Even though I had the pram Freddie loves to walk now he reckons he's an independent toddler so he was running off left, right and centre in a bid for freedom. I decided to embrace his energy boost (in a bid to tire him out for an extra long nap on our return)by enticing him with a Treasure Hunt.
We used our carrier bag to collect all sorts of nature items such as leaves and twigs. Unfortunately some people lack any level of courtesy and respect for others so Freddie attempted to collect a range of litter and dog dirt! Honestly, clean up after your god damn poo machine if you have one!
He really enjoyed collecting things although somewhat bewildered as to why I was allowing him to pick up muddy leaves. Of course, it goes without saying that full parental supervision is a must here to make sure that nothing sharp or dangerous is collected and we were armed with a pack of baby wipes and anti bacterial gel to be on the safe side.
Whilst we collected our nature items, I told Freddie all about what was what and colours, textures etc. At 17 months he doesn't entirely understand but I love to engage him in conversation and he particularly liked pretending to be a dog when he collected his sticks.
The good old blighty weather didn't stay fine for long so we ventured home where we made a nature picture.
I emptied all our findings out onto the mess mat and we had a look at them all over again. I dried them off the best I could and we picked out our favourites.
We used Pritt Stick to stick them down onto foam card and then used our Early Learning Centre paints to paint over them. Freddie got confused at this point and thought we were Bath Painting again so quickly decided to paint his feet!
Of course activities like this don't last very long when it's with toddlers. Freddie doesn't have the greatest of concentration spans but the Treasure Hunt itself was a great way in which to keep him entertained and get him out of the house. It was also free which is always a bonus.
For older children, you could set up a Scavenger Hunt where you provide them with a checklist of things to find.
For babies, I'd recommend a nature inspired Treasure Basket although it may be advisable to use clean things from around the home rather than objects collected from the park.
I hope you've enjoyed this week's 'Play Time'. Where do you get your play ideas from?