We are thrilled to be taking part in Still Playing Schools Small Worlds from A-Z series this month. We chose the letter J – an excuse to make a Jurassic themed Small World.
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Usually for our Small World play we use a large Tuff Spot. However, for a change I decided to set myself the challenge of creating a miniature small world. I had the perfect oval container purchased from Tiger UK. As Adam can usually be found with a dinosaur in his hand we recently bought him a container of small dinosaurs. These fitted perfectly inside the green tray.
In the past I have always opted to use food as a small world base. To date we have used melted chocolate, herbs, chick peas and even created a fully edible dinosaur sensory bin. I was considering how to create our dinosaur Small World when Adam asked to play with water beads again. So I opted to create a Jurassic water bead Small World.
A dinosaur themed small world wouldn’t be complete without volcanoes. I created three by attaching red electrical tape to round mini peat pots purchased from PoundLand. These were placed on the left hand side of the tray.
Overnight I soaked some red, orange, yellow and green water beads in water. They only took a few hours to reach their full size though. I poured the red and orange water beads around the three volcanoes and then added the yellow water beads in the middle. The green water beads were placed on the right hand side of the tray and I added a few small dinosaurs to complete our Jurassic small world. It took no time at all to create (apart from soaking the water beads) and it certainly was a miniature Small World compared to what we usually create.
I placed the Jurassic water bead Small World outside on our Sensory Bin stand (inspired by Mama Papa Bubba). Adam was immediately drawn into the activity. He couldn’t decide whether to go for the water beads or the dinosaurs first. The water beads won! Adam picked up the red water beads and placed them onto the volcanoes and then knocked each one down.
Next he moved the dinosaurs around the Small World whilst making dinosaur noises. Apparently a pterodactyl goes “quack”! I suppose we will never know if he is correct or not.
Adam likes to place objects into containers and I was interested to see if he would try and collect the water beads. We were outside so he didn’t have immediate access to his usually cups and bowls. However, he improvised and turned a volcano upside down and started to collect the water beads in the pot before tipping them out again. He was occupied by this activity for some time.
The great thing about our Jurassic Small World is that it can be reused time and time again. I removed the volcanoes, added a small amount of water to re-hydrate the water beads and placed cling film on top. Now we have an instant dinosaur Small World activity to hand.
Remember to check out the rest of the Small World Pretend Play series to inspire you with play ideas for each letter of the alphabet.
* Small tray – we purchased ours from Tiger UK
* Round mini peat pots (6cm diameter) – we purchased ours from PoundLand but they are available from Amazon
* Red electrical tape
* Miniature dinosaurs
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