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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.

Dinosaur Small World Sensory Play - jelly, shreddies, glass stones, bark and rice. Ideal for toddlers and pre schoolers

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.

Dinosaur Small World Sensory Play - jelly, shreddies, glass stones, bark and rice. Ideal for toddlers and pre schoolers

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.

Dinosaur Small World Sensory Play - jelly, shreddies, glass stones, bark and rice. Ideal for toddlers and pre schoolers        Dinosaur Small World Sensory Play - jelly, shreddies, glass stones, bark and rice. Ideal for toddlers and pre schoolers

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.




  1. Pingback: Mudpie Fridays 1st Birthday | Mudpie Fridays

  2. oneyummymummy

    my little girl loves dinosaurs !!! this is a fantastic idea

  3. mamavsteacher

    A great idea and I love that this was your first blog! Thanks for linking up to #Imaginationmatters, this week is Music themed when I get it live!

  4. mudpiefridays

    Aw thanks lovely 🙂 Amazon – if you look for tuff spots they come in all different colours! Thank you for hosting xx

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  6. mudpiefridays

    Thanks 🙂 will be back again this week #TwinklyTuesdays

  7. mummascribbles

    This looks like such a fab idea! My little one would love it – I shall have to try it on a rainy day! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  8. My Bored Toddler (@myboredtoddler)

    What a cool idea! Dinosarus are always such a fun topic and this looks like great fun!

  9. mudpiefridays

    Ahhhh thanks so much 🙂 that’s really nice of you xxx

  10. Dirty Nappy

    This looks like a lovely start to what will be a much anticipated blog, cant wait for more ideas to put in the rainy day bank xx

  11. mudpiefridays

    Ahh thanks 🙂 xx maybe a Bear Hunt one soon

  12. katybyrd32

    This is great! I look forward to future posts (=

  13. scrummymummymaternity

    Reblogged this on scrummymummymaternity's Blog and commented:
    What a great idea for keeping preschoolers entertained.. Especially if you have a newborn and they are sleeping.. Must try this

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