Brrr! The winter can be cold and isolating, leaving stay-at-home moms and dads with few options for playtimes. Many homeschooling families interested in natural play are stuck indoors due to snow or bitter cold conditions. Thankfully natural play is something that can take place no matter what the environment. Let’s bring natural play into your home for imaginative and educational playtimes for your preschool-aged children.
Transform your kitchen into a waterworks facility with several sizes of dishpans, bowls and pots. You can station this setup on your island counter, or cover the floor with a tarp or garbage bags for a lined surface. Provide water along with naturally hued food dyes, kitchen utensils and measuring cups. Go with the flow and let your child experiment with mixing colors and amounts of water, or up the ante with predetermined activities. For example, you can incorporate liquid measurements or ask the child to concoct a certain color.
Almost every kid likes to get dirty. Arrange a station with several wide and shallow pans half-filled with sand. You can use regular sand that you can purchase for outdoor sandboxes. If you want to spice things up add spices, literally, such as chopped, dried herbs, pink Himalayan salt, or sesame seeds, to give the sand texture, color and scent. Supply your digger with kitchen tools, like whisks, strainers, and soup ladles, and let them go at it. Alternatively, create focused landscapes by using miniature figures, toy cars or building blocks, along with instructions to design a neighborhood, city or world with the items.
A little imagination goes a long way when you introduce natural play. Best yet, you are encouraging your children to use the materials in nature to channel their creative energies.