~ Hello, Colour Lovers.
Today we’re diving into the world of connection and how small moments of fun can have a big positive impact on you and your kids. For kids, feeling loved and seen by the people around them is a foundational pillar of good self esteem. A big part of connection means giving kids a how-to guide to the world, wrapped in love like the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. So while your kid learns how to react to the world, they also start to form healthy and solid connections with themself.
There’s more ways to connect than there are stars in our universe, so making it a part of your day doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. Think of it like you’re planting the seeds for a good time. Even just a bit of fun-sun before work or after school will help those good times bloom into great ones. And you don’t need any fancy funtime fertilisers – just yourself!
A connection game can even be as simple as giving your toddler something from around the house to explore, or watching your preschooler’s favourite show together. With no further ado, here’s 5 easy and fun connection games everyone can take part in!
How kids’ TV gives us the Bluey-prints for connection
Connection through your kid’s interests is as easy as one, two, three.
Step one: what do they like? Step two: engage in it with them. Step three: watch Bluey with a cuppa while the kids are at school!
Bluey is a great place to find inspiration for these small moments of play that make the world go round. We’re shining a spotlight on our Enchanted Forest pack on our socials and in our newsletter this month, and who could say no to a fairy jig around the letterbox to say we love you? There’s plenty of crayons to make your very own Rug Island from series 2 too.
Connecting doesn’t need to be complicated or very long either. Even when our day’s pretty full already, we think: What would Chilli and Bandit do?
They’d turn a boring task into a game, of course! Like the elevator game Bandit plays in Yoga Ball, even though he’s busy working. Maria F’s yoga ball is off-limits to Bluey-esque antics, but there’s plenty of other games we can play without it.
Here are some of our favourite episodes from across all three seasons. The great thing about all of these episodes is that they show you a variety of different ways you can play with your kids without needing the whole world to stop. You also don’t need much to make great memories together, just a bit of laughter and creativity.
Chilli’s I-Spy game is our favourite for long car journeys to markets in Sydney, but it’s also fun to make an I-Spy search like an old scholastic book. We made ours using some crayons and other bits and bobs from around Tinta. Maybe you could have a go at some of our favourite games with your kids. We’d love to see all the fun you have!
Today, we’re going to make:
- For kids under 18 months: a sensory exploration box
- For 2-3 year olds: a themed play experience, with a warmup activity
- For 3-4 year olds: potions in the garden
- For 4-6 year olds: I-Spy/Spot The Difference games at home
Under 18 months: making a sensory exploration box
For a younger kid just starting to explore the world, everything is a toy and everything goes in their mouth. With the twin senses of taste and touch in mind, we put together this connections toolbox from what we had in the kitchen.
First up, we have a few mixing tools. We can guess these will probably go in your kid’s mouth first, but after that the possibilities are endless.
Next is this set of bowls and measuring cups.
If we turn the bowls over, they could become a rocking drum kit for your kid to explore sound with too.
If we keep the bowl the right way up, we can fill it with the water from the glass jug. We can also add some other things of different weights to the toolbox, for example a sponge vs the orange bowl, to show light things float and heavy things sink. Et voila, it’s now a pouring game!
Next in the box are these pink and orange bowls of jelly balls.
The balls in the orange bowl are orbeez, which are nontoxic biodegradable pellets that grow into jelly balls in water. When the water’s drained off, they’ll feel wet but leave your kid’s little hands curiously dry. When squeezed, the orbeez burst into small jelly crumbs – which we think is quite cool!
The balls in the pink bowl are strawberry bubble tea pearls. We got these pearls from our local supermarket. Unlike the traditional tapioca pearls, these pop in the mouth to release a small burst of fruity juice. Because they’re available in many different flavours, they’re sure to bring a bit of pop to your kid’s day with the sense of taste.
There’s so many possibilities for these sensory boxes, and no need to get any fancy toys for your kids to have a great time.
2-3 Years: making a themed play experience
Today we’re watching a video as a warmup to playtime. We’re using Danny Go’s Dinosaur Dance – careful, it’s catchy! There’s a wide variety of dance moves your kids can learn and copy, and there’s plenty of cool dinosaur animations to fire up their imagination engines.
Every kid is an explorer, but what would an explorer be without their trusty map? For a fun activity that can lead on to even more dino dancing, you could draw a map of your prehistoric play area with your kids. You can even make your map come to life with a blanket jungle in the living room, and what better time is there to play The Floor Is Lava?
3-4 Years: making potions in the garden
Now it’s time to get a bit messy! For a potion that fully engages the kids’ sense of smell, let’s use some flowers and herbs for fresh magic plants, potpourri for dried magic plants, and some crushed-up bath bombs or biodegradable glitter for enchanted powders.
We know how kids love to make potions in the garden, so why not make some with them? It’s the perfect activity for grandparents and kids to do together at home, come rain or shine. All you need is a large mixing bowl, something to mix with, and something to put the finished potion in.
We’re using a steel bowl that we can clean easily, a big ladle, a whisk, some cutlery, and these glass jars. It’s important the jar seals well so that your potion doesn’t spill or go bad.
You can even add a few drops of perfume or essential oils to give it a bit more scent. When you’ve got enough ingredients, you can add in the water! Pour just enough in to cover all the ingredients, and give it a mix. You might start to see fizzing from the bath bomb crumbs–that’s a sign your magic is working already!
To store your perfect potions, you can pour them right into the jar as they are, or you could strain them through a sieve. It should keep for a couple of days to a week, then you can empty the jars into the garden to keep the magic going. We like to form a ring with the used flowers for fairies to dance in.
4-6 Years: I-Spy/Spot the Difference games at home
I spy with my little eye…something different in these pictures.
For kids just beginning to read on their own, let’s play a little game of I-Spy. We’ve made two pictures full of knick knacks you might have around the house. They may look like the same picture, but there’s a key difference: something’s missing from one of them.
Can your kids find what’s missing from one of the pictures? While they’re looking, here’s a list of other things they can find:
- A bread tie
- 2 rosebuds
- A button
- A screw
- An acorn shell
We hope you’ve enjoyed these connection games. If you tried them at home or have another game you’d like to show everyone, why not tag us on our socials with your proud kiddos for a chance to win a box of crayons in our new colours? We’re excited to see what you come up with!
Even a few extra minutes of playtime can make a big difference in your kids’ life and yours, and you don’t need anything more than your imagination. For more inspiration and ideas, check out our socials. You can also subscribe to our newsletter below, so you never miss a thing. Let’s play again soon!
Team Tinta x
For more Bluey episodes, extras, craft ideas, and games, check out their website.