Today's Take Over Tuesday is brought to you by Seaneen from Miss MixAndMatch Mum who is Mum to 2, an early years educator/nursery school teacher. (B.Ed, M.Ed) and uses a ‘mixed method’ approach to play favouring Montessori and Waldorf.
Thanks Mums NI for having us #TakeOverTuesday the page.
I’m Seaneen, aka. Miss mixandmatch mum. I’m a mum of 2 (9 and 1) and a nursery school teacher with a bachelor and masters degree in early years education and special educational needs. I have a passion for play and a general interest in sensory play, wooden toys and simple,easy activities.... because WE ARE ALL ONLY DOING OUR BEST!
This is not a business and I am certainly not a perfect parent, rather a mum on a mission to put connection and fun back into our own play and hoping to encourage some others to join in along the way!
Keep an eye on the @mumsni fb, insta and Twitter pages today if you want to follow or play activities or alternatively you can pop over and have a nosey at our own pages.
When days are busy it is difficult to find the motivation, energy or even time to sit and ‘just play’ which is why, on most occasions, we play with things we can easily grab around the house.
Here is some fine motor play in the kitchen after dinner and before her bath in an attempt to start winding down for the bedtime routine (not that it always works, she was one before she slept through the night )
Elastic bands across her toys made them harder to get at and added a layer of difficulty.
Disclaimer- obbbbbbbviously she was supervised for this: no one wants to explain to a casualty doctor that she choked on small parts or pinged her own eye out
We’re often asked where we get our ideas and to be honest I can’t always take credit. My parents are both childminders and all my life I have been surrounded by toys and play for varied ages.
My specialisms in early years and special educational needs helped develop resources and ideologies that I liked such as Waldorf, Montessori and Reggio. I use social media to look for ideas and there is a wealth of other play enthusiasts that often post play prompts that spark creativity. This picture was for a ‘rainbow’ prompt. I used vertical areas when my little girl was learning to stand up to give opportunities for her to practice. She lived the colours and the rustling noise when she scrunched each piece. We extended the play by adding a mirror on the floor and watching the colour shadows dance on the wall and floor tiles.
Do you ever need just a minute or two to catch your breath? I can’t be the only one?!
Sometimes I play to bond with children. Sometimes I set up play for a minute peace and I’m not ashamed to admit that.
These pom-poms in a whisk developed an early pincer grasp while keeping her occupied. Not for too long though as she discovered she could get more out by whacking it on her head or high hair.
Lesson learnt - tapes the whisk down next time.
I tend to use ‘play invitations’ that are just that... invitations. No amount of ‘teaching’ will help a child if they’re not interested or developmentally ready.
We make treasure baskets like this for themes/ colours/ materials etc and leave them around the house. Sometimes a child will dart for them, other times they won’t care less and THAT’S OK! Don’t torture yourself or them!
I rotate toys at work in nursery school and at home.
In school it can be very structured - monthly there with resources that are rotated weekly in each of the play areas that are led by the children and linked to curricular guidelines and learning intentions. At home I rotate toys when I could be bothered. Simples!
I think I enjoy #shelfie and toy rotation more than the children but the upside is that less toys out at one time means less to tidy up too.
I’m a huge fan of simple traditional wooden toys (the more a toy can sing, dance or move on its own, the less the child has to think) but quality wooden toys can stretch the purse strings.
There are great buy and sell sites for preloved toys but equally they can pop up elsewhere like this tent and tunnel for £3 in the Cancer Focus charity shop. We simply added some ribbon to make a sensory tunnel. Bargain!
Even better than that - unstructured outdoor play is free. As is a visit to most local museums. The wealth of cheaper play opportunities are endless.
By this time of evening I’m sure you’re all as knackered as I am. Maybe you’re even lucky enough to have the children in bed and are enjoying a cuppa (or something a bit stronger) so it’s time to say thank you to Mums NI for this fab chance to #TakeOverTuesday.
If you want to continue following us , collaborate or even join in yourself then please say hi.
There are play set ups, resource recommendations, family event reviews, general play and parenting ramblings and a fair dose of sarcasm!
You can find out more about Miss MixAndMatch Mum here