Invitations to play - July

Here's a couple of the super cheap and easy invitations to play my kids have loved this last month - nothing fancy in anticipation of having to seriously up my game over the next six weeks. In no way ready (physically, mentally or financially) for the summer holidays! 

Make a monster:

A real winner over here - this kept them busy for ages and then the 5 year old decided he wanted to send his monster to his cousin so we went on a trip to buy a stamp and find a letterbox. I just drew out a couple of monster-y shapes and left out the pens and some eye stickers. 

Cost: £0

Time to set up: 1 minute

Time spent playing: 15 minutes (plus a lovely trip to post it!)

Time to tidy up: 10 seconds

A picture of a tray of coloured pens, and two children working on pictures of monsters


Toilet roll haircut (catchy name):

Super quick set up in seconds because I needed to get a little bit of work done and although the younger two were happily playing the five year old was getting into everything I was trying to do. I snipped out some "hair" on a loo roll I found in the recycling and drew on a face. Left him out an extra loo roll in case he felt inspired but actually all the cardboard just got shredded. Cardboard everywhere but that's buying time for you. 

Cost: £0

Time to set up: 30 seconds

Time spent playing: 5 minutes (just long enough to send my email but not long enough to make a coffee)

Time to tidy up: 5 minutes but done by the five year old who is handy with a dustpan and brush

An image of a toilet roll shaped into a curly haired head with a pair of scissors and a post-it note reading "can you give this cool dude a haircut?" 


Magazine collage:

Before I chucked my Kew Gardens magazine (the free magazine they send to members) I used it to for a super quick cutting / sticking activity. I left out pages with flowers or animals for the big one with scissors and glue. I cut out flowers for the three year old and left them out with a glue stick. 

Cost: £0 

Time to set up: three minutes

Time spent playing: 15 minutes

Time to tidy up: 30 seconds

 A picture of a magazine alongside scissors, glue and a blank piece of paper


Scooping and pouring:

A classic in our house - just a lovely sensory base, some cupcake cases and some spoons. If you've bought one of our boxes you may recognise this lovely rice! This is something we do all the time, it just works, it's engaging but not overstimulating and they can direct play themselves - sometimes they're builders digging out a site and sometimes they're chefs making cupcakes..

Cost: £6 for two sets of sensory rice from TrayPlayToolkits (this will get used over and over!)

Time to set up: three minutes

Time spent playing: 15 minutes

Time to tidy up: 5 minutes (thank god for the holy trinity of dustpan, brush and cordless hoover)

An image of two trays full of blue rice, and two sets of tiny hands playing with the rice


Making necklaces:

This was what the five year old wanted to make for his reception teacher (we did a class present of vouchers but he adores her and we wanted to make something more personal). I bought a set of beads online and we sat and chatted about the best bits of his first year of school and what he is worried about for year one, and he practiced his fine motor skills threading beads onto the string. 

Cost: £7 for the bead set which we'll be able to use lots more

Emotional cost of facing the end of reception: HUGE 

Time to set up: 1 minute

Time spent playing (working): 20 minutes

Time to tidy up: 1 minute


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