Bringing Play Home

Recently, my boys and I had a chance to spend the afternoon at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum! What a fun time we had!  A preschool teacher had mentioned to me that children often cruise through the entire museum very quickly, sometimes causing parents to be concerned that the kids don’t really like it – when really they are checking the whole thing out before deciding what they want to really focus on.  Not my boys – my boys found a station using wood boards with notches cut into them to create a house/fort.  Thirty minutes later, I finally convinced them there were other places worth exploring.

And explore we did!  I really appreciate the Children’s Museum and the giant scale that they bring to activities and fun. Yet, while visiting I kept thinking about ways that we could do some of these same events at home on a smaller scale.  Since we can’t make it to the children’s museum every week, it was a great chance to get some new ideas for some at-home play.

For example, a craft store sells simple popsicle sticks with the built-in notches that allow them to be criss-crossed into walls and buildings. Perhaps not as fun as the life size version at GRCM, but a great craft supply to have at home for some table play.

The Bubble tables at the museum also create wonderful BIG play. At home, I’m considering filling a old kiddie-pool with bubble solution once warm weather arrives and forming some of our own frames out of wire hangers.

We don’t play a lot of musical instruments at our house, but the boys loved the chance to bang on the big drum and try out some of their noise makers. Another great at-home craft can include making our own maracas, tambourines, and drums.

Finally, we loved their newest fort building area complete with blankets, couches, chairs and more to allow you to create your own fort creation. They added the wonderful touch of providing extra reinforced straps to the corners of the blankets and handles to attach your blankets too.  A simple sewing project could allow me to have some ready to build fort blankets as well.

Our trip to the museum was an amazing afternoon of play. Now, I’m excited to have a little new inspiration to bring some creative play home as well.


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