Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mummy Musings and Mayhem: Thrifty Thursday...Pallet Play!

This week on Thrifty Thursday we are loving our pallet wood! There is just so much you can do with pallets with a little effort...what a thrifty material to utilise around the house!

Due to the amount of rain we are getting in our part of the world at the moment i am having to get a little more creative to keep these outdoor loving twins busy and not whingey!

So i decided it was time to introduce them to the fun of indoor obstacle courses! We had to add some pallet balance planks of course!

The beauty of indoor obstacle courses is that you can use whatever you have lying around the house and use objects that suit your child's developmental stage. You can put together courses in large or small rooms...for babies, toddlers or pre -school age children and even the most basic course will provide endless opportunities for extending play, gross motor skills and imagination as well!

This is one end of the course beginning with different sized cushions and a small tunnel leading through to the rest of the course.....

Here i used an old back cushion from the outside play lounge which i have covered in a crochet rug to provide a textural experience under bare feet....a pallet plank comes out from the middle to break up the straight lines of the course. The plank  leads to a box full of shredded paper and balls.....

You can't see it very well (apologise for the pic quality....the camera seems to be playing up on me at moment...but you get the idea i hope!) but following on from the middle are a few more cushions...some low and soft and some high and firm. Another pallet plank is used across the could place them flat on the floor for younger children or just use cushions/pillows!

The lounge cushion provided quite a challenge for the toddler twosome as it is wedge shaped with a slope down and very squishy so harder to walk straight. They had fun trying though!

Great for practising balance skills and coordination! You could also use rolled up towels and blankets or the big maternity pillows are fun too! You could line up the big square cushions from your lounge onto the floor to make a could add different textures like towelling, bubble wrap or sandpaper sheets as stepping stones!

There is always thinking while playing on an obstacle do i get there? Can i walk or do i need to crawl? Is it going to be hard or soft? What do i do once i get there?

There is accomplishment and joy when an obstacle is overcome...a plank is walked to the end with some jumping thrown in because she can!

After numerous tries the skinny plank across the cushions is conquered!

Obstacle courses make great starting points for other forms of play too. This plank became a play area for the farm animals to walk on....the tunnel became a place to take some favourite stories to read....the long cushion became a great bouncing toy!

An obstacle course is only limited by your can make a cubby at the end with sheets and a table, have it leading through the house, let older children add different materials and challenges...everyone has something in the house that can be used for an indoor obstacle course...why not give it on a try next time you are stuck inside on a rainy day? It will cost you nothing!

Our pallets really are proving to be such a thrifty material around here....we are using them outside as balance boards, paint boards and boards to line toys up on......

A compost bin system.....

And fencing for the top yard......the wood is also being used for various wood projects around the place including a 2 tier step for the toddler twosome!

There is a little prep work involved with pallets before you can use them of course. They have to be pulled apart and all the nails removed, splinters sanded and a through inspection to make sure they are safe to use...but for only the cost of time i think they are worth it!

We are also now collecting these little cubes that also come from pulling apart the pallets...more on what i have planned for them next week!

 Have you found something for free or very little cost that you use around the home or with the kids all the time? I'd love to hear about your finds and any obstacle course ideas too!

Warm Wishes......


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