Two of R’s favourite types of play are small world play and anything that involves water, so yesterday we combined the two and made this small world play scene. My initial suggestion to R was to create a frog pond with an island in the centre. R loved the idea but said we should create a dinosaur and frog island, so that’s exactly what we did. This provided a whole morning’s worth of fun and we even managed to squeeze in some science fun exploring porous and non porous materials – more on that below. So here it is, our dinosaur and frog island small world play scene.
We have a collection of pebbles, glass beads, twigs and leaves that use to make all sorts of imaginative play scenes. You can see the same materials used in our indoor imaginative frog pond and also our magnetic fishing game. For this dinosaur island, I used a large plastic tub (normally used to hold R’s train collection) and we made an island of sand in the centre. Then R got to work decorating it. He also gathered a few leaves and twigs from the garden to add to the scene.
Next, he filled the tub with water.
Then R added some blue and green food colouring to the water to make it appear like the ocean. (These were obviously tropical dinosaurs!)
R loves mixing food colouring into water and we incorporate this into his play quite often. He spent a lot of time getting the colour just right.
Then it was time to add the dinosaurs.
After some time creating stories with the dinosaurs, he then added his plastic frogs.
R enjoys experimentation and exploration in his play and this day he spent a great deal of time seeing what would happen if he added food colouring to the different elements in the scene. Here he is adding colouring to one of the wood blocks. He was fascinated to discover that the colour seeped all the way through the wood to the other end of the block.
He also experimented with adding colouring to the sand and then to the plastic dinosaurs. We observed that the colour did not soak into the plastic but it spread through the sand and even stained some of the pebbles. We talked about porous and non porous materials.
Whenever I mention food colouring in my posts, people always ask about mess and skin being stained. Generally R’s skin doesn’t get too stained but yesterday – well just take a look! This washed out quite easily.
If you are looking for inspiration for other imaginative play scenes then you might like to follow my Imaginative Play Scene board on Pinterest.
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