Sunday, 21 July 2013

More Super-Simple Play to Leave Behind

More super simple leave-behind play while momma works all day at the office.

Treasure-Hunt Tray: bury some metallic objects in the sand and leave a magnet

I've been hunting for a simple book about magnets available in Manila.  If you find one, I would love to know!

In an early post, I've written how these leave-behind activities help me cope with having to balance a demanding corporate career.  I get a concrete feeling of daily fulfillment knowing I've left her a thoughtful environment filled with options to play and learn.  I also feel more hands-on and in-control of parenting despite the distance and yaya.  

Even with yaya around, Leave-Behind activities should be intuitive for preschoolers to figure out what to do themselves.   Whether they are readers yet or not.  It encourages independence!

This is how we store our alphabet stamps so that it's easy for little hands to pick up -  but it also makes an easy letter match activity.

These were highlighter markers her daddy bought for Ladybug Girl, but can also be used for puzzle play.  In the right photo, I left a picture to copy, drawn with her markers.  

I like leaving artwork the best because it's the easiest to think of quickly.  At our house, they are also done the fastest.

An old mouse pad which can be an art canvas before throwing it away: left is chalk pastels (I think oil pastels would work better though), and right is the same mousepad flipped over with a black permanent marker.

Don't give away those glow-in-the-dark freebies!  Leave them behind like this for an art activity.  We used old playdoh cups to hold the stars and a glue bottle upside-down.  We hung this up on the art gallery and enjoyed the effect after lights out at night.  

Of course when they start to read, the possibilities expand!  And the set-up ease, of course.  Of course.

Nothing could be simpler than ripping out sheets from the Taro Gomi doodle placemats book and leaving them on her easel or whiteboard.

We have these wipe-off activity cards set which I got so I can just choose a few cards to leave out and change when done. 

Cutting practice (draw lines to follow).  This would be intuitive even without the note, but I like to use these opportunities to practice Ladybug Girl's cursive reading.

I may not be home with Ladybug Girl for the day, but these leave-behind trays teach me a lot about her interests and capabilities and leave me signals when to step in with some floor time.  

Like this example here:

Match the lid to the container right? 


When I see these clues, we do them together during our floor time at night or during the weekend.

So I could watch how she plays with them first and try to join in with unstructured play.  I've had moments where I would completely lead her into doing what I want, and we both end up frustrated!

It took some time and with some step-by-step pointing, but she did it!

Afterwards, it's disassembled and returned to the shelf for another day.  But only one other day, I'm afraid: she gets bored with things very easily.  That's why I've vastly simplified our trays vs. my early days of pinterest-hunting and putting together complicated activities like this:

Fun while it lasted, but too much trouble!

Notice they are not heavily-DIY like many eye-catching ideas out there?  Now when I see pinterest ideas of moms doing their own materials, I pretty much cross that off, or at least figure out an easier way in terms of time.  Being in a corporate job taught me that the right shortcuts tools can get the job done easier.  

In this case, the right "toys".

See the first round up of this super simple leave-behind play here.

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