Make The Days Count

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These school holidays my friends and I have challenged each other to not count the days but rather make the days count. We often hang out for the holidays but two or three days in, we  can’t wait for school to go back!! Going away is a lovely thought but with my husband just starting a new job it was near impossible so I have been at home with my Princess 6, Madam 4, Miss 2 (who is toilet training) and Master 9months. So what have we done to “make the days count”??
Without endless funds (my mother in law keeps on promising to win lotto but is yet to come good!!) – creativity and linking activities have been my best friends!!
Holidays Week One- Modelling
We began this week researching on the internet the best possible play dough recipe, writing a shopping list, then (when the baby was up from his morning nap,) walking to the shops to buy the ingredients ($6 didn’t break the bank!).
Next, we made the play dough (3 batches in 3 different colours so as not to cause any arguments) and then came the real fun!!
For the next 3 days we played with play dough each morning.
The first day we simply made shapes and whatever each child wanted to make. The second day I had made up some play dough mats. I used the computer, printer and laminator to create activities (for example one was a moat and the task was to build a castle, another was a bridge and we needed to make a troll to go underneath it. The last day was my absolute favourite.  After all the fairy tale activities, it was our job to make the characters, and act out our own fairy tale using our play dough people. It wasn’t just my favourite – the kids LOVED it too!  It was fantastic to see how engaged they all were, (and we all know if they are engaged they aren’t fighting!). Even my 2 year old gained an understanding of story structure and characterisation as we moved between the play dough mats.
What an adventure our characters had: meeting trolls, swimming through shark- infested moats and fighting dragons… of course in a girl dominant house the Princesses conquered all evil in the end without a Prince in sight!!
In a society that is very much centred on developing the kinaesthetic intelligences through sporting activities,  I love shifting this focus and allowing my kids to develop their imagination and creativity.  I think that this in turn, will help to develop their confidence, problem solving skills, interpersonal skills as well as encourage them to think outside the box and be happy and proud of their own individuality.
Stay tuned!  Next week’s task is learning about the post.  We are writing a story for our cousins and posting it off.  I am also thinking that the older two can write each other a letter or draw a picture so that they get to have the excitement of receiving something in the mail. I might even post myself something so that I receive something that isn’t a bill!

Emma Lupino

Principal and Mother of 4 – Rockingham/Mandurah branch