{Leaf Islands}

This month, my bloggy buddies Anna at The Imagination Tree and Jamie at Hands On: As We Grow issued a challenge: The 30 Days to Hands On Play Challenge!

Each day of the month, they assign a play task. The idea is that you use that task as a starting point and give your children at least 15 minutes of your undivided attention playing with them. The tasks are designed to spark your child's imagination, then you go with the flow and follow along.

We've taken on the challenge and I've been posting a picture from each of our challenge play sessions on my facebook page.

We've been looking forward to our daily assignments as a way to unwind and regroup at the end of the schoolday. I so look forward to getting home and spending that time focusing just on playing with them - no messages, no dinner preparation, no laundry, no other distractions, for at least those 15 minutes.
Those other necessary tasks can wait 15 minutes.
Often, we come back to continue the play after dinner, too, or in this case, the next day.

The task last Friday was to make imaginary islands out of cushions and see what play comes out of them. We did that - you can see our picture and a description of what we did here.

But the next day, we decided to take the island play idea outdoors. There are hundreds of thousands of leaves on the ground in our garden these days, some raked into piles and others just loose, creating a colourful carpet over the whole garden.

We gathered up some bunches of leaves.


We threw them down in little piles.

We used found sticks...

... and our feet ...


to shape the leaves into circular islands.

Then we took turns playing 'shark' in the water
chasing the two 'monkeys'.

Shark said, "I'm feeling....tired!", "I'm feeling....thirsty!", etc.,
until Shark finally said, "I'm feeling....hungry!" and chased the monkeys,
trying to catch one before they made it safely to an island!

Even Sweet Pea had fun with the chasing ("catchoo, catchoo")
even though she didn't really get that she was supposed to go to an island.

Check out my other autumn / fall activities posts for more ideas of ways to play with leaves and other fall finds!

Join our Outdoor Play Party on Fridays - full of ideas for getting your kids outdoors to play!

Also, check out the 'Make Every Day a Play Day' challenge over at activekidsclub.com! A great way to get outdoors and active with your kids!