Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Autumn Train Play

This past fortnight, in my attempts to improve the quality of our homelife, I have been focusing on creating activities for C that I know she will enjoy.

I spend many hours researching small world and imaginative play ideas on Pinterest only for C to play with them for 5 minutes before getting bored. Disheartening to say the least!

I therefore decided to tap into a theme I know she loves... trains!

I came across this wonderful blog and have taken a lot of this weeks inspiration from it.

For the first activity I sneaked out of the house with C & B were having breakfast and collected a large pile of leaves and twigs from under our Oak tree in the garden.
After breakfast I created a small wooden train layout on the dining room table... away from the households littlest fingers.... and spread out the leaves between the tracks.
I broke up the twigs into lengths of 3-4cm so they could be used a logs.
I then dug out our 3 "flatbed" trucks for the logs to be loaded on.

C is still a bit young for invitations to play.  Unless you get things started for her, she doesn't know where to start.  I therefore loaded the first truck with "logs" and pulled.
C got the idea.
In fact she loved it so much she pretty much spent the remainder of the day at the table.

We elaborated by making a river so that a barge could come up alongside the tracks and be loaded with logs from the trains.
At this point C insisted we got a bath duck from upstairs so it could swim on the river.
The duck then proceeded to eat the logs.
Toddlers' imaginations fascinates me!!!

There is a large horse chestnut tree at C's preschool and over the past couple of weeks I have been busy collecting conkers.  I knew I wanted to do something with them but I was not sure what.

Last week I created another track layout and got the flat bed trucks out again.
I created a siding with a pile of conkers at the end ready to be loaded.
Although very similar to the log theme of last week, C saw it as a totally different activity.
She counted the conkers as she loaded them, carefully balancing each one on the trucks.

The imaginative play then took over.
She informed me that Thomas had run out of steam ("1 Too Too steam no!")
And therefore he needed more coal, which he was going to take from James' tender ("More coal!  5 Too Too's coal in there")
Now Thomas could make steam again! ("1 Too Too steam yes!")
I was astounded she had absorbed all this from obviously watching (arguably too much) Thomas on the television.
Our small world play had turned into a science lesson and was doing wonders for her verbal communication!

Riding on the wave of success after these past two activities, I wanted to set up another for the end of last week.  I was however running low on autumn themed ideas.
I wanted to save anything Halloween related to later in the month.
I decided to try and incorporate some fruit and vegetables into the layout and therefore the bridge supports were replaced by apples and a courgette was added the scenery.  The conkers remained at the end of a siding.

I have to admit this was less successful that the previous activities, partly because the bridge was not very stable and partly I think because C was suffering from Autumn train overload.  I will have to think of something totally different for our next activity.

Finally I just wanted to share the below photo with you all.
I couldn't help but laugh.
My 2 year old has discovered irony.

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of stacking logs and conkers. I think Potato would love doing something like this. I must invest in some flatbed trucks :)