal figuries, dolls or cars (carefully supervised for little ones of course).
A bit more elaborate set up can be done in a underbed storage container.
- Imaginative Play (L to R)
4. Organza Bag Doll outfits
I had simple organza gift bags around, and this turned out to be a wonderful material to make doll clothes. I’ve had many people write to me and tell me how successful this activity was with their kids. Tutorials here.
5. Cardboard Roll Vehicles
It turns out cardboard rolls are the perfect size for Lego Figurines and other small figures. Below are links to ways to convert the rolls into different sorts of vehicles:
Other Easy Ways to Enhance Play
- Lay out a towel or blanket on the ground, add a few cushions to create a temporary play space
- Lay a picnic mat outside and play with toys in the shade
- Make a theme, like this Dinosaur themed temporary play space
- Grab a washing basket and see what kids can do with it to add value to their play time
- Place a variety of toys in different buckets out. For example, a tub of blocks, a tub of Duplo/Lego, a tube of dolls and allow kids to combine the tools into their play
- Throw a sheet over the table and kids can set up toys for play underneath
- Grab plastic bowls/containers from the cupboard to provide inspiration for play.
- Make playdough, set it up on the table with some toys and kids can create something. More info on this type of play can be found in this post.