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Dinosaur Swamp Sensory Play


Dinosaur Swamp Sensory Play


No matter what the time of year, no matter what the setting - sensory, small world activities are unbelievably valuable for children. They allow them to explore so many concepts first hand for example:
Acting out and making up stories, using stories to aid their play, getting lost in their imagination, creating, mixing, filling, exploring texture and cause and effect to name a few. 
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During play children can develop learning naturally. Its paramount that we offer as many of these activities as possible.  It doesn't have to cost a lot, it doesn't need hours and hours planning and designing play set ups. Quite often the simple ideas work the best. 

I get so many emails from people saying how although our small world invitations look amazing after a few minutes their children would ruin it all. It is vital that we remember that these set ups are created for children to play with. They are there for children to explore, to move, to create. If the tray didn't look completely different afterwards the play invitation has not been a successful one. 
So allow the children to get stuck in and embrace their play and appreciate exactly what is going on in their minds and bodies as they play. 

Today we have the lovely Shelley joining us sharing a wonderful Dinosaur Swamp she created for her son.

Hello, my name is Shelley and I am currently on Maternity leave with my second child who is 5 months old. My eldest is 3. I don't have a background of working with children however I spend a great deal of time looking through lots of wonderful Facebook and Instagram pages (don't get me started on Pinterest) and I am often inspired by what a I see. 

My son loves sensory play and I get lots of enjoyment setting up activities for him and watching him get totally lost and absorbed in his play! It's also an opportunity for us to spend some quality time together, as I often play alongside. I am a huge believer in Learning Through Play and letting kids be kids.

Dinosaur Swamp Sensory Play


My boy is a huge fan of water play at the moment so I knew the Dinosaur Swamp would be right up his street. I purchased the sand from the local superstore and went about adding it to the base of the pit. I towered the sand up in parts to create swampy mountains before adding the water. 

Dinosaur Swamp Sensory Play


I added a green food colouring and some washing up liquid to created the bubbles. The sand did disperse in the tray which did make the water rather murky but it added to the effect well!


Dinosaur Swamp Sensory Play


I added plastic foliage that we have from various play sets and some moss that I fished out from the lawn which helped the set up look prehistoric. I collected some stones from the driveway and added the plastic dinosaurs my boy enjoys playing with. Just be careful when adding stones and make sure children are old enough and are no longer putting things in their mouths. It's also important to fully supervise the activity.

Dinosaur Swamp Sensory Play


It was so much fun watching him explore all the different textures and act out little stories using his dinosaurs. He invited me over to play and we buried one anothers hands in the sloppy sand. 


Dinosaur Swamp Sensory Play


The table we used for this activity was a Step 2 Sand pit (Find them on AMAZON here - UK/US). I decided it was a great way to set up our outdoor activities. Although I love the Tuff Trays sometimes they don't offer the depth needed and can be tricky to access items in the middle for the younger children.

A big thank you to Shelley for sharing a wonderful activity with us! I love how it all came together and I have to agree the tray is perfect!




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