Sometimes the simplest items provide kids with the most amazing play opportunities. If you’ve poked around the pages of my blog, you’ve likely read about some of the very basic equipment and accessories we have here in the backyard of my home daycare.
I’d like to show you how adding a few artificial flowers to your outdoor play space can provide toddlers and preschoolers with loads of opportunities for creative, imaginative, good old-fashioned play.
Every couple of years, for a few bucks, I pick up several new “bouquets” of fake flowers.
I often get them at the second-hand shop for next-to-nothing, and occasionally I pick a bunch or two up at the dollar store.
We keep our flowers in the sandbox area of our yard, and I am constantly amazed by how much entertainment these artificial flowers provide.
The hooligans use them in all kinds of dramatic play situations. From pretend flower shops and weddings to tea parties and parades, our flowers make an almost-daily appearance in the hooligans’ dramatic play scenarios.
The children set up pretend flower shops, and they use their flowers in the sand kitchen to decorate their sand cakes and mud pies.
They’ve used the artificial flowers to make a “garden” that stretches along the front of the sandbox,
and we’ve stuck them into planters and flower pots and tended to them with our mini watering cans.
Our flowers are in use all year long. Even on the coldest winter days, someone can usually be seen toting a bunch of flowers around in a mittened hand.
And you have to admit, our flowers, even if they are artificial, add a nice pop of colour to our play space on a dreary day.
So the next time you’re at the thrift shop or the dollar store, stop by the flower section, and pick up several bunches to take home for your play space!
You’ll be amazed at all the ways your kids will find to play with them!
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.