Friday, January 8, 2021

Invitation to Build a Block Habitat

Combine two everyday play materials for this fun build challenge which will also leads to lots of imaginative small world play.

We were kindly gifted this Blocks Rock! game. You can use code FINDMORE for 15% off on Amazon, there is also an $8 coupon currently available (cannot be combined with other Amazon offers). This post contains affiliate links. All opinions and images are our own and completely genuine.

My 3 year old has always loved playing with blocks and toy animals so I am often looking for fun play activities which combine these two toy room staples. We got some new books all about penguins and polar bears so I thought it would be fun to set her up with an invitation to build an arctic habitat.

What you need:
- building blocks (we used our colorful wooden blocks from our Blocks Rock! game)
- toy animals (we love these small arctic ones from Safari Ltd.)
- white felt as a snowy base
- some fun books to enrich the set up (we added two National Geographic ones)

How it works:
This took a matter of minutes to set up. I simply put the blocks and animals in some bowls, lay out the felt like a sheet of snow, and then placed the books next to the set up. With an invitation to create like this I try and keep things as open-ended as possible so I didn't build a demonstration or give any directions as such. I just asked my daughter if she could build a home for the animals.

My little one was very excited about this set up and couldn't wait to get her hands on those cute little polar bears and penguins! She loved the idea of building a home for them and got straight to work using the blocks.

She decided that the penguins needed an icy blue house and built that one first. It was funny though because she insisted that as she built the penguins kept having to visit their house to test it out. This was great for her imaginative play as well as her conversational skills (even if she was chatting away to penguins rather than other humans!!).

It was great to see her being so creative with just a set of blocks. She experimented lots with the different shapes of blocks and in the end decided that the penguins and polar bears needed two separate houses but that they would be neighbors. All this building work was great for her engineering and fine motor skills.

She carefully constructed the second house for the polar bears and then spent ages playing with the animals and their new homes. As she did this we spoke about the type of environment in which these animals really live in, and we used the books to support this conversation. She used words such as habitat, frozen, and arctic, and did a great job using descriptive sensory vocabulary as well.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much this simple invitation caught her imagination and captured her interest. Lots of great skills being developed, but most importantly it was an opportunity for her to enjoy some creative and open-ended play with some of her most-loved toys.

1 comment :

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