Basically its about spending 15 minutes per day of uninterrupted play with your child (or children), they set you a challenge to take part in each day, you can adapt them to suit your child, the important part is not having any interruptions. Here is my first weekly report on how we are doing...
Day 1. Challenge: Mission Statement
We had to make a mission statement on how you would like to become more hands on as a parent. This is mine...
I am aiming to spend at least 15 minutes per day, with no interruptions to our play. No looking at my phone, or taking photos, not checking facebook/twitter or any other social media sites (or even the internet in general). I will not leave her to sort out the dog, or cats or even answer the phone. I will try not to be thinking of all the jobs on my to do list or clock watch, but enjoy just spending time with my daughter. I hope to find out new interests of mine and my daughters, and find new activities for us to enjoy together.
They also suggested making a list of your childs interests, here is mini-faithfuls...
- Dolls, and pretend play that involves dolls, eg happyland etc.
- Messy play.
- Sorting play.
Well, this was a great idea. Mini-faithful had a whale of a time with this. We did have an issue that the dog wanted to play as well, but once the dog had been removed, she loved it. We took some books in, and had a great time reading them, and then brought all her dolls in for them to enjoy the den.
Day 3. Challenge: Block building!
This is one of mini-faithfuls many favourite things anyway, so I had high hopes for this. We built towers, sorted into colours, shapes and counted them. I was asked to make houses for her animals etc. Our only trouble was that mini-faithful did keep getting distracted by the lure of happyland....
Day 4. Challenge: Pretend Islands!
This one didnt go as well, when we tried this mini-faithful would just pick up the cushions and carry them around, but I did bare in mind that you can change the activity to suit your child. So we incorporated mini-faithfuls love of dolls. Her dolls had to use 'boats' (a bag) to get to one cushion from another, we made them swim and splash in the water and sometimes they even flew from island to another. We also sang all the songs we sing at mini-faithfuls swimming lessons with the dolls.
Day 5. Challenge: Play Dough Exploration!
This is one that made me smile. We play with play dough a lot in the faithful household. Its a favourite for pre-dinner distraction and is frequently asked for during the day. But this challenge has a twist, to attempt making the playdough together as well. I must confess playdough in this household comes from the shop in a pot, and is not homemade. I always mean to make it but never remember to buy cream of tartar or food colouring.
But ignoring my lack of cream of tartar and food colouring, we went ahead and made the playdough together, mini-faithful adored this and I now have placed cream of tartar and food colouring to my shopping list. We will be doing this one again.
After making this we decided to mix things up a little more, instead of using our specific playdough tools, we used her beloved happyland toys, and some of our craft supplies to make it a whole new experience.
Day 6. Challenge: Family Together Time!
This was simple enough. Spend time together as a family. We decided that we would go for a walk. The reason behind this was simple, in the house there is always a distraction (phones, cats, dog, TVs and computers are some examples) outside the house, this is less of an issue. We also always rush mini-faithful when out on walks, we have to be somewhere, see someone, or its a dog walk. This time we went at her pace, when we stopped to look at the boats several times, and spent lots of time counting them together, or picked up some leaves.
Day 7. Challenge: Mega Floor Doodles!
The idea to cover the floor in paper and let your child's imagination go wild. Colour or use stickers, make playmats for other toys etc. In theory, I was thinking this would be a great play idea for mini-faithful, her love of colouring and sticking makes this an easy task, and my main concern was how I would teach her the difference between colouring on paper on the floor and just colouring on the floor. However, whether mini-faithful was just not in the mood for colouring today or tired from her nursery day, she wasnt interested, without stickers, we managed 5 minutes max, with stickers, we lasted another few minutes. All in all, we lasted 10minutes max. May try this again another day, when we have had no nursery and hopefully in a more colouring mood.
Our thoughts so far
So far so good. Some activities we will be trying again (making a fort, and making our own playdough) other activities have given us new ideas to our usual ideas (brick building, things to play with playdough, mega floor doodles). The pretend islands is one Im going to keep in mind, for when mini-faithful is a bit older. In relation to my mission statement Im doing well, Im not using my phone (hence why we have no photos) and dog/cat interruptions are kept to a minimum. I must admit on occasions Im clock watching, but we are enjoying our 15 minutes of play.
Looking forward to the next weeks worth of tasks...