Here in the Edspire household we seem to be going through a rough patch of illness. Between us we have had coughs, colds, conjunctivitis and impetigo in the last 14 days. That is on top of the sleepless nights with our beautiful Matilda Mae. And with the weather such as it is we have been staying home more than usual over the last few days.
Staying at home for long periods of time with my three is really not much fun unless you are cleverly creative and super organised.
They do not sit down for more than a few minutes at a time, not even to watch television.
The pace with Esther and William, and increasingly Matilda too, is permanently set to Go Go Go!
They need constant stimulation and strict supervision to ensure they do not start to hurt each other or unintentionally get up to no good!
One of the things Esther and William love at the moment is imaginative play. They are always having adventures together and acting out stories that they have heard.
I have taken this as my queue to start introducing them to small world play.
They already do this themselves with cars and garages, and their Happy Land toys but now we are starting to really spread our wings.
Yesterday I created Esther and William each a dinosaur world, a land before time. And they loved it!
I had two metal roasting tins which I had used previously for bringing the snow inside.
This time I filled them about quarter full with Ready Brek. I then placed a few stones into the tins to be rocks and sticks, twigs and leaves to be trees and bushes. Each tin had a pool of water and a collection of small plastic dinosaurs. I then added yoghurt covered raisins and told the children that they were dinosaur eggs. William loved this idea.
When presented with their small worlds William immediately tipped the bowl of water into the Ready Brek while Esther collected her dinosaurs together for a swim in the water pool.
They were happy playing with what they were given for quite a while but they soon asked for some people to add to their world.
The people liked splashing in the mucky puddles.
William soon went off in search of diggers and loved collecting up his breakfasty gloop with the diggers.
This small world play was doubling up as messy play and both children were having a wonderful time.
As Esther’s flakes became more gloopy she thought it looked like cake mixture and started pretending to mix and make a lemon cake.
I love watching Esther and William play. I love listening to their commentary and observations and noting the links that they make between what they are doing, the things they have seen, heard, read or played with before.
For two and a half year olds they are very good at making links.
Esther and William loved this activity. They loved exploring textures and materials and seeing how they can be changed. They loved talking about what they were doing and we introduced lots of new words to their repertoire including pterodcatyl and triceratops. These words sound super cute from the mouths of babes.
We have a couple of books about dinosaurs now with pictures and names so I think that they will be featuring in our play more often.
Esther and William are loving exploring new worlds and I am already planning a minibeast safari for our next small world adventure.
Do you do small world play with your toddler? Would love to collect together some more ideas. I have started saving them on my Pinterest board here and am loving reading about the worlds explored by The Imagination Tree which is where the original idea for our dinosaur worlds came.