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What do you do for structured play?

Posted by on Mar. 29, 2012 at 7:49 PM
  • 37 Replies

Hi. I have a 2 year old son and a 4 year old daughter. 

With them being so young, we don't use any sort of formal curriculum yet. My 4 year old daughter loves Starfall and practices math and phonics on there for about an hour a day. My 2 year old obviously lacks the fine motor skills to control the mouse on my laptop, so he uses my iPad. He plays a counting game or does flash cards on the iPad, for short periods of time, usually when he wants to be like his sissy.

I know that at this age they should be mostly learning through play. However, after we do our usual activities of art, playdough, computer time, my kids melt down. With structure, they are wonderful. I am a creature of habit and love my schedules and I think that they do too.

I was wondering if anyone could give me some ideas for stuctured play? So that my kids don't totally go crazy and start running in circles. We also go to the beach and the park very often.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions! I have some field trips planned for later this summer, but I need some tips for days when we can't go out beacuse of illness, weather, etc. =)


--Lindsey 

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by on Mar. 29, 2012 at 7:49 PM
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Replies (1-10):
oredeb
by on Mar. 29, 2012 at 7:57 PM

 hi lindsey!!

oh boy i must be old! ive never heard of structured play?

its ok if the kids run around in circles! there using their imaginations!! its good to let them be creative by them selves! maybe they need to get use to doing nothing and figuring out what to do themselves. let them melt down thats kinda creative also! maybe let them play together creatively, using their imaginations and you not having anything planned, let em learn to be creative by themselves

kylismomma
by on Mar. 29, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Haha oh believe my I try to! I TRY to be go with the flow...though I admit it is hard for me. 

I don't mind the chaos if they are having fun or being creative, my main problem is they literally melt down. They phyically fight- hit, pull hair, etc. Then we spend time talking about why that happened, why we don't do that...I guess I just wish they could play without getting TOO crazy.

But then again, they are 2 and 4 so I suppose it's normal. :) I just hate to see them fight, because then no one is having fun, mommy included haha.  

When I say structured play I guess I meant play with a purpose...learning games? I guess they do that naturally. They are super into volcanoes and dinosaurs and a lot of our play time has to do with that.  

Quoting oredeb:

 hi lindsey!!

oh boy i must be old! ive never heard of structured play?

its ok if the kids run around in circles! there using their imaginations!! its good to let them be creative by them selves! maybe they need to get use to doing nothing and figuring out what to do themselves. let them melt down thats kinda creative also! maybe let them play together creatively, using their imaginations and you not having anything planned, let em learn to be creative by themselves


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Boobah
by Nikki :) on Mar. 29, 2012 at 9:27 PM
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We don't really have any structured play. My two play together during the day, they play outside with the neighbors when everyone else gets out of school, etc. we aren't in any classes or anything as of now as far as things like soccer or gymnastics goes. My kids are young, 6.5 and almost 3.
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5BMom
by on Mar. 29, 2012 at 9:36 PM
In my opinion, structured play is NOT playing on computers or tablets. However, we all have different styles :-)

Our structured play is wooden blocks, dress up boxes, dolls for DD, trains for DS, games like memory, hungry hungry hippos, and candyland. We go for nature walks, bake, read together....

Now at 4, we do do short formal lessons (ala Charlotte Mason) in the 3Rs 3-4 days a week.
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kylismomma
by on Mar. 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM
Quoting 5BMom:

In my opinion, structured play is NOT playing on computers or tablets. However, we all have different styles :-) Our structured play is wooden blocks, dress up boxes, dolls for DD, trains for DS, games like memory, hungry hungry hippos, and candyland. We go for nature walks, bake, read together.... Now at 4, we do do short formal lessons (ala Charlotte Mason) in the 3Rs 3-4 days a week.



Oh I agree! I was looking for structured play AFTER computer time, I don't consider computer time play time. :)

Sounds like I do all of that already...I remember some time on here I read about preschool activity bags or boxes or something of the sort, that is what I was looking for.Something my daughter could just grab and work on at her own pace When she is bored. My kids really aren't big on toys. We have so many but if it isn't an art supply it doesn't get played with hardly at all.

I guess I could google preschool activity bags, but I like hearing from real moms as well. :) I do the nature walks at the beach and park. My daughter loves to bake but my son isn't very interested in cooking yet. He sure loves to make volcanoes though! He also loves to "read" to me. He has memorized a few of his favorite books and practices reading them back to me.
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usmom3
by BJ on Mar. 29, 2012 at 9:52 PM
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 That fighting thing might not ever change! Mine are 8 & 6 & still fight over how to play & what to play.

You could play store, post office, Library or restaurant & kind of roll play the things that you would do in those places. Dress-up boxes are fun we have one that is filed with clearance rack Halloween costumes. Make home made play doh is fun & then they get to play with it! Teach them to play Red Light Green Light or Hide & Seek!

kylismomma
by on Mar. 29, 2012 at 9:58 PM
Quoting usmom3:

 That fighting thing might not ever change! Mine are 8 & 6 & still fight over how to play & what to play.


You could play store, post office, Library or restaurant & kind of roll play the things that you would do in those places. Dress-up boxes are fun we have one that is filed with clearance rack Halloween costumes. Make home made play doh is fun & then they get to play with it! Teach them to play Red Light Green Light or Hide & Seek!




Oh no! Haha I am hoping they slightly grow out of it. Some days they are awesome together but others they just can't get along. Dress up boxes sound fun! I think that is a great idea.i could have them paint or color the box as well. :) thanks! I need to get some dress up clothes for my son, my daughter is princess obsessed but I don't have any clothes to fit my 2 year old.
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usmom3
by BJ on Mar. 29, 2012 at 10:07 PM

 

Quoting kylismomma:

Quoting usmom3:

 That fighting thing might not ever change! Mine are 8 & 6 & still fight over how to play & what to play.


You could play store, post office, Library or restaurant & kind of roll play the things that you would do in those places. Dress-up boxes are fun we have one that is filed with clearance rack Halloween costumes. Make home made play doh is fun & then they get to play with it! Teach them to play Red Light Green Light or Hide & Seek!




Oh no! Haha I am hoping they slightly grow out of it. Some days they are awesome together but others they just can't get along. Dress up boxes sound fun! I think that is a great idea.i could have them paint or color the box as well. :) thanks! I need to get some dress up clothes for my son, my daughter is princess obsessed but I don't have any clothes to fit my 2 year old.

 When mine are playing nicely with each other I just let them because the times are few! They actually have dress up clothes at Toys R Us for boys but they cost a lot so I just get the Halloween clearance rack stuff for both of them they have animal costumes, firefighter, cowboy, pirate, Characters from movies & cartoons. They love to dress up & pretend play! 

sandylynn1234
by on Mar. 29, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Sadly it never changes... Mine are 16 (next month), 12 and 3 and they fight all the time from the time they wake up until the time they go to bed. I hear it is normal but it drives me insane! We don't do a lot of structured play just coloring or cutting for the little one and then outdoor stuff!

kylismomma
by on Mar. 29, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Quoting usmom3:




Hahaha oh yes! When they are playing nicely I usually read a book or clean....but those are usually just for a few minutes. I always try to let them work out their issues on their own first if they are just arguing, but if it gets physical I do intervene. Great idea about Halloween clearance racks, I will keep that in mind for next year!
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