Purposeful Play – 5 Activities For Intentional Play

Today my goal with Little B is to play intentionally.

Now my disclaimer is that I am totally NOT the mom who schedules my life and activities around constructive and educational play 100% of the time, but I am also not the mom who wants my littles to be educated by screens. This is just my version of motherhood and that’s not to take away from those who parent differently by choice or necessity.

Each mama must find what works best for her family and situation and sanity!

And sometimes for my sanity, that means watching Winnie the Pooh while I am sprawled out on the sofa! Being preggo is hard work some days! But for today, we’ve been playing a few more purposeful games…

Five activities for intentional play with children

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childs wooden peg toy

1) This is a Melissa & Doug wooden peg set that Little B received for her birthday. It also comes with a wooden hammer, but she hasn’t quite figured out the “hammering” concept yet. Right now she likes to push and pull the pegs through the holes. Sometimes she will even completely pull them out and then try to put them back in. (Which is why we are missing a few pegs!) It is amazing how her dexterity and coordination have improved in the two weeks that she has had this toy! It was a fabulous gift for a one year old and a great learning tool for us!

Shape sorting toy

2) This is an Infantino shape sorter that Little B got for Christmas last year. Up until now, she has simply played with it as a bucket since putting the shapes into the appropriate holes was too challenging for her to try. Today, however, we pulled out the blocks and I told her the different shapes and colors. She still hasn’t been able to put them in the correct openings, but it is always good to have a few toys that are above her skill level. It encourages her to keep trying, and one day, I know she will surprise me with it! (The turtle version has been discontinued but here is a similar elephant shape sorter!)

3) Game number three is something we have been working on for a few weeks now – learning anatomy! Little B has to be in the right mood to cooperate, but when she is willing, she amazes me with what she remembers. So far, we have been trying “belly-button,” “nose,” “mouth,” eyes,” “ears,” “hair,” and “feet.” I’m sure she would know even more if I was more consistent with it, but I’m so proud of what she has learned already! It is so fun to read this book by Karen Katz now that she is learning the names of different body parts!

4) During the last game before nap-time, we played with plastic baggies filled with colored water. To make them, I filled the bags with water, food coloring, and a little bit of coconut oil. (Make sure the bags don’t leak!) She had fun playing with them as we pointed to the different colors (while I named them…) I thought we’d start with the primary colors and work from there!

children book and security blanket

5) Just before her nap, we snuggled up with a good book. This book is Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell. I love flap books because Little B has learned to lift the flaps and turn the pages. And this one has the cutest pictures! It is the perfect way to wind down before a nap.

These are just some of the indoor activities we are trying today since it’s still so hot out! Do any of you mamas have other ideas for low-maintenance but also educational play activities?

All this play was a fun way to pass the morning until nap time, but now this mama needs to rest! I’ve had a sore throat this morning! (What about any thoughts on diy sore throat remedies?)

Have a happy Monday! (It’s half-way over already!)


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