Messy Play for Matilda Mae: Construction Site

Today I wanted to reuse our messy farm materials to make a messy construction site.

When I was planning it out last night I realised that to make the best of this experience I would need three things: hard hats, hi vis jackets and natural wooden blocks.

It was too late for the hats and jackets but my amazing husband made me some blocks from off cuts of wood. We always have lots of wood around and especially at the moment as David is making Esther and William a fabulous new bedroom.
He made the blocks by cutting them into shape and power sanding them.

Esther and William love them as they are bigger than our other blocks. I like them for today’s play as they are naturally coloured rather than bright multi colours.

They were perfect for the play scene that I had imagined.

To set up the scene I poured the farm mix into the Tuff Spot. I then added some cannelloni tubes and shredded wheat.

The cannelloni tubes looked like the large drain pipes that are placed under houses and the wheat blocks provided some textured bricks to build with.

Esther and William enjoyed exploring both of these including trying to eat them. Yuck!

Esther and William had a friend over for a play date today and I think that she too enjoyed playing with our messy construction site.

Esther and William love loading and unloading diggers and dumper trucks at the moment. Today I added funnels to their play and small scoopers. This gave them lots of ways of moving the materials from one place to another. They focus so hard on what they are doing. It is lovely to watch them concentrating on their play.

I gave them lots of different sized containers to empty and fill.

I showed Esther and William how to use the different building materials to construct things. We tried to make bridges and tunnels and archways and ramps.

After a while it was time for the engines to arrive. We had a go at mark making with their wheels.

William started to talk about a story we have watched recently on Ivor the Engine where they find an elephant on the track.

I gave William an elephant and Esther a rhinoceros so that they could act out the story. I was absolutely amazed at the detail in their story as they narrated their play.

This is the episode of Ivor.

William placed an elephant in front of his digger and talked about how the digger could not go on because there was an elephant in the way. He then brought in different characters to try and help move the elephant. He then made the elephant a warm bed to sleep in before deciding that actually the elephant would stand in the sun because the sun is warm. He then made the elephant kick over a bowl of food just as the elephant in the episode kicks over a bowl of water. It was just magical watching and listening to his play.

Once William had completed the elephant story he used the plot with Toby the engine and a monkey. He is one very creative and resourceful little boy. I think he is going to be a story teller when he is older.

Esther was much more practical in her play today. She was busy exploring concepts such as full and empty, light and heavy, push and pull.

I love how different my children are and what they choose to be interested in each new day.

Construction and building sites is definitely a messy play we will return to when we are better kitted out.

This post forms the start of this week’s Messy Play for Matilda Mae.

I look forward to reading everyone’s ideas and I promise to catch up on all the lovely links from last week.

Thank you x

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19 thoughts on “Messy Play for Matilda Mae: Construction Site

  1. What a great idea! I like this more because there’s no water, so less for me to freak over. We played with some dried vegetables (i spilt a bucket of the stuff accidentally, that’s how it turned from food to sensory fodder) and bits of pasta, but it was more about exploring the textures, smells and obviously the tastes.
    If we’re home on Monday, then I’m doing this with kids. Even my 6 year old will like aspects of it I think.
    Thanks for the inspiration Jennie!

  2. You all have so much imagination. Thanks for another fab messy play idea. We’re having fun with proper mess right now but I look forward to being more creative and building scenes. xx

  3. This is a great one and I love how you incorporated simple construction into the play. How clever is David making those blocks?! You couke extend this activity by making simple constructions for them to copy, talking about the 3d shape names as you go. You could also use wood shavings or couscous for the sensory materials. I am definitely going to pinch this one and will be linking up later too xxx

  4. Love this as it’s less ‘messy’…I’m under pressure to keep the house tidy at the moment ;) I haven’t done any messy play this week as been ill so have not got anything to link up – will try and get something up in the week.
    David is so brilliant making those blocks! You have a good one there xxx

  5. As always I am in awe of your messy playtimes, how do you even begin to clear up afterwards though, even the least messy ones would cause chaos here and we don’t even have carpet! I am inspired though and will be joining in – I’ll be thinking of Matilda Mae and try to chill out about the mess!

  6. Such great ideas, I really must get a tuff spot once our garage is sorted out. My 3 yr old would love this scene as has always been big on building/diggers etc. Clever hubby too, those blocks are a great size, what’s he making for the twins? x

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  8. Hi Jennie,that was a brill tuff spot idea!Have you ever thought of turning all your tuff spot ideas into a book?I think it could be a winner!This linky inspires me and makes me smile :-)

  9. A Weetabix Stonehenge is the stuff of genius – I love it! I hadn’t seen those Tuff spot trays until recently, how I wish I’d had one when mine were a bit younger!

    We’ve been getting messy too this week so I’ve linked up – I hope that’s ok ! x

  10. Fantastic idea! I love it and i am sure my youngest one will to. But I have a stupid question – what is that black tray you put all the stuff onto? Is it something for the fish pond? – I cannot guess.

  11. Pingback: Tots100 Round-up of Messy Play Ideas for Children | Tots 100

  12. Pingback: Messy Play for Matilda Mae: Instruction (Construction) Site | Edspire

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