PACS – not just Parent and Child Society but also Play and Craft Suggestions!
Whether due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, other illness or bad weather, trying to keep your little ones entertained and active can be a hard thing for any parent or carer. This month Mum on The Rock is delighted to welcome our guest writers, Parent and Child Society Gibraltar (PACS) who are on hand to offer some helpful hints and tips to try and ease some of the pain….
Routine and keeping your children busy is essential, it is reassuring and calming especially during these difficult times. Thankfully with babies and toddlers, their lives naturally gravitate to routine. Get up at the same time. Structure your day naturally around naps, & feeds/meal or snack times, then bath & bedtime. Then try to have a plan of action and use short activities and play around the basic structure of the day.
Everyday life also must continue, chores, cooking dinner etc, so get your children involved. Toddlers can really enjoy washing up. When you cook dinner get older children involved in the prep, they can set the table. Or let them role play if they have kitchen toys, or use the pots pans, and wooden spoons to role play what you are doing.
Here are a few tried and tested play ideas we have for your little ones:
To burn off some energy, try games such as Mirror Mirror. Stand face to face with your child or children and have them attempt to copy your movements, e.g. 10 jumping jacks, run on the spot, reach up high, touch your toes, pull a silly face. If your child is older, they can switch roles and this time you must copy them.
Hide and seek, even babies like a game of peek a boo. Toddlers can play hide and seek, this game can easily be expanded, such as a jigsaw hunt, toy or Lego hunt game.
Why not try a craft? Painting doesn’t always include brushes, try finger painting, use kitchen utensils such as a potato masher to make interesting prints. Sponges can be dipped in paint and used for stencil painting; paper doilies make interesting snowflake patterns. Don’t throw out your recycling, keep it for junk modelling.
to face with your child or children and have them attempt to copy your movements, e.g. 10 jumping jacks, run on the spot, reach up high, touch your toes, pull a silly face. If your child is older, they can switch roles and this time you must copy them.
Finally, at the end of the day make some time for yourself. You may have had to meet the demands of your children, household chores, as well as working from home. Take the time to enjoy a long bath. Telephone loved ones who are self-isolating. Watch a film or read a book. Follow our Facebook Page for regular updates. And don’t forget, we are here for you if you need us.
PACS’ tried and tested Playdough Recipe
3 cups of flour
1 & 1/2 cups of salt
3 cups of water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp cream of tartar
Food colouring (strong gel ones give the best colour)
1) Mix all ingredients in a pan, cook over a low heat, until the dough comes away from the edges and it becomes difficult to move the spoon
2) Remove from the heat, cool until it can be handled, place on the counter and knead3) When smooth, store in an airtight container
4) We also use this gluten-free recipe which can be found at: http://celiacfamily.com/gluten-free-play-dough/
Simple Cookie Recipe
50g butter (softened)
25g icing sugar
1 teaspoon of milk
¼ teaspoon of vanilla essence
75g plain flour
Baking tray and paper
1) Put the butter and sifted icing sugar in a bowl and mix together until it’s creamy.
2) Mix in the milk and vanilla
3) Sift the flour into the bowl and mix everything together to form a dough
4) Dust a rolling pin and surface and round out the dough until it’s 5mm thick
5) Cut out shapes and place on the baking tray and paper
6) Bake in the oven at 180° for 8 minutes. Leave to cool on tray
Variation: add food colouring or flavours when making the dough. After baking dip in chocolate!
Contact us for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook @parentandchildsociety – PACS Gibraltar or on Facebook @parentandchildsociety – PACS Gibraltar