*This is an advertorial post in collaboration with Cow & Gate Growing Up Milk.*
Imaginary play. A fundamental part of toddlerhood.
Imagination can help them learn about the world around them, it’s how they learn to communicate with others and it allows them to express themselves without restraint.
I’ll be honest with you all, I do sometimes struggle to find the enthusiasm to play trains or bus drivers with my toddler. It’s not because I’m lazy or uninterested, but life is so hectic and there is always that ‘wait a minute, I just need to do something’ moment isn’t there?
“Wait a minute, I need to put the washing on!” or, “Wait a minute, I just need to send this email”.
Before you know it, all those ‘wait a minutes’ have accumulated into a whole day passing you by and then, as bedtime arrives, the guilt sets in.
“Why didn’t I sit and play with him a bit more today?”
You look at your little one in their bed, all snuggled up and peaceful, dreaming about their day and you vow to create something fun for them to do tomorrow.
I always ensure I spend time at the end of the day reading a bedtime story to my kids. Sometimes my eldest will read to everyone, other times I will do it, but it’s nice to have that little bit of time to ‘just be’ together and enjoy a moment.
Once that is over, I often sit with our toddler until he is asleep. I use this time to tell our littlest one about our day and he will often nod in agreement at what I’m saying until he is fast asleep.
Precious, calm moments that are one of the highlights of the day.
Day’s with a toddler, when they aren’t at preschool, can often be quite long, especially if they’re having a ‘bad day’. My toddler has lots of those, thanks terrible two’s!
I have begun making more of an effort to do crafts and activities at home but I can often get a bit stuck in a rut. Drawing, sticker books, painting, going to the park, going for a walk, making a train track, the usual.
But what if you think outside the box?
What if these ordinary moments could become extraordinary?
A walk down a path to the park could actually be a walk on the moon!
Or a box that a parcel comes in could actually be a castle!
Or that a toy guitar actually works and you’re a rock star on the big stage!
The possibilities are endless!
This is where the new Cow and Gate Growing Up Milk, Extraordinary moments campaign comes in.
You’re able to take an ‘ordinary moment’ captured during your day and make it ‘extraordinary’ using their simple storybook maker.
Just select which story you’d like, upload a landscape photo, add in your child’s name and your own, give them your email address and they do the rest.
They also suggest super simple, but fun, activity ideas to do with your toddler based around the story you choose.
The technical whizzes then turn your photo into an online storybook with a difference to inspire your child to look back on their day at bedtime through different eyes. That wasn’t just a stick they found, it was a magic wand, perhaps?
An inspiring way, to end your day.
Myself and Ben made a storybook which turned him into a rock star! (His Daddy is a bit of a wannabe rock god and this seems to be rubbing off on Ben already. He loves to rock out!)
We went on the Extraordinary Moments webpage and selected some of the activities and crafts to do together during the day and then I made sure I took some photos of him.
We used a dandelion clock as a microphone, we made a drum/shaker from an old tin, a balloon, some rice and an elastic band and he used a toy guitar to ‘rock out’ to some of his favourite songs. We had a lot of fun doing it too.
Once our photo was uploaded, we submitted it and waited for our story to be emailed. This takes no more than 24 hours.
Here is how Ben’s rock star story panned out…