Our Tropical World

Recently we visited Tropical World. Our trip really captured Little Mr’s imagination and he was keen to create somewhere to live for the insects that he bought from the gift shop.
Together we planned what he wanted to include. He thought of most of the ideas himself as he could recall what we had seen the previous day. Though he was adament we had seen cows and pigs, I must have missed those. He was also very keen to have a car, not very tropical but he wanted to be able to drive around his small world scene.
We have a large round tray, which we have used for many small world play themes. It is perfect as can be easily moved around. We then began to collect the other items we needed.

Little Mr eager as ever to start headed outside to collect some sand to start his Tropical play scene.


We have already had lots of play generated from such a small collection of objects. From track making in the sand, to insects hiding an needing to be found. I am sure that we can eek out a few more days of play before changing it over.

Some of the activities we will do with this small world play scene are:

Scientific Knowledge & Understanding – Identifying the names of the toy insects, looking after plants, naming parts of a plant.

Literacy – Role play opportunities & story telling

Numeracy – Counting insects, ordering insects by length, counting legs and simple problem solving.

We have lots of fun making small world play scenes. Have you made any? I would love to find out about yours.


Literacy Dig

Recently Little Mr has been getting more and more frustrated about not being able to read. Each night we have at least one bed time story along with others through the day. He used to be content repelling himself the story using the pictures. However he now recognises the text and that it has a meaning but to him they are just squiggles if you like so he becomes frustrated. Every since he was tiny he has always had a love of books. We would read the ‘that’s not my…’ Series of touchy freely books. Even from as young as 8 months he was showing an understanding of left to right correspondence and looking for the hidden mouse on each page. He engages with stories now and can answer simple questions such as What might happen next? And he can join in with parts of his favourite stories such as Room on the Broom. He really is ready now though for the next step in his reading journey.

So with this in mind I set up a letter dig. I wanted to help encourage him to recognise the letters and there names to begin with. So I buried the letters for him to find and place in the jigsaw. To begin with I have left this activity as an invitation to play, so with very little input from me. I plan on introducing the letters as and when he is ready. Certain ones he already has such as ‘S’.

I used sensory salt to bury the letters. It is a mix I use regularly at work. If is great as children can trace letters in it too. At home I have a large shallow tray which is perfect for keeping it all contained.
Sensory salt:
1 cup talc
1 cup salt
Poster paint (enough to change the colour but not go gloopy)
I keep mine in a jar it lasts for ages. I made this 2 months ago and it has been used for lots of activities such a moon sand space role play, and letter writing.

I am really looking forward to this next exciting step in Little Mr’s journey.