Small World Play: Build with Rocks

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What do you do with all of the rocks your kids collect?  One idea is to build with them.

Gather up as many rocks as you can find.  We found rocks of various sizes, shapes, and colors.

How do you get your kids to create a play scene with little help from you?  Here are some ideas:

  • Start building something with rocks yourself.  Your child may be curious enough to join in or ask you what you are doing.
  • Say something like I’m going to build a wall.  Would you like to help me build it?
  • Or say Let’s build something out of rocks.  What would you like to create?
  • Now that we’ve built a few house out of rocks, what else should we add?
  • Would you like to bring some toy animals/people/etc. out to play?

You could also create the play scene for your kids and let them enjoy playing with it.  They will most likely change it up as they continue to play.

Aiden wanted to build houses for his animals.  He placed the animals where he thought they should live.  We added a castle for good measure and an extra big giant rock.  I asked Aiden if he wanted roads for his town, and he said he did.  I grabbed a long leaf from the yard and added it to our town.  Aiden followed my lead, gathered more leaves, and placed them in the town.

We had fun moving the animals about the town talking them through their day.  I asked Aiden questions about what they were doing.  I modeled for him as well.  The duck is visiting the pig.  “Hello, Mr. Pig.”  “Hello, Mr. Duck.”

Small world play is a great way to practice language skills, creativity, and imagination.

Near the end of our play, Aiden stomped all over the houses.  The animals and rocks were scattered everywhere.  I narrated his actions.  Oh no, a big storm is coming.  A tornado is destroying the town.  Aiden said the wind blew the houses down.  (Here would have been a lovely opportunity to talk about tornado safety.)

Above all, have fun and let your children lead.

Trisha About Trisha

Trisha is a stay at home mom to her 3-year old son, Aiden. She writes about their adventures at Inspiration Laboratories, a blog dedicated to encouraging learning through creativity and play. Trisha is an educator with a passion for science literacy. It is never too early to start encouraging science learning (or any kind of learning for that matter). Follow along on Facebook, Twitter as @inspire_labs, Google+, and Pinterest.

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