I love a good small world play and there are some lovely ones in the shops but I genuinely think, none are as fabulous as the ones we can create ourselves. This one looks so inviting and was SO easy to create. It literally took me ten minutes and I know we’ll get lots of play out of it this week.
To create this, you will need…
- Dinosaur toys
- Permanent Marker
- Aquarium leaves and wooden pet ornaments (cheap as chips and will be used countless times)
- Hanging basket liner
- polystyrene eggs
First, I wrote numbers 1-10 on the stones with permanent marker.
Next I cut three slits in the hanging basket liner to create a 3D backdrop and base for the Dinosaur land. I added a few bits of the plastic greenery, the stones (number side down) and the wooden logs. Finally, I added the dinosaurs and eggs and all was complete!
J had a HUGE grin on his face when he saw the Dino land after nursery today! He said, ‘Wow, I love it, thank you Mummy!’ There it was… day made!!
J explored the land, climbing the logs and stones with the dinosaurs and with a growly voice he spoke to the other dinosaurs.
J was very interested in the eggs and the Daddy dinosaur spoke to the egg asking if he was ‘ready to hatch!’ J buried the egg under the leaves so that it was ‘warm enough for the egg to hatch.’ J went on to talk about other creatures who have eggs. He mentioned birds and turtles and asked me questions about how those creatures look after the eggs.
J and I took on the role of a dinosaur and were talking and going on adventures…
Mummy dinosaur (me) accidently (on purpose) flicked over a stone with her tail and J said, ‘a 2, it has a number 2!’
J’s dinosaur then went off and started flicking other stones with his tail. As he did so, he said the numbers and giggled at his discovery.
Using the tail to flick the stones was good for J’s gross motor skills.
J then moved on to see what else the tails could flick! He put two dinosaurs tails under the log and started leveraging the log up saying, ‘heave!’ What a great discovery and definitely not one I was expecting at all. I just love open-ended play.
J’s adventures carried on and his largest dinosaur went on to attack everyone with his (in J’s words), ‘Terrible teeth and terrible claws!’ Spot the Gruffalo influence? I love books!!
It did not take long for Daddy on his coffee break, to get involved! He too said, ‘wow, I REALLY would have loved that as a child!’ I think he loves it in his mid thirties too if he’s honest!
What did J learn?
- Role play and imaginative play – taking on roles
- Speaking and listening
- Fine and Gross motor development
- Descriptive language
- Finding out about nature (eggs and animals)
- Number recognition
- Using tails as a lever to lift heavy objects!!!