This week so far has been rather out of the ordinary for us - our town has been suffering floods as a result of the awful weather we've been having recently, and Small Child's school has unfortunately had to close due to the flooding (it's right next to a river, which has well and truly burst its banks).
We've just had the news this evening that it won't be open for another two weeks at the earliest (next week is half term anyway) and that the problems may continue after that! Slightly worrying for us, but in the meantime Small Child is delighted to have some unexpected time off school!
Obviously I didn't need to pack lunch for him today, in fact we had a lovely lunch out as Nanny came to visit, but I had a sudden bolt of inspiration for a way that I could use our bento supplies differently than usual. I follow a fair few parent bloggers, and have noticed on sites such as Instagram and Pinterest a lovely trend of setting up creative 'invitations to play' for children.
One of my favourite blogs for this kind of thing is The Imagination Tree, where you can find an incredible amount of ideas for creative play with children. I have tried a few of my own play invitations with Small Child already, but this was the first time I thought to get our bento supplies involved!
As it will be Valentines day at the end of the week, this activity had a Valentines theme to it. I used home made play dough (I always have some made up in various colours stashed away) in pink and red. The red had a little vanilla essence added to it, so it smelt lovely too. I put the play dough on a large plastic charger (serving plate), and added a set of nesting heart shaped cookie cutters, heart shaped silicone cups, and a selection of food picks from our bento supplies (ladybird and bee picks, polka dot picks, sweet treat picks, princess picks and rainbow heart picks).
This activity kept Small Child occupied for some time. He got out a mini rolling pin and rolled the play dough out to make pretend biscuits with the heart cutters, he played around with the dough and added picks to it, and used it to make pretend cupcakes complete with play dough icing (which he cut out using the cookie cutters) and polka dot pick 'cherries' on top. He also used one of the heart shaped picks to imprint hearts into the play dough. I snapped a couple of pictures of some of his creations as he was going along, at his request! Small Child enjoyed this activity so much, I'll definitely repeat it, trying different coloured play dough and different bento supplies to change it up a bit each time. I'm really pleased to have found a bonus use for our bento stash!
Items used in this activity: