J is quite into Cars (the film) at the moment, so rather than fight against it, I go with it! To create this Travel Discovery Box, I covered an empty Cow and Gate Milk Powder box in some Cars wrapping paper! It has a great lid to keep everything inside and is a good size to pop in his ruck sack whenever we go out. We tested it out at home today and J loved it so much, we took it to lunch with us! The good thing about this kind of open-ended activity is that J played with it both times in completely different ways! I just wanted to highlight the fact that yes, J is still in his pyjamas in these photo’s but that’s what Sunday mornings are for – in my house anyway! Hope I’m not alone!!
- Three small cars
- Cardboard strips with Velcro stuck to the end
- Polystyrene strips cut from the pizza packaging! (They have a nice bumpy texture)
J and Daddy couldn’t wait to get stuck into my surprise Cars box. They got everything out and started making a small ramp using the card board strips and blocks. They both (yes both) giggled with delight when the cars sped off down the ramp!
After a while, Daddy disappeared off – I wasn’t sure where to but he did come back with something great – you’ll see soon! J continued to make ramps and used the Cars Travel box to higher the ramp and fiddled with the blocks, lining them up just so! He wanted his ramp to be, in his words, ‘perfect!’ SO cute! J also used the Velcro bits to extend the strips of card, making the ramp longer! Manipulating the blocks is a good hand work out and great for his creativity.
Daddy had been on the hunt for a bigger ramp! He came back with an old canvas that had been dumped in a cupboard under the stairs and this made a super exciting ramp for J (AND Daddy!) They used this ramp against various pieces of furniture at different heights and I asked J if he had noticed what made the car go fast and what made it go slower! J replied,’When it’s so high, it goes SUPER fast and when it’s low it’s rubbish and goes slow!’ What an observant little man! Developing children’s ability to think about their discoveries and verbalise what they notice is such a valuable part of learning through play.
J tried various different things down the ramp, including a pencil, remote control, piece of cardboard and finally a ball! This was so exciting for him! He whooped, cheered and jumped up and down! I actually had tears in my eyes as he was just enjoying it SO much!
J wanted to know what would happen if he changed the ramp into a bridge and began shooting the ball up and over! There was so much investigation and experimenting going on, we were nearly late getting ready for the fancy dress party this afternoon!
Before we went to the party, we went for lunch and the Travel Box came with us! I was a bit nervous as I had visions of him moving the tables to make a ramp after the mornings play! However, J played with the contents completely differently! He started by ‘brrrrruming’ the cars along the polystyrene, saying how bumpy the road was.
J then emptied out all the card board and we stuck it together using the Velcro to make a road. J and I put the blocks around as J said we needed to make a city. He then ‘beep beeped’ his way around the roads and talked about the traffic and red meaning stop and so on! It kept him more than engrossed until the lunch came and then is was party time! What a busy day we’ve had but so much fun, full of Precious Play and therefore, full of learning too!
What did J learn?
- Developed his investigative and experimenting skills.
- Used, interpreted and gathered resources needed to investigate.
- Drew conclusions about what happened to the car when the ramp was at different heights.
- Explained reasoning behind what he was doing.
- Role played using appropriate vocabulary.
- Touched on an understanding of gravity.
- Developed his speaking and listening skills.