She watched the spider with interest, as it wandered around its web. To try and solicit a bit more movement I stuck a leaf on the web and the spider came down to investigate. We watched and discussed what the spider was doing, Lizzy showed some interest at first but she tired after a little while so we came inside and I put her down for a sleep; which lasted for an hour and forty minutes!
After lunch and a little play we headed out to sainsburys. Although she had only been awake an hour or so she seemed desperate to go back to sleep however the promise of a trip to the swings if she stayed awake seemed to keep her going. I found myself chatting out loud to young Lizzy while we were doing the shopping, some mums looked at me as if I were a bit batty. Perhaps it was unusual for them to see a man doing this, and made them realise how they must look to the none-parents out and about – although perhaps my accent confused them. I only say this because over the weekend we bumped into Ally Pally in Fat Face when I was having a discussion with Fergotron about how many Fat Face items I owned. It was a perfectly pleasant and playful chat however it transpires that Ally Pally looked up in horror as she thought someone had walked into the shop exclaiming “fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck”. That also explains why the Fat Face man was also staring. Thanks Liverpool ha.
Anyway, she stayed awake and so we hit the swings. Lizzy really seems to have a fetish for extreme sports, laughing all the more the higher we swung. Which is fine by me, I can’t wait to take her snowboarding (though I feel that statement might come back to bite me when she is a rebellious teenager off on terrifying adventures).
Now, earlier that day during Lizzys long sleep I had been doing some googling. At nursery they do ‘messy play’ which sounds like a hell of a lot of fun but I had no idea what it entailed. After a little reading it seems that it’s onomatopoeic in its delivery – it is essentially, any kind of play that creates a mess. Awesome. I found a great idea here for nice simple dough. So that afternoon, after the swings; I made it!
I was curious about using oil (water seeming like a more sensible use) but I have to say the texture it makes is fabulous. It’s much smoother than dough with water and I recommend it to anyone. I had also bought some taste the difference flavouring (ohh lala) to make it all the more ‘sensory’ with a bit of smell. I might have taken it a bit far later on however when, for colour I added green and red pesto…but you know, we are in surrey after all dear.
After another nap I took Lizzy back outside, it was a lovely warm afternoon so I stripped her down, put on a painting apron and away we went. Lizzy Face loved it, we played for hours outside. It was interesting watching her experiment. She noticed the smells but I fear not really the colour – if you do make it use food colouring, pesto may be very classy in your dough but it’s really not that vibrant. I don’t recommend the addition of a tray of water like I did, although it worked well as a finger bowl it did rather inevitably end up all over us both.
It was a resounding success though and really easy to do. I’m no master child care provider but for 10 minutes prep time I got about 3 hours of entertainment. Lizzy was mixing the doughs, making balls and watching them crumble. She loved holding her hands up while I crumbled the dough over them, she enjoyed watching it fall through her fingers, as if she had seen some very moving Shakespearean performance about the sands of time slipping away or something. Who knows, maybe she has! Anyway, if you are feeling like you want to do things like this and for some reason you never do, I’d definitely say make it happen. I don’t intend to do sensory play every single week however for small investment you get huge gain. It’s totally edible too so you don’t have to pay that much attention to what they are doing with it plus the use of oil makes it really hold together nicely so (as long as you leave out the water tray) it cleans up easily. I know it’s not easy to find the time what with snacks, sleeps, feeds, games, classes, nappies but maybe combine it with something else. I needed nappy off time, outdoor time, entertainment and play. This combined all of those into one easy package and trust me mums and dads, if I can find the time to fit it in, with my infamous lack of personal organisation and follow through, then you can too
p.s sorry for the layout, I'm trying out the mobile app