Today we had home education group at our house again. It was a sunny day, hot enough for sunhats and suncream, and the children played in the garden all afternoon. It was really good to see our friends, including some who hadn’t been for a while. It was nice to have the old crowd back together (with the addition a very lovely baby boy who was born two weeks ago!) and the children had a brilliant time. We made the most of having two tuff spots, and set up one with pink pudding (strawberry angel delight) and one with gloop (cornflour and water), and an assortments of bowls, cups and utensils. I also added cake cases this time, and some of the children enjoyed making angel delight cakes. Between the two tuff spots and the play sink, the children were very happy and busy all afternoon.
We got the Tuff Spot out again for Home Education Group on Wednesday afternoon, and the children really enjoyed sharing it with their friends. I told them we would be playing with rice, and helped them to choose some suitable toys to put in and around the Tuff Spot. I then turned my back for a minute, and found that they had added rather a lot more, just as the other families were arriving! Once we had removed some toys to make space for 11 children to play in and around the Tuff Spot (we really need two!) I added the rice. With some help from Monkey and one of his friends, I had hidden 22 foil-wrapped chocolate eggs in a flexible tub containing 5 kilos of rice, and I invited the children to come and see what buried treasure they could find. This had the effect of drawing them into the activity pretty quickly, and once they got stuck in they continued to play quite happily with the rice for the next couple of hours.
It was quite hard to fit 11 children around the Tuff Spot, so I encouraged some of them to play at the table as well. I gave them some split peas and the remains of the flour from Monday’s messy play, and they added some Playmobil figures, our rock collection and some grass, twigs and blossom from the garden. Monkey spent a long time constructing a mini camp scene with Playmobil figures in the split peas. I think it is not quite finished – he is planning to make a tent to add to the scene. Rabbit made a garden which is also not finished. I think we will have to start again when we have more time together, to make it a more satisfying activity for her.
Next time we play with rice, I think I will introduce some equipment for weighing and measuring, to extend the play and learning. I am also planning to experiment with dyeing rice for some more colourful fun. Do you have any more ideas for playing with rice? I’d love to hear them! And watch this space for a Tuff Spot/ Messy Play linky hosted by Jennie at Edspire coming soon…