I have gotten some great ideas from Pinterest for imaginative play and invitations to play for Cricket, so I thought I would share some of them, and some of the funny stories that went with them.
1) Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Cricket's Age: 14 Months
Supplies: Three stuffed bears, doll, three bowls and spoons, three pillows
Teaches: Storytelling, sequencing, point of view, life skills (feeding)
(I got this idea from Pinterest, but I didn't use any specific site or tutorial for it, so I don't have anything to link to.)
I set up the scene for her,
and then brought her in to see it. I told her the story, acting it out very simply. (I left out the part about the three chairs for time and resources' sake.) She especially liked the part where the everyone ate their porridge and wanted to feed them over and over.
She even tried lying down in Goldilock's "bed" but wouldn't let me get a picture.
This was a lot of fun, and it held her attention pretty well. Of course, you could do this with other simple stories or fairy tales, like Red Riding Hood or The Bremen Town Musicians.
2) Five Little Speckled Frogs
Cricket's Age: 13 Months
Supplies: Paper towel tube, construction paper (brown and blue), printed frog pictures, glue, scissors
Teaches: Music (singing), counting, sequencing, object permanence, storytelling
This one has a little back story.
See, I saw this on Pinterest and thought it looked awesome, and I already had all the materials including an empty paper towel roll. Perfect!
Except apparently my paper towel roll had gotten thrown away recently.
My options were:
1) Wait until I had another empty paper towel roll.
Takes too long. We don't use them very much, and I don't have the patience to wait weeks.
2) Tape some empty toilet paper tubes together.
The perfectionist in me did not like this. Plus, I thought it might not stay together well, and it might not be the right size.
3) Unravel an entire new roll of paper towels to get the tube.
That is just ridiculous.
Guess which one I did?
The only downside is that now it is difficult to use my paper towels.
However, I finally had all my supplies. I cut five strips of brown paper, wrapped them around the tube, and glued the sides flat together. This took a little thought, because they had to be exactly the same size, and they had to be able to spin freely around the tube.
Then I just glued a picture of a frog on one side and some waves that I cut out of blue paper on the other. You want the frogs to look like they are sitting on the log, so make sure when you glue them on that you orient their feet towards the tube.
(For the frog picture, I just Googled "cartoon picture of frog" and found one I liked. Then I printed five small copies of it.)
When you are ready to play with it, you hold it so that all the frogs are showing on top. Sing the song.
Five little speckled frogs,
Sitting on a speckled log,
Eating some most delicious flies.
One jumped into the pool,
Where it was nice and cool,
Then there were four speckled frogs.
As you sing "jumped into the pool," twist one of the pieces of paper down so that the water is visible below and your frog has "disappeared." So cute! Keep singing the song, counting down until there are no more frogs.
Cricket loved this and makes me sing it to her several times whenever I pull it out.
3) Five Little Snowmen
Cricket's Age: 9 Months
Supplies: Old glove or popsicle sticks, felt scraps, glue, scissors
Teaches: Counting, sequencing, storytelling, object permanence, the harsh reality of death
This is is a finger-play rhyme, not really a song. I used an old lonely glove for my little puppets because I seem to lose at least one glove every winter. If you don't have any to spare, you can make them on Popsicle sticks, make them fit on top of your finger or just make bands out of felt scraps to put around your finger.
You just make five white circles out of felt and then use little scraps to decorate them like snowmen. Then I glued mine onto the fingers of my glove. You can make the little snowmen faces however you want. I put a blue hat on the third snowman because the rhyme kind of talks about it.
I think mine look more like "Five dead-eyed albinos" than five little snowmen, but I guess that's harder to make a rhyme for, so I just stuck with this one.
Five little snowmen standing 'round my door.
This one melted and then there were four.
Four little snowmen beneath a green pine tree.
This one melted and then there were three.
Three little snowmen with caps and mittens blue.
This one melted and then there were two.
Two little snowmen standing in the sun.
This one melted and then there was one.
One little snowman started to run.
But he melted away and then there were none.
As each snowman "melts," you hide that finger, obviously.
I recommend using this before your kids are old enough to develop attachments to snowmen, because honestly, it's kind of harsh.
"Run, pitiful snowman! You'll never escape the merciless annihilation of the beating sun! Mwahahaha!"
Yeah, sweet dreams, kids.