Play Activities

Kids July Fun Activities – Time to Celebrate

This weekend kicks off a month of kids July fun activities. It’s also time to celebrate with fun and play! For today, we can party with Canada. It’s Canada’s 150th birthday. Who gets invited to birthday parties? Well, friends and neighbors.make a handprint flag for Canada Day craft

The Canada flag is red and white. Here are some fun activities:

  1. Make a Canada flag. The maple leaf in the center can be tricky to do, but a handprint works too. Two vertical red bars on the side, and a red hand on white, and you have a flag.
  2. Start the day with red berries, yogurt, and maple syrup on pancakes. Or, layer berries, whipped cream, and granola in a clear glass for a tasty snack.
  3. Make any flavor snow cone, because everyone in the world knows Canada has snow, but hopefully not in summer.
  4. Freeze coconut milk and raspberries into popsicles.

Fireworks, parades, and watermelon signal time for fun and play with friends, family, and neighbors. ‘This the season for camping, water fights, marshmallows, ‘smores, kidy pools, campfires, balls and Frisbees, and more! Long days and short nights give us more summer time to celebrate with fun and play. What will you do?

Print off the July calendar below and tape to the fridge for a play-of-the-day inspiration all month long!july-fun-1

Washing Fairy Rocks Play – Fairy and Elf Activities #16 for Boys and Girls

Today’s post, washing fairy rocks play, is a perfect reminder to parents, caregivers, teachers, and all adults of how play is in the in child not the toy.

play is in the child

We’d done a couple of play activities with fairy rocks, like digging them up after burying them in the dirt, and rolling them in play dough. The rocks were sitting on the counter out of the way of Baby Brother who still puts everything in his mouth. When helping to wash up after snack, Big Brother came up with his own play activity—washing the fairy rocks. He put some of the sink water into the container of rocks and gave them a bath. Not only did he scrub each rock squeaky clean, he had them do games.washing fairy rocks play

The rocks jumped up in the air, turned somersaults, did flips, and rolled over. Every rock did some sort of trick and he gave the play-by-play. At one point, a rock missed landing in the container. He announced, “It escaped.” The rocks now took turns crawling out of the dish. Sometimes, they stepped around the counter a bit before getting back in the dish. Big Brother’s hands, voice, and imagination were all busy in his washing fairy rocks play. This was an inexpensive, simple item rich in play value. Kids do not have to have toys to play and explore. They just need the time and space in a day to engage with what is available and around them.washing fairy rocks play

All too often, we forget who the real experts on play are. Kids themselves! Even worse, we forget how critical play is for children’s learning and development. The brain is hard-wired for play.

children and play

The magic of childhood isn’t fairy dust, but PLAY. It transforms rocks, sticks, dirt, water, blankets, containers, paper, cardboard boxes, and other items into toys. As they play, children explore, wonder, create, and understand the world around them and within themselves. As the adults who care for them, we have a responsibility to nurture and encourage children’s play. How do you support your child’s play?

Each day, come check out the play-of-the-day inspiration!



Fairy Lego Fun- Fairy and Elf Activities #12 for Boys and Girls

While there is fairy Lego, boys and girls do not need the special pieces; they can have fairy Lego fun as they build and imagine with any of it. (or Duplo) For a play-of-the-day, let’s create with Lego. Besides fairies, there are trolls, gnomes, sprites, pixies, elves, dwarves, imps, wizards, witches, and other fantasy beings. Plus, kids can invent their own creatures. Lego can be anything, just like imaginations.

lego play

*Younger hands prefer playing with the larger Lego or Duplo, but generally, it’s all called Lego.

Any creature needs a place to live, something to call home. Some might live in castles, some in forests, and others in houses or caves. Because these are imaginary creatures, there is no right way or wrong way to build. Kids are free to create whatever they like. Part of the appeal of Lego is that it combines both limits and freedom. The Lego bricks have straight edges and only fit together in a certain way. However, what kids can do with these plastic bricks is and learn with Lego

Lego and Duplo challenge kids physically, mentally, and emotionally. Building with bricks takes coordination of small muscles in the hands, fingers, and wrists. For the large muscles, there’s often moving around on the floor, as well as practicing keeping muscles still. Although we can’t see from the outside, brains are super busy organizing, deciding, planning, adapting, and concentrating. Emotions are in play too. When kids play with Lego, they are not only learning how to manipulate these little pieces, they are also learning to handle their emotions. They have to be patient and cope with frustration, adapting their ideas and wants as needed.rupunzel's lego tower

Lego blocks themselves are very simple; we can recognize a piece of Lego anywhere. What kids—and adults—can do with them is complex. Kids can create something different every single time they play, or make favorites over and over. Play with Lego and Duplo doesn’t require fairy dust to have some fairy Lego fun, but it’s still magic, isn’t it?
lego fun and learning

For more play ideas, check the 123kindergarten blog.  The magic is PLAY.

Fairy Play dough Fun – Fairy and Elf Activities #9 for Boys and Girls

Have you tried fairy playdough? It’s simple and fun with just two ingredients: cornstarch and conditioner. Big Brother played with it all afternoon. Mom Kate at shared the recipe. In a bowl, mix 1 cup of inexpensive hair conditioner and 2½ cups of cornstarch. These are approximate measures and you may need to add … Continue reading Fairy Play dough Fun – Fairy and Elf Activities #9 for Boys and Girls

Shovel Dirt Fairy Rocks Fun – Fairy & Elf Activities #7 for Boys & Girls

For a magical play formula we discovered a new one: shovel dirt fairy rocks fun. Big Brother loved it. For fairy rocks, we used small flat glass marbles. The dirt was in a big flower bed and the shovel shared the play with a few diggers and dump trucks. The glass marbles are shiny and … Continue reading Shovel Dirt Fairy Rocks Fun – Fairy & Elf Activities #7 for Boys & Girls

Block and Construction Play on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Anniversary

It’s easy to think of a play-of-the-day today, the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birthday – some block and construction play. We still admire his buildings in various cities across the continent. His reputation and teachings are admired internationally as one of the greatest architects. Does this photo of Frank Lloyd Wright’s lamp remind you … Continue reading Block and Construction Play on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Anniversary

Fairy and Elf Activities #1 for Boys and Girls: Fairy Pretend Play

Today’s play-of-the-day is fairy pretend play. The expression, ‘away with the fairies’ means to be day-dreaming or in another world, like pretend play. When children are engaging in imaginative play, they are creating that other world in their mind and sometimes even building it with their toys. One of the favorite children’s picture books at … Continue reading Fairy and Elf Activities #1 for Boys and Girls: Fairy Pretend Play

Mayhem and Messy Play: Is Messy Play Worth It?

Is messy play worth it? Although it takes considerable effort on our part, the play and learning of messy play contributes to children’s development. Recently, I saw this wonderful photo, “When Your Child Comes Home Messy.” ( Thank you, Tosh Tipler and Theresa McMillan.)It inspired another one, and today’s blog, “When Your Child Makes A … Continue reading Mayhem and Messy Play: Is Messy Play Worth It?

Mayhem and Messy Play #18: Messy Craft Play with Kids

Whenever we do crafts it is always messy craft play. Just getting the materials and covering the work area means it messy before we even start. But it certainly engages the kids and is worth the effort. (Unless it involves glitter. Glitter is questionable.) Craft play can’t help being messy. Materials can include glue, scissors, … Continue reading Mayhem and Messy Play #18: Messy Craft Play with Kids

Mayhem and Messy Play #17: Messy Play with Rocks

Thankfully, most messy play with rocks happens outside so we don’t worry; Mother Nature takes care of the mess as she invites kids to play and learn. There are two activities that kids love to do over and over with rocks. One of them is to throw rocks, especially in water, be it a puddle, … Continue reading Mayhem and Messy Play #17: Messy Play with Rocks