Monday, May 13, 2013

Hanging Basket Fairy Houses

Imaginative play is a very important part of how children learn and develop, finding ways to nurture this kind of play is especially important in kids with spectrum disorders. 
One way I encourage play with our girls is to vary our locations and add in new elements for them to use and explore. Sometimes we take no toys and just use what we can find, at other times we will pack a bag (or take our picnic play basket) of a variety of things to take with us.
I am constantly scouting for new places to go and 'hang out', the girls enjoy the new surroundings (most of the time, I have to be mindful of crowds and noise) and I enjoy getting out of the house and away from the dishes.
This week we packed up our fairies, which seem to be the hot play item of the month for our girls, and some bits and pieces from the dollhouse box. We also took along some wicker hanging baskets I found in the local op shop a few weeks ago, they were perfect little fairy houses!  
Stay tuned for our next post featuring ideas for making your own little fairy homes.

These wicker hanging baskets cost next to nothing from our local op shop. You can find similar baskets in dollar shops and some hardware stores.

We took along small thumb tacks to hang them on the trees. 

Some baskets the girls put under rocks and trees instead. 

They had a lot of fun creating their own fairy land and designating houses for all of their dolls.


Their play became more and more elaborate as they found other things to include. Leaves and branches became ladders and blankets, gum nuts became food and sticks became wands.

They created little play scenes all over the place.

The fairy houses were decorated with all kinds of things they had found - flowers, feathers, leaves.

 Such a great way to spend an afternoon.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Picnic Play Basket

One of the girls favourite things to do is visit gardens and park lands to play and explore. We try and visit a new one every week and most days we frequent the ones in our local area.
We always take along a heap of different toys and activities which I used to lug around in different canvas bags or trugs, but recently I came across this wicker picnic basket in a charity shop for $5 and thought it would be perfect as play storage to keep in the car. 
These baskets are always in op shops and usually sell really cheaply, they are also quite roomy and have little pockets inside, as well as being sturdy enough to be used as a seat/table/fairy house etc... I filled ours with the girls favourite take along items and it will live in the back of our wagon for all our park visits from now on.

We found this old picnic basket in a LifeLine store for $5.

 It is perfect for holding our 'Picnic Play' items which can be changed and rotated whenever the girls get bored with them.
In our basket currently we have:
* folding magnifying glasses
* binoculars
* small microscope
* pencil case with crayons and chalk
* blank exercise books
* Grip Ball games
* a few story books
* wooden cars and trucks
* memory games
* pinwheels
* giant bubble wands
* parachute men
* mini stunt kites
* small spike balls
* a spare hat each
* a towel for sitting on
* hand wipes
* small tube of childrens sunscreen