30 Days to Hands on Play - The first 5 days

So we have signed up to do this great 30 Days to Hands on Play Challenge with The Imagination Tree and Hands on as We Grow. The idea is to spend at least 15 minutes a day playing uninterrupted with our kids, and trying out ideas. If you would like more details on the challenge or a specific activity, click on the title of each challenge. Here we go!
My aim is to learn how to switch off/unplug/focus and give my kids ALL of my attention during these 15 minutes each day. I would like to learn a bit more about what they like playing with and how they play together.
Daisy's interests (4 and half):
Small world play with Playmobile, Little People, and dolls
Dressing up and role playing
Princesses and Fairies
Baking (anything sweet) and crafting
Rose's interests (17 months):
Sorting, stacking, pouring and dumping anything
Cars and trucks
Food in general and if it not edible it still goes into her mouth!
This is something we love to do. I think because we did a lot as kids it is one of my go-to activities. Throw a couple of sheets or blankets over the dining room chairs or the sofa and hey presto; you have a fort!
Here we are inside the fort. I am reading Robert Munsch - Smelly Socks. Rose is eating her snack before bed, Daisy is kindly shining the flashlight on the book and Ralph the cat is prowling for snack crumbs. There was also a dog in here with us. Yes we have a mad house!
There is Rose playing with her cars and Cassie (we were dog sitting for my mum) is prowling for crumbs this time (saves me vacuuming).
Daisy got very excited and dragged in her sleeping bag.
We did this activity last winter and her and my husband 'camped' in the basement. They didn't sleep in the fort but enjoyed playing in it before sleeping on the carpet.
We had mega blocks on hand so here is some of our fun:
The girls decided what to do and straight away began to build to tallest tower.
Rose got distracted with the basket and wandered away to play with other things. She came back every few minutes to join in again.
I gave up on my tower. This is part of it. We decided to team up and build Daisy a big tower. My job was protector. Rose's was destroyer!
She got back into the activity when the tower was nearly the same size at her. The concentration needed causes a great pout.
I was helping but Daisy was finding it difficult to have us help her. She had a set design in her head and I did not live up to her design..
Daisy is dancing around her tower. The best bit had to be knocking it down.
This is a lot of fun. It is an activity I have done in the gym with many of my classes but never at home. At school I used islands made of paper. Now you can get these great non slippy discs called Jelly Fish. I used islands for gym and warm ups mainly. The islands were to stop on top of and make a shape, balance or movement we were studying in Physical Education at the time.
We were busy day 4 and missed this activity. I will try and include it next post about the 30 day to Hands on Play challenge.
We use the bought play dough quite a bit. I used to make homemade lots but then Rose came a long and time seems even more precious. I will get back to homemade sometime....
The kids were positively vibrating! I guess we haven't got out the play dough in a while.
I loved the ideas we were given for added play and chose most of them.
Rose played with the animals more and kept trying to eat the shells.
Rose's creation.
Daisy enjoyed creating a beach with a palm tree and rocks. She was frustrated I limited the colour to red but creatively made a sea from blue beads. We all had fun, Daisy created, Rose played animals and I enjoyed squishing play dough and watching the girls.
So far this challenge is great. It requires me to plan ahead and leave time for the activities but it is very worth it. The temptation to check email or clean a counter is there but I am being 'strong' and keeping my focus on play. It is a little scary that I have to do this challenge to remind myself how to play!

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