Pretend Airplane and Rocket Play

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We’re marking the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, and still searching for novel ways to fill long days indoors. Here’s a simple twist on couch cushion play to keep things novel!

I pulled out all the couch cushions and simply told the kids it was an airplane, a little bit of imagination required; two long pillows formed the body and the two back pillows jutted off to the sides as the wings.

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From there, the imaginative play was up to them! They added stuffed animal passengers, and got a kick out me taking on the role of pilot to make landing and takeoff announcements. (Depending how many times your children have traveled by air, you’ll likely need to model this for them before they pick up the lingo).

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My passengers’ favorite part? Not just having a snack when the “concession cart” came along, but being naughty and eating snack on the wings!

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If your kids are familiar with airports, they can make a much bigger game of this. Ticket counters? Security check?

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Veronika has never seen an airport, but she latched right on to the idea of baggage claim. We packed up a little suitcase with some of her summer clothes and I placed it on the edge of the couch for her to claim.

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She quickly ran over and was soon busy unpacking!

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Why stop at the limits of Earth’s atmosphere? A little more imagination and a quick switch-up of the pillow configuration, and it swiftly became a rocket instead.

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Here goes Veronika on a space walk!

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We made pictures of the planets so we could decide which one we were zooming to.

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This little astronaut needed her space suit on!

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Again, your kids might want to get much more detailed with the game, especially if they’re older. Moon boots? Buttons and command controls inside the space ship? Experiments on board? We’d love to hear your how imaginative play goes, in the comments!

Spring Flower Pretend Play

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Spring has sprung, the grass is ris,

I wonder where the flowers is.

This has always been one of my favorite lines of poetry, and it always rings so true. Today, we welcome spring, but the flowers are still several weeks away! To fill the interim, Veronika played with fake flowers in two ways today.

I had purchased bunches of fake flowers on sale at the craft store and then used a wire cutter to snip them into individual segments instead of big bouquets.

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First, Veronika got to be a florist! Plastic cups and colanders were perfect for toddler-safe vases and making “arrangements”.

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The colander is great because your little one will need to poke the stems down into the holes, which is excellent for fine motor skills.

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She also loved just holding the flowers, peeling back the layers of petals to peer inside and talk about the colors of each, including great vocab like “lavender” and “peach”.

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When this game was done, we made things even more realistic… with a potting soil sandbox! Potting soil makes a great alternative to sand as an indoor sandbox. I poured some into a tray with the pretend flowers on the side. Make sure you cover the floor underneath with newspaper!

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Veronika trotted over to help “plant” the flowers.

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She also loved scooping dirt between two containers, using a beach shovel as her gardening spade.

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Or picking up bandfuls to see how the dirt felt, and then letting it sprinkle down.

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Overall, what beautiful flower play to tide us over for a few more weeks!

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