Play dough is one of those awesome things to play with. It’s easy to make, and pretty cheap too. It has the added benefit of being so versatile & extends easily as kids grow!
These photos are from a few weeks ago, but I love to look back on them. We had a lovely morning where we made all sorts of patterns and shapes in and out of play dough and really just experimented. We mostly used the dinosaur collection to make different prints, and even I was intrigued at the different patterns it made.
At this stage our play was purely that – play, but it wasn’t without some important cognitive benefits. Our “play” with play dough was about experimenting with strength & pressure (rolling out the dough, and pressing in the shapes and dinosaurs). It was about playing with the texture and the feel of play dough, and it was about experimenting with all the different shapes we could make (logs, balls, flat pieces, etc.), and what happens when we smoosh them! In this way unschooling is so super easy – this is just play. It doesn’t matter if you get your kid to do this so they can learn, or just because they like play dough, or just so that they’re occupied for a few minutes (good luck)! They will learn from play dough whether you want them to or not.
As Lior gets older we can change the type of play we do with play dough. Obviously we can move into making models and shapes. But we can also use “snakes” of play dough to make letters, we can write in the play dough, and we can match prints to objects, just to name a few things. Actually this post has inspired me to get out the play dough again today and offer it to Lior to use.
Eli’s Project Life album is really quickly becoming my favourite to work on. After I finished week 3 I felt like I might not be able to stay up to date with this album. It was seaming like this big effort to work on two Project Life album simultaneously (our family one and this one), plus any extra projects I needed to do. I also wondered to myself if I really needed to be including so many photos of Eli in his album, and if some of the stories and photos I was recording were really that important. Would they just make it hard to look back on in the future?
I am nothing if not someone who is constantly re-looking at the projects that I do and adapting them to suit my current work flow, commitment levels, and interests. So it wasn’t much of a problem for me to really change and streamline how I do Eli’s PL album.
As you can see from the photos below, I have moved to a REALLY simple method of only one page per week, and using way less embellishments. I LOVE embellishing, but I felt like this was taking up lots of time, and I needed to just get on top of these projects, and leave the embellishing for when I have more time. In theory I plan to scrapbook for years to come, and one day my boys will be at kindy or school, and I will have a bit more time to invest in these albums then. For now I need to focus on getting the stories and memories written down, and pages in the albums completed!
The thing that surprised me most about doing this new streamlined approach to Project Life was how much I love the look of it!! I really am loving how simple and uncomplicated it looks. Granted, I am going through a hell of a lot more staples in my Tim Holtz mini stapler than I used too, but I love the look.
Below are some close ups of week 4 2014 for Eli.
Of course sometimes there will be a room for a few extra photos, so I’m not afraid to add flaps and inserts when necessary. Week 5 is one of my favourites as well, and I’ve used the cutting technique I talk about here, on the tummy time picture of Eli on the far right.