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So I am actually going to do this… My first post! To be honest this is something I have been toying with doing for the last 18 months, however something more pressing always seems to crop up… We’ve all been there – right?
Going forward I am determined to stop putting this off otherwise I know I will look back and regret not sharing my experiences. After all we all know little ones grow up so quickly not that long ago it was first smiles, words, steps (or was it the other way round?) and now in 18 months time my little monkey will be starting school.
Since the whole theme of this blog is around simple ideas which are quick to execute I wanted to share with you my first foray into small world play. I am happy to say it was a great hit so watch this space as I am sure there will be more variations to follow.
On a rather wet afternoon a couple of weeks ago I needed a quick impromptu activity, it took me around 10 minutes to set up (not including preparing the jelly which I had done the night before) and about 20 minutes to clear up after! I placed the tray on a cheap shower curtain I had picked up from the local supermarket for £2, to limit the mess as much as possible. The added bonus was that I could place the whole thing in the washing machine after a quick shake outside.
The the main area of the tray was taken up with cheap ‘value’ cereal with a couple of biodegrade seed trays thrown in for a bit of height and some bark I had picked up on our travels. I used glass beads in the shape of fish for a pretend river, which also acted as barrier between the cereal and the jelly, as I wanted to keep as much of the cereal as possible for future scenes. Towards the back there was black coloured rice which I had stashed from a previous activity that looked a bit like ash, and I used a couple of toilet roll holders as volcanoes with some scrunched up orange tissue paper in.
Add in some dinosaurs – monkey’s favourite at the moment, a couple of plastic aquarium pants, a few fake leaves and a train tunnel and we we away.
The cereal proved a great hit, espically dipping it in the jelly to eat…not really the intention! Although as I had used the sugar free version he quickly decided that it tasted better on its own. It wasn’t long before he began to fill up the volcanos with the rice, using the scrunched up tissue paper as a stopper. He particularly enjoyed removing the paper and watching it all cascade down. The seed trays became vessels for the cereal to move around the kitchen with, filling, stacking and emptying. But his fascination for the jelly lasted the longest, I have not used it before in any sort of play but it was such a hit. A couple of weeks on he still asks for it.
Half way through he requested to get some frogs out to play in the jelly and then chose the BBQ tongs out of the draw himself. Note to self I must try and pick a more suitable sized version. For the next 15 minutes or so the frogs were moved in and out of the jelly by the use of the tongs, an unintended consequence of the set up and a great way to develop fine motor skills.
If you do try this, or a version of it I hope you have as much fun with your little monkey as I did with ours.