Thursday, 6 June 2013

A bucket full of Dinosaurs!!

                    Dinosaur play - mixing natural and synthetic materials for play!
It is great fun having a plastic dinosaur set for your children to explore. It offers so many learning experiences for children, getting involved with complicated dinosaur names and learning the differences between each dinosaur, as well as what it means to be "extinct".

But, there is nothing more exciting than enhancing the play! At first, I allowed my daughter to explore the dinosaur set indoors by herself (her Grandad had bought them for her and she was allowed to play with it as a reward for filling her reward jar!!) She lined up the trees and told me she had "made a forest. My forest got bamboo, Pandas eat that" ( Remembered from our visit to Trebah Gardens)
In fact, a lot of her play really intrigued me. It makes me realise she is not a baby anymore! She put the dinosaurs in family groups - Mummy, Daddy and Baby - and one of those pesky dinosaurs even "Put fire up my bottom, Mummy!" Leaving me to convince her that she doesn't need the hospital!

After a while, I suggested that we go and play outside, and she asked to take the Dinosaurs too. We were soon engaged in a whole new experience. We had to find a bed for the dinosaurs (a flower pot full of hay), a bath for them (a flower pot stand full of water) and a bridge to cross (a plank of wood across two bricks) She even collected her special stones to decorate the grassy area she chose for the scene!!

As soon as the scene was set, it was straight to bed for the dinosaurs! They were all placed in the flower pot to sleep! After a few minutes, the dinosaurs were woken for a morning splash in the puddles!

Older children may be more interested in dinosaurs chasing one another, eating one another and leaves etc, and I am sure the play would have been entirely different if my daughter was playing with other children, as they feed off one anothers ideas and imaginations. ( I tried to join in, but sometimes even this Mummy is not allowed to intrude!)

What this does show is that combining plastic toys with natural materials can really make a child's play even more exploratory, building their self esteem, knowledge and understanding of the world, language skills and creativity!! Grab out those Dino's and get playing!!

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