June 5, 2011

Let's Build it! {Little World Play}


Earlier this year I decided to introduce some mini themes to direct our craft and learning activities. In my perfect world, I would have a new theme with related activities every two to three weeks...sigh ... but, in reality it is very different and this little theme has been running for awhile now :)! So, what you see in the next few posts are activities spread over the past few months. I must add though, that my little guy LOVES everything to do with construction vehicles and workshop tools, so it was easy to get a bit stuck on this one!

I have to admit that I couldn't wait to share this Little World/Sensory Box with you and it's definitely the most successful Mommy Made Toy I've created for Little One. It was a huge hit from the day I introduced it to him and he still plays with it constantly. When planning this mini world, I had decided to use these orange-coloured lentils (called Red Split Lentils), because I thought it would be visually appealing  and I also associate orange and yellow with construction vehicles. What I didn't realize, was that these particular lentils have a wonderful silky feel. I tried to swop them for green lentils at one point, but Little One wouldn't hear of it! Even I love sifting  my fingers through them!

To recreate this, you need a nicely sized container. This rectangular one is about 30 by 45 cm and I purchased it at our local Plastics shop. I use between one and two packets of the lentils (purchased at Pick n Pay). One packet is really sufficient though. And then of course you need some construction vehicles. The little CAT vehicles (that you see above) can be purchased from Game stores. If you are an international reader and would like to purchase something similar, I recently visited the MEGA BLOKS website and they have a terrific selection of construction vehicles in their range.

I really love observing my children's interests and passions and find myself caught up in their enthusiasm. In the past few months I have pulled off to the side of the road a number of times, so that Little One can watch construction vehicles busy working at a building site. I have  also deliberately followed a Backhoe Loader, when I could have taken a much shorter and faster route home! Being only 2, do you think he'll remember his Mommy's efforts? I hope so! Or I might have to make him read my blog some day. :)

Have you ever done anything a little unusual to feed your child's interests? I'd love to hear all about it.

Oh yes, I almost forgot to say, it can get messy Mommy! But, the lentils are very easy to vacuum up, so don't fear! I don't really mind putting up with a bit of mess, especially when I see the joy it gives my little guy.

Happy Playing.

PS. I'm linking this to:
It's Playtime!
For the Kids Fridays
Fun for Kids Friday 


meg said...

Very cool. Wish I'd known about sensory boxes when my two were smaller.

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

What a wonderful sensory box! My son loved playing with trucks in a baking pan of lentils (the green kind) when he was around 2 years old. I should re-introduce the idea to him, bigger scale, and see if he takes to it now at almost 5. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

Caz said...

Great idea! We have a rice play box but the girls hardly use it now, I think I will be swapping the rice for lentils today! Orange is L's favourite colour too, so I think it will be a winner.

Heather@Cultivated Lives said...

What an adorable idea. I'm totally snagging it for my 3yo little guy for this summer when we are stuck indoors because of the heat... Hopefully, the two older brothers will let him play in peace.

Km said...

Such a sensational idea!!! Looks like so much fun!! I have never had much luck with sensory type box play... But I am going to have to give your version a try! In the past I have experimented with bigger beans and pastas... I think with three at one box it gets kinda crazy, ya know?! I am looking forward to the rest of your mini theme! :)

Carina said...

Such a clever idea for those rainy days we have at the moment!

Carina x

Nancy Grossi ~ Churned In Cali ~ The Wife of a Dairyman said...

What a great idea! My kids would love this and will try it soon:) Thanks! This is my first time to your site and love it:) Following you now!

Laura said...

Love it, love it, love it! I'm a pediatric SLP and looking for cool ideas for my new office, and this one is a winner! I routinely use sensory boxes in speech therapy with the toddlers and young preschoolers I see, so I'm sure it's going to be a big hit. Thanks for a great idea! Laura

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