For Christmas this year I got Arlo a Way To Play road and it has been used almost every day since! We are so in love with them in fact, that I decided to write a quick blog post to cover some of the amazing play I and others have done using the Way To Play road tracks!
First up, what is Way To Play?
Way To Play is a flexible track made from straight, square and curved pieces. They fit together a bit like a jigsaw puzzle and can be transformed into a variety of shapes and designs. As they are flexible, they are perfect for playing across all kinds of surfaces such as balance boards.
Each piece has a design printed on both sides, meaning you can arrange them to create a variety of scenarios for different small world play experiences. They have been tested and are free of BPA, cadmium, PAH, lead, and Phthalates. If you have a silicone allergy, it is also safe for you.
So the roads are durable, waterproof, safe, and flexible - that makes them the perfect ally for hours and years of play.
You can also find Way To Play tracks made from cardboard which is a much more budget friendly option.
5 Ways to play with a Way To Play track!
Here are my top 5 ways to play with our Way To Play track!
Number 1 - get outside with your track!
My lovely friend Jenny (@mummy_andbears) sent me this photo of her way to play track all set up for fun on the beach!
We haven't been lucky enough to visit a beach yet, but I am certainly looking forward to doing so during the summer! For now, we have been taking our Way To Play tracks out into the garden for some outdoor messy play! Each track piece is washable, so it doesn't matter how mucky they get, they can be rinsed off and are as good as new in an instant!
Number 2 - bath play!
I would say this is Arlo's favourite way to play! He loves to get in the bath and explore his track! Using the track while vertically placed along the edge of the bath is also a great way to work on hand eye co-ordination and dexterity as they manoeuvre the cars along the road.
We have even used a slime kit to create a slime bath for some perfect car themed slime play! Again, they wash right off afterwards, so the slime was no problem for our track! It was a great way to liven up bath time and kept Arlo happy and busy for a long time! Once the weather warms up, I am excited to use our Way To Play track in our paddling pool too!
Number 3 - Exploring educational concepts such as number, colour and emotion.
We have had great fun exploring a huge range of educational concepts through play with our track.
For example: Can you drive your car and collect all of the red stars?
Can you park your car next to number 4?
Can you drive to something starting with T (tree)?
The best part of this is, Arlo has no idea he is learning! In fact, he is having the time of his life playing with his cars and trucks.
Finding opportunities like this, to learn through play, are so valuable and can be adapted to suit whatever topic or skill level your child is ready for! This play from @sarah4turner1 is a great colour play!
Number 4 - Small World Play
Small world play is so beneficial for children. It is a great way for children to understand every day concepts such as crossing the road safely, emotions, and more. This tray from @sarah4turner1 was a great play to explore the concept of love!
You can grab whatever else you have around the house such as dolls, loose parts play items... even items such as pine cones and leaves can act as trees, shrubs and buildings!
Arlo can play with a small world set up for hours, returning to it over and over throughout the day. It builds his vocabulary as he discusses what is happening and imagination as he creates all manor of scenarios!
Number 5 - Early algorithm play!
Algorithms are just a fancy way of saying instructions! You might remember the old programmable bee bots used in schools? Children are encouraged to get an understanding for direction and movement as well as planning a set of instructions. Using a Way To Play road is a great way to explore this concept.
For example: 'Move five steps forward and turn to the left. Now move 10 steps forward'.
It is also a great way to explore language too - especially prepositional phrases (under, behind, over, on top of etc.) and movement.
Because the tracks are flexible, it is also possible to use them as tracks to follow by walking across them. Can you follow the track and stand on top of the balance board? While this may sound simple, there is a lot of language and thought development to follow that instruction! Again, doing this through play is the perfect way to cover these topics without your child even understanding that they are learning!
So, that's it! My five favourite ways to use our Way To Play road track! What are your favourite ways to play? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you to @mummy_andbears and @sarah4turner1 for your amazing photos!