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.

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  1. Holly, thank you for using natural elements. WHEN we are trying to introduce them to the world, why are so many using fake purchased stuff. MORE PLEASE

  2. I love this idea, Trisha! We’ve been all about small world play here, but we haven’t done this! Thanks for a great idea!

  3. My son loves rocks- definitely going to try and have to get creative with him using them. Such cute ideas!!

  4. What a great idea! My son collected soooo many rocks when he was younger and I never knew what to do with all of them. This would have been great! Pinning it to file away for when the babes is older !

  5. I love this idea. My girls have collected so many rocks and we have similar leaves in our yard…This would be a great way to use them for imaginative play!