I’ve been on a mission lately to increase M’s interest in non-battery-operated toys. It’s been a tough job. I’m not sure how it happened that he became so addicted to toys that “do something”, I only know that it was a turn for the worse. After receiving several hand-me-down toys from cousins in January, all of which are battery operated, he just hasn’t been as interested in expending any energy or imagination when playing. He will push buttons and watch toys light up, make sounds, and move, and somehow being entertained has become more pleasant than actually playing.
I could go on and on about this topic, but I will save it for another post, another time.
In an effort to engage his imagination and creativity in play again, I (very) quickly put together some play sets for him using fabric I’ve had lying around in my sewing cart for ages.
I’ve mentioned in other posts that I’ve been trying to have something interesting waiting for him when he wakes in the mornings so I don’t have to hear any whining before my first cup of coffee. ;) Often, it’s something like playdough or a new sensory bin, but one evening I made a farm playland for him and had it ready the following morning. I included his farm animals and barn (Target) and some Duplo blocks.
It started off like this:
Then became this:
And eventually ended up like this: He had gotten out more blocks, a zoo, a truck, and some books and was sitting in the middle of his farm, reading books to a little plastic duck. Hello, imagination! :) And I realized something a bit bigger might be better. So, off we went to the fabric store.
I purchased a yard of green fleece, and put it on the floor when we got home. He spent 45 minutes, I kid you not, mowing the
green fleece grass with a little toy tractor.
I cut a larger pond out of some blue fabric from my stash, and we used the other pieces I’d had for the smaller version to make more hills ( by putting fabric over an upside down bowl, or over large blocks), and a chicken yard.
I wish I had a better picture than this… in fact I think M may have taken this picture: but you get the idea. He loves his new farm yard!
I should mention that none of the fabric has been hemmed or sewn together. I simply grabbed what I wanted and cut it to roughly the size and shape I needed for a pond or hill or dirt field. I’m not worried about pieces unraveling - fleece doesn’t unravel, and the other pieces were just leftover scraps from old projects. This way he can rearrange the layout of his farm if he wants to.
This was such an enormous success that the following week I used the same green fleece, added some new pieces, and made a dino land for him:
There’s a cave (a small crate from Dollar Tree turned on its side with brown fabric on the floor and covered with some other green fleece):
And a volcano (note the dino skeleton at the base of the mountain, hee hee):
This was a huge success too, and M had a lot of fun playing with it. It was definitely worth the 15 minutes it took me to cut fabric and put it all together for him.
I won’t say it cured him of his preference for toys that “do something”, but it did help him see how much fun a little imagination can be! Baby steps, right? ;)
Have a beautiful day! :)