With Earth Day just around the corner on April 22nd I wanted a way Adam and I could mark the occassion. Earth Day is the “largest civic event in the world, celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities. More than a billion people participate every year.” What better way to celebrate Earth Day with a toddler than by creating an Earth Day Tuff Spot.
I have wanted to make a world map out of rice for some time and the Tuff Spot along with our Cosy Direct Tuff Spot Stand gave us the perfect flat surface to work on. The previous night I painted three packets of rice with green paint using our usual zip-loc bag method. Unfortunately I painted one of the 1kg bags a different shade of green but on reflection this adds another dimension to the map. Our green rice would represent the land. To create the sea I recycled our blue painted pasta we used in our recent X Marks The Spot Tuff Spot.
I took our blue Tuff Spot and Cosy Direct Tuff Spot Stand outside. I love how our Tuff Spot Stand fits through the door easily. I had planned on printing a world map from Twinkl but our printer is not working. So I had to resort to tracing Adam’s world map sticker he has on his bedroom wall. I cut out the continents and used blue tac to attach them to the Tuff Spot. I used chalk to make a faint outline of the world.
Next was the process of filling in the map with green rice. I did start off pouring the rice into a piping bag but I found it easier to scoop up the rice and sprinkle it onto the map. I knew this was an activity I would not be able to set up when Adam was around so created it when he was at Pre-School. Unfortunately it was a windy morning and the rice kept moving around the Tuff Spot. In an attempt to stop this from happening I used the blue pasta to create an outline around the land.
All that was left to do was fill in the remaining sea with blue pasta and add plain rice to represent the two polar regions. Our Earth Day Tuff Spot was complete.
I wish that I had filmed Adam’s reaction to seeing the Earth Day Tuff Spot. He stood by the Tuff Spot silently then turned to me a said “Wow Mum-Mum.”
He stood for ages just taking in the view. As he did we talked about the world, discussed where Nana and Grandad were currently on holiday, where we live and where different animals live. I told him about the importance of looking after the world and what could happen if we don’t. To demonstrate this I gave him five diggers and let him “destroy” our world map.
Adam thoroughly enjoyed the sensory element of the activity by watching and listening to the rice fall between his fingers. He made the diggers scoop up the rice and pushed the vehicles around the Tuff Spot. He was particularly interested in taking the rice from Antarctica and sprinkling it onto the green rice.
After 45 minutes of play Adam discovered the box of left over rice – turns out I didn’t need 3kg of rice! At first Adam transported the rice a handful at a time. This went on for some time before he decided to put up the box and pour the remaining rice over where Africa used to be. You can imagine the fun he had with even more rice!
At the end of the activity I separated the rice from the pasta, placed them in zip-loc bags and will defantetly be recycling them soon in another play activity. We certainly enjoyed our first ever Earth Day play activity.
* Economy rice painted green
* Economy pasta painted blue
* Zip-loc bags
* Paper and pencil to trace around a map – or print the resources from Twinkl
* Tuff Spot
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