Friday, 4 January 2013

Squeezing in Play During the Holiday

Having zero vacation leaves left for the Christmas season is a grave mistake I hope never to make.  How on earth do working moms manage to care for sick kids, attend school activities, do home errands, and travel while keeping Christmas leaves intact?

I've had to let go of my visions of of baking, crafts and a lazy holiday of play-filled floor time with Ladybug Girl and get help from these:

Wonderful finds from Christmas presents!  Look, look.
Create Your Own 3 Bitty Books, from my older sister (Rustan's)
Get six cute reindeer to wind up and race, from same sister  (Debenhams)
I'm eagerly saving this for future floor time : what a great way to learn about Bible lessons and fine motor skills at the same time!  Geeked out from this find from my Singapore-based sister.   
Discovered Gelarti from a sweet officemate's present for Ladybug Girl.  (Toys R Us, Toy Kingdom)
Her tito brought this DIY gingerbread house for Ladybug Girl and her cousin to decorate for New Year Day breakfast.  
Magnetic paper dolls with costumes around the world, from Santa (and Fully Booked).  I let her play with it by herself one family lunch, and later we played together to match the costumes to the countries on our map.
I found this book of stencils at Fully Booked in December.  Wish they stock up as early as October, since we have a long Filipino Christmas.

It's a pricey P850+, but you get 20 stencils : about P45 for a reusable stencil
We followed the instructions on making window art using washable poster paint and a sponge.    
It was a nice lesson in filling in the details, but she was too excited to be with her cousin.  Cute effect though!  I think we'll do this next year to decorate our home.   It wipes of clean with just a wet wipe.
We also used the stencils to decorate the driveway.  Put some flour in a shaker or wire strainer and use it like paint!  Use it on grass too.
I'd love to use this to make a path to the house for holiday parties.  Only in my head am I a perfect, gracious hostess.
Of course you could use it on regular paper too.  It's something even little boys like (her cousin). 
Oops. Don't forget to tape them down.
And in case this gives the impression that I'm this crafty supermom type, Ladybug Girl also played a lot this way:
Learning to work the laptop for the first time.  See the look of concentration on her face?  Jackpot!
We stumbled upon this entirely by accident when she discovered me secretly playing an old game on my laptop before she woke up.  I guess my dorky secret is out too: I play silly, cutesy computer games. 
Apart from the cute graphics, there's a story to Professor Fizzwizzle which captured her imagination.  It's not too threatening (no villains) to scare her.  She's learning about left and right through the arrow keys, and learning to control her fingers through the track pad. 
As she worked on mastering the game, this gave me at least 30-minute stretches of time to get other things done, without any guilt.

I also did try to bring out some new play things from the vision of fuzzy warm bondings in my head that really did not work at all:
Reindeer from Muji used as puzzles.  To my mind we would have a complete set, Rudoloph included.  But this went untouched, and as a consequence, never displayed.
Sewing your own Christmas ornament was proclaimed as "too boring" after four stitches
I saved up these Santa chocolate moulds for nearly a year but she would always come up with a "great idea" of her own.  Supplies from Gourdos + Goya milk chocolate buttons from the supermarket.
And so when all else fails, and I need some time for adult conversation, something messy to play with always does the trick:
Sponge painting with DIY cut up shapes kept her busy while yaya was on day-off and my sister came to visit
So there's the round up.  

With lots of help and the good ol' faithful favorites, squeezing in play during the holidays was not so hard to do after all.  All in retrospect, of course.

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