Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Indoor campout and learning that a toddler can turn anything into a weapon

When I was little I played school 24/7. My best friend's father who lived around the corner from me, had a floor to ceiling chalkboard in his basement workshop, and for many years I played in that workshop on a regular basis. My friend and I both 'taught' our pretend classrooms side by side with a chalk line drawn down the middle of the board to separate our classrooms. PLO was permanently written on my side ;) Remember PLO!?

While I decided when I was older that a classroom was not where I would spend my days, I continue to love creating. Today, my little guy is my student :) ... and I have oh so much fun dreaming up fun activities to do with him in my favourite space.. our home.

This creation all started after I saw the idea for a s'mores snack online. From there, it snowballed. I am loving pretend play with Max now that he is starting to understand that not everything is literal. i.e. even though I am calling this cotton ball a marshmallow does not mean you put it in your mouth and chew it ;) Everyone around us seems to be going camping this summer, and while I would love too as well, the timing for us this year would not be ideal.
So.. I give you.. our indoor camp out.

This was so much fun to put together and for the most part I had all of the materials needed lying around the house and playroom.
I made Max a pair of binoculars to play with. There are countless ways to decorate these and you can use various materials as well.. paper, felt, yarn, buttons.. really anything you have lying around. I also bought a little lantern for Max to use in the tent. This also gave me a super cute photo op ;)

I looked up camping books for toddlers and found a Curious George and Dr. Seuss book; two series that we enjoy reading. I thought it would be fun to have a snuggle in our tent and read about what you do when you go camping.

I made two fun signs from materials I already had at home; again super cheap and easy.

The snack was super simple; honey teddy grahams, chocolate chips and mini marshmallows.. CAUTION.. highly addictive.

Our fire was made out of tissue and blocks. Again, you can use different materials, sticks, paper towel rolls, rolled construction paper, etc. 
Take a cotton ball and glue it on the end of a piece of doweling and boom, you can roast a marshmallow over your pretend fire.

Of course, often times, your idea does not turn out exactly as you had planned. Max refused the snack at first (likely because three different foods were touching each other.. oh the horror!), but came back to it hours later right before bed time (of course). Then at one point he turned the roasting sticks into weapons.. during one of his "I'm an insane toddler with way too much energy coming out of my limbs and now I am going the beat the fire and mommy's leg" moments... which was kiboshed in two seconds flat by mommy.

Overall though, we had fun sitting in the tent, reading the books and playing with the lantern in the dark :) I'll leave the set up out for awhile to let him explore it some more, and who knows maybe in the next few days he will sit quietly in my lap and pretend to roast marshmallows with me in a gentle manner .. ya right.. that poor tissue paper does not know what's coming ;)

Hope everyone is having a lovely week so far. I'll sign off for now.. I have to go put out the fire ;)

~ K