1

Lego City

Rayes has been obsessed with lego recently after watching the famous Lego Movie in the cinema last month and ever since, he has been asking me to build Briskburg for him.So I decided to surprise him with our very own Lego City !!! This is supposed to be our school holiday project (next week) but since we are going to be travelling, so he got the Lego City Surprise much earlier!! L1000709

This is  a perfect indoor activity to keep kids engaged for hours!

It is pretty simple really, even though it took a bit of time. All you need is a roll of tape (I used blue masking tape), lego bricks, some blocks or things to build with.

I started off by taping down double lines for roads and made a grid on the floor in his playroom. Then I cut out the places where the roads intersected. This made squares that I turned into city blocks.

I then filled one block with a train station

L1000667

L1000634

 a construction site

L1000633

L1000641

a police station

L1000649

L1000724

a farm

L1000727

L1000726

a fire station

L1000639

L1000630

a flat/hotel

L1000680

he helped me to build a bank and a pretzel shop

L1000725

there is also an airport (it is not really an airport. he just wanted to place his B-Wing star wars lego in the city so we decided to have one block for his B-Wing)

L1000697

and… there is also Lord Business’ Evil Lair. My husband took one whole day to build this one last month! So i finally got to move this set from my leaving room (which previously  looked like a Lego Museum!!) 

L1000631

L1000629

L1000706

he added a few more buildings, a school and a house with a garden which. He calls it “Mummy’s house”

L1000684

L1000687In the end, we had quite the city.

L1000719

L1000677L1000668

We spent most of the morning building and the rest of the afternoon and the whole next day playing in the city.

I don’t usually do really big activities unless I know that they will have big results. It took so much time to get this thing set up, but considering he enjoys playing  with it  that half day  was totally worth it. !!!

L1000713

Advertisements
0

Pretend Play – Doctor’s Clinic/Surgery

Pretend play is a great way to build kids’ imagination, vocabulary, cooperation skills and so much more. My son loves to make up his own imaginary and role play games and I have set up lots of little scenarios to support this in the past, from a role play organic market, a play dough ice cream shop shop and a garden centre.

I set up up a pretend play hospital for him last year (October), to overcome doctor fears. After liking his previous doctor visits early last year, he was suddenly terrified when we took him to see his pediatrician for the last injection which was due in October last year. He screamed and cried the whole way through. So I began to come up with Doctor Play  to help with Rayes’s sudden fear of the doctor.

Playing doctors and patients can also be a hugely helpful way for ill children to play through some of their experiences of medical experiences and make sense of them in a familiar context at home.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I printed some simple signs that might be seen in a real doctor’s surgery and placed those around the room.

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then I found some blankets, doctor’s outfit (from ELC), dollies and teddies and a doctor’s pretend play kit to finish off the scene.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I also added in a box of plasters, some super-cheap stretchy bandages, a medicine spoon, a box for herbal medicine and a medicine syringe. I think REAL materials are far superior to toys, as so much more learning takes place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We talked about needing each patient to come and check in at the desk and how they must write their names down in the forms. This is to introduce some purposeful writing opportunities and for understanding why and when adults might use writing in these scenarios. Rayes was very keen to give all his little patients names and to have a go at writing the names, spelt phonetically or using invented letter combinations.

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

He checked them out using their medical instruments and we talked about what each one was used for and what it could tell us about the patient’s medical conditions. He was particularly keen on the stethoscope and listening out for any funny noises from all parts of the bodies!

First patient was Teddy who was VERY hot, until he became “warmer” and was then, thankfully, much better!

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then the casualties just rolled into the surgery, one after another, all with some fairly bizarre and/or catastrophic injuries! Most seemed to have fallen and hurt their knees or legs, and about 95% of all complaints were solved with the aid of a plaster.

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ernie  had a temperature and needed some medicine and a lie down. Soon, he was joined by a literal heap of fellow patients all clamouring for Doctor Rayes’s s attention.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And daddy needed to have a stethoscope applied to his chest to “listen for things that are wrong” inside it. He was diagnosed with a “broken heart”, which was pretty tragic, but just a few drops of medicine later and he made a complete and dramatic recovery!
 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
 
 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
 
Later on there was a patient with “broken eyebrows” and “hurting hair”, which both sounded pretty serious! It reminds me how little experience with real illness or injury he has encountered so far, thankfully, so for now we can be thrilled that these are the worst things that could happen!

I provided my little doctor with a microscope.  I spent a fair bit of time researching microscopes before settling on the Edu Science M640x Microscope – Blue that comes together with a set of child-friendly slides and glass slides for creating our own specimens. I did not expect my three year old to enjoy using the microscope, but I was wrong. He liked it very much!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

He also enjoyed working with his human torso (National Geographic). This human torso is safe and fun to be used by children. It contains eight removable organs (oesophagus, stomach, liver, large intestines, small intestines, bowel). After having this human torso in our pretend play doctor’s surgery, Rayes knew all of the organs and he could  put them in order. Hoorayyy !!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What they are learning as they play:

Literacy: emergent reading of signs and labels in a role play environment, purposeful pre-writing about real life contexts, mark making and emergent writing, list making, new medical vocabulary

Knowledge and Understanding of the world: understanding what doctors do, learning about medical equipment and its purpose, talking about illness and treatment

Creativity: imaginative role play and dramatic play, taking on a role and remaining in character

Vocabulary: there was lots of new vocabulary introduced and worked into the play, including patient, stethoscope, organ, thermometer, bandage, temperature, and recover. Great for language and literacy development!

 

3

Pretend Play – Organic Market

Imaginative play is my favorite mainly because it’s what I would do if I was 3, but seriously who doesn’t love to play pretend?

Young children learn by imagining and doing. Have you ever watched your child pick up a stone and pretend it is a zooming car, or hop a Lego across the table as if it were a person or a bunny? Your child is using an object to represent something else while giving it action and motion. But this pretend play is not as simple as it may seem. The process of pretending builds skills in many essential developmental areas.

  • Social and Emotional Skills
  • Language Skills
  • Thinking Skills

With pretend play, it is really important to continue to give children new experiences and setups for them to role play and experience. In early childhood classrooms, these new setups are usually done in the dramatic play center. And at home, parents can suggest the ideas/scenarios and provide a few unique props to stimulate children’s dramatic play.

Organic Market

There’s one thing we know about kids, it’s their love to play store. Seriously, they can entertain themselves for hours upon hours buying and selling goods.

You can start your pretend play market by choosing a name for your market and together make a sign to post in this dramatic play area. We decided to go for RAYES ORGANIC MARKET and I printed the sign to display at the stall.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

With older kids, you can also use newspaper ads to cut pictures of food products and have the children glue these pictures to squares of construction paper. You can even put a price on each product if you wish. Attach these signs at each type product on the shelves.

I had known for a while that I wanted to make the pretend play market so a few weeks ago, I bought Ikea Skyltas Children’s market stand.

Shelves  in the play area which used to  display  our activity trays were also used to make the pretend play market. Using cloths found in our art supply boxes to cover the shelves, they  made the perfect market accessory to store the fruits and vegetables.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The pretend play market was a breeze  to put together, and was ready to open for business in a couple of hours.  What took the longest was stocking up the newly created organic market.  Initially, I didn’t really want any cheap plastic stuff in there and i thought of  making some fruits and veggies out of felt but due to busy schedule, i ended up using plastic veggies and fruits. I am still working on the felt veggies and fruits and this is still a work in progress.

I added our old collection of Hape Toys in our market:-

Hape Toys Garden Vegetables which includes a toddler-safe knife, a carrot, an onion, a bell pepper, and a tomato and a corn.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hape Toys Healthy Basics which includes Eggs, milk, cheese, juices, jam and yogurt.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hape Toys use sustainable woods certified non-toxic and water-based paints. So I don’t have to worry about him putting “cheese and carrot ” into his mouth.

On a table, place a toy cash register or even an old adding machine or calculator will do. You can also help your child make a till using cardboard and some paper money. Preschool children cannot truly absorb the concept of money exchange, but the pretend play is the important learning skill. Speaking of money, you can use play money or make your own from cut index cards or construction paper. Coins can be made from cardboard circles covered in aluminum foil.

I bought Hape Toys checkout register with abacus, bar-code scanner, card chip and pin block, cash and credit card.I really like this checkout register!! My little farmer/shopkeeper could count money , use the abacus for counting and basic math, put coins in the correct slots, and open the top of the cash register. A wooden credit card and card swipe is a nod to how parents really pay these days. !!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Introduce the concept of weight to your child by placing a weighing scale in your market. I got one from my kitchen!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Make sure you have a shopping cart too!! Child-size grocery cart is an excellent toy to use or a wicker basket with handles could be used as an alternative.

Now that the market is ready, give them a shopping list and get ready to Shop !!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Here are some more images of my pretend play supermarket:-

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

organic fruits

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

homemade bread

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

organic veggies

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

organic veggies

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Support your Local Farmers !!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

shopping

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Daddy – farmer/shopkeeper

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Busy farmer/shopkeeper

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Selling organic eggs, juices, milk and yogurt.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our Organic Market

More tips for your pretend play market :-

  • You can even go one step further and create your own brand of shop food.
  • Once your shop is ready your child can decide who is to be shopkeeper and who will go shopping. You can swap the roles around and make it fun by pretending to be different characters in the shop.
  • You can brush up on language skills by pointing out a few signs in your market.
  • Make match games for the children to play.

What other “pretend play” toys do your kids have? I unfortunately don’t have any doll houses, doll beds, cute tiny ironing boards or washing machines, I’m the only girl here remember.