I hope you enjoy these ideas for a playdate with mom and the inspiration behind it!
One thing about my son has always amazed me: when he asks “Mommy, can you play with me?” Why would he want to play with old, boring me? The answer is obvious: I’m his mama. He loves me… He wants me to pay attention to him and spend time with him.
My life is so fast-paced that it’s hard to make that time. It’s hard to just drop what I’m doing and play with M. But it’s so important, and here’s why:
- He needs that one-on-one time just to feel like I care, like I’m there for him.
- A mom is typically a child’s first play partner, and has the influence to teach many lessons through play.
- While solo play, and play with peers is very important, guided play can offer unique opportunities for learning things like colors, shapes and other preschool lessons.
- One-on-one play can teach him to follow rules, simple safety guidelines, and how to care for his toys. He can bring these lessons into his regular play.
- And of course, there’s nothing that makes a little guy (or gal) feel more special than when his mom comes down to his level, looks at him from the same height, and steps right into his three-year-old world.
So, since I can’t just drop all my responsibilities and play at a moment’s notice, this past Sunday, I set a time and place for a playdate with Mom and a brand new LEGO DUPLO set. M was in seventh heaven.
Here are some of the things we did, along with some other great ideas.
Playdate with Mom Activities using LEGO DUPLO sets:
LEGO DUPLO preschool building toys are perfect for M’s age and stage. They’re twice the size of regular LEGO bricks, making them easy and safe for him to play with. They are loaded with out-of-the-box activities and fun ways to learn.
Children learn best through play, and so I like to foster that with different activities that are totally fun, but highly educational. DUPLO toys are very open-ended and therefore we can adapt them to all sorts of activities.
1. Storytelling: Take turns telling stories with the DUPLO characters, scenes, and props…
2. Interactive role play: Adopt a character and pretend. I let M choose his and we used that for pretend play.
3. Themed play: Go all out, dressing up like the characters in your DUPLO set (in our case train conductors), and playing out the role. Add on lessons – such as how a train works, different types of trains. M knows all about passenger trains and subways as we take them any time we go into Manhattan, but this is a great chance to teach him about freight trains.
4. Give choices: Do you want to hold the man or the lady, should he sit or stand in the train?
5. Solve problems: Whoops! The tracks broke, what should we do? The pumpkins need to get to the market. Can we help them get there?
6. Find the brick: Can you find a yellow/red/square brick, or one with four circles on the top?
7. Cover the letter: Prepare a stack of index cards with uppercase letters on it. Prepare small brick-sized squares with the lowercase letters. Have your child choose a card, and then cover with a DUPLO brick the corresponding lowercase letter.
8. ABC Matching: Prepare brick-sized squares of paper with both uppercase and lowercase letters. Mix them up, arrange them on the floor face up, study them, and then cover them with DUPLO bricks. Now play it as you would any matching game – except keep score by stacking up your bricks into a tower. Whoever has the taller tower wins.
9. Races: With the “Push train” DUPLO set you can do train races. You can do brick stacking races with any DUPLO brick set.
10. Color Challenge: Mix a “find the color” and tower race. Assign a color to each of you (let your child choose.) Mix up all your bricks. Set a timer for one minute and see who can make the taller stack in the assigned color.
11. In real life: Adapt the play set to real life. Since we were playing with the train set, we chose to play delivery. M ran around the house finding different items to “deliver”. He had to find things small enough to fit in the crates – a perfect challenge for him. Adapt this to the set you’re playing with. For example, with our Duplo play house set, I’d ask him to find “furnishings” for the house, or other things one might find in a house.
Ideas to make a playdate with mom more fun:
- Turn on music – you can let your child choose. M loves classics, such as the ABC song, B-I-N-G-O, etc.
- Get the wiggles out. If your child has trouble sitting and you’re going to be doing sitting down activities, first dance to the music and be silly!
- Do tummy time. We played together on our stomachs, as M can use some core-strengthening. So we covered all bases by playing on our tummies. It also helps me get lower down to his level, which wouldn’t be the case if we were sitting.
Snacks for a playdate with mom:
- Eat cookies – those are always a winner!
- Make milkshakes together.
- Teach your child a new food skill. For example, munch on nuts in the shell, and teach him or her how to crack the nuts open.
- Make old-time classics, like “ants on a log” to eat.
- Make a treat in advance based on the theme of your play. This train themed treat by Toddler Approved! is perfect for our playdate with mom.
Which other ideas do you have for a playdate with mom? Do you have any fun LEGO DUPLO activities to share? Comment below!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.