We had such a fantastic time at the beach back on our holidays in June that I've been thinking how could we use that experience as a springboard for play back at home. Recreating the beach at home is never quite as good as the real thing but then that's what imagination is for! This simple, quick to put together small world play managed to avert a meltdown whilst I was getting tea the other afternoon.
From our holiday we had collected some seashells and some stones so I put some of these into two dinner plate size bowls, added a bit of play sand and some little figures and gave them to the girls. Sometimes it's nice to see them share and learn to play together with a small world play scene, but other times it's nice for them to have separate ones so they can play with them differently (and stop squabbling if it's that time of day!) These were so simple, it was easy to put together two, you can use a plastic tray if you think you're little one is likely to drop it or knock it off the table or crash the stone down hard!
The little people playing in the sand.
Of course, how silly of me to make a beach without any water! So after I gave them the requested cup of water to each of them to add to their beaches there was lots of wet sandy mess in the bowls and lots of getting the little people to 'splash in the sea'. Shoeshine loved splashing everything in the sea and taking everything in and out of the bowl, whilst Little Chick enjoyed describing the different seashells and lining them all up and counting them.
Once they had finished playing I just wiped down the table and scooped everything back into the bowls and left them out to dry out in the sun before putting the bits and pieces away. This way the sand just fell off and I didn't need to wash any sand off. I'm sure the bits will be coming out again soon in a variation of a beach/seaside small world play as I often find the girls like to recreate and play with the same things several times either over a week or periodically over a longer time and seaside scenes are often requested.
A trip to the beach is a fantastic, awe-inspiring experience for little ones with so much to see, hear, smell and feel. By recreating a little bit of it at home we were able to chat about our holiday and the things they remembered as well as see, smell and feel the stones and shell we brought back from the beach.