HarvestCal14 Inspirations: Little Ones

Good morning all, how was your weekend? Good, I hope? Ours was pretty soothing, full of plenty of outdoor time which was much needed for all of us I think. It really brought home the fact that Autumn is creeping in as all the leaves are starting to drop and change colour and we've been collecting conkers and pine cones everywhere we go. 

It meant that this morning, putting a list of toddler activity prompts together that were Autumn inspired has been spot on for my mood. Some of these have gone straight into the 'must try this week' category. I've been using Pinterest activities more and more and I think I'll do a Playful Parenting segment on the podcast again soon about handy things to stock up on so you're ready to go whenever you see an activity idea that you really like. I keep things pretty basic around here as I am pretty low on time to prep, tidy up or store tonnes of options for play so these activities are pretty low on equipment needs too. 

Sensory Play

This great list of ideas via This Girl's Canon includes one of my favourite sensory tub ideas. We keep in a tub from Ikea that I fill from time to time with different activities like Cloud Dough, water play or shredded paper begged from the Giant's office. This one seems low cost and mostly made up of found objects (ie free). Perfect. 

Have water, will play. The Tot just loves water play and this twist via b-inspiredmam is a great seasonal idea. Time to get out that splashsuit though- naked water play is something we shall surely miss from Summer!

Sowsproutplay.com- I'm would take this wonderful pinecone painting activity outdoors because there's no way on earth this mess would fly indoors. Working from home, I can't have too much mess inside as my "office" doesn't work well with glitter and sand and I hate worrying about mess when the Tot should be just exploring. I need hoses and a quick tub of things for speedy clean ups. Also? How big are these pinecones?!?!? I love the spiced paint element too. 


Outdoor Play

Leaves, a few pipe cleaners and welly boots is all this threading activity takes. I love it and have just text a friend for a play date where we do this with our Tots. Thanking How Wee Learn for the inspiration of taking our obsessive collecting a step further. 

Add a little scavenging to your nature walk with a colour focus via Glitter Muffins. With so much interest in matching and sorting, I think I will be making a version of this without the fancy artist palette. A sturdy piece of card and some felt tips should be enough to get us started with a prompt. A great morning's activity I'm sure. 

Mud Kitchens- have you discovered the magic of these yet? I have to admit, I had my reservations as mud felt stressfully mucky with the Tot but you know what? There's something intensely satisfying about your toddler being so at ease with getting their hands dirty (oh Imagination Tree how you inspire me). I recommend some sturdy togs for this one.  

Fine Motor:

The Toddler is very into posting, threading and sorting right now so I stumbled happily upon this post earlier in the week via NurturingLearning.com. Ideas I can see us doing straight away are the acorn transfer with tongs (we just discovered tongs are hilarious fun), acorn posting in a tin with a slot cut in the top (have tin, will slot) and more leaf threading only this time with a button and elastic which I think might actually be easier than the pipe cleaners. I'll report back once we've tried it, probably on Instagram

Oh this one looks fun via The Artful Parent- contact paper, leaves you've collected and paper plates to make sun catchers. It's a variation on sticking the contact paper to a glass door and letting your toddler add things to a tree shape etc. We don't have easy access to that so suncatchers would work really well for us. Nature walk to crafty activitiy in the afternoon? Perfect. 

There's another version here via Fantastic Fun and Learning with leaf shapes to keep it really themed. 

All those paper plates you bought for Sun Catchers are the perfect paint trays for Leaf Printing. Gorgeous colours (and pictures of concetnration- how absorbed are those two tots?!?) via Meaningful Mama. 


I hope these inspire you as much as they have me. I'm excited to get outside with the Tot now. More tomorrow for the adults- layers and layers of shoulder season outfit inspirations!

Don't forget you have until midday 30th September to jump in and join us for the #harvestcal14 and don't forget, you can win prizes too!