I am just in love with seeing my two kids play together. I feel like they’ve grown up so much, especially since spending four days away from them to attend the Problogger conference recently. The day that I got home I noticed how they were chatting to each other (or Pebble, aged 4.5, was chatting and Rocky, aged 18 months, was listening and occassionally babbling back). They shared toys and experiences together, drawing with chalk or building a cubby and clamboring in and out of it. For Pebble these experiences are definitely all about pretend play, she’s constantly narrating a play scene. For Rocky I think this play is about joining in with his sister and figuring out how things work.
Of course these play scenes aren’t always a carefree, whimsical love fest – they are siblings after all! They have their fair share of fights about who sat where first, who gets to play with which toy and who punched who in the nose. Unfortunately for Rocky he’s not able to tell us his side of the story yet, so he doesn’t really get a fair trial! With practice they will get better at sharing each others space. Right?
I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce a pretend play scene for them to share. I collected a few bits and pieces from around the house and put them together with an awesome new toy sent to me by Hasbro, and this is what I came up with.
Pretend Play Construction Site
You will need a collection of items that can be used to represent a construction site, eg:
- roads (either a play mat or create your own roads using masking tape)
- toy cars and trucks (we used the Hasbro Diggin’ Rigs Buzz Saw)
- cardboard boxes to represent buildings
- tin cans to represent barrels
- dolly pegs dressed in fluro paper ‘jackets’ to represent construction workers
- Play-Doh for making boulders, walls, work helmets…. whatever you need!
- popsticks to represent levers, scaffolding, ramps, etc
To create the scene (there really are no rules to making a play scene, but this is how we did it):
- Pebble and I used masking tape to create roads on the floor.
- We placed the rocks inside a cardboard box with two sides removed, giving that play space a boundary and also making it easy to pack up.
- Pebble and Rocky helped me to get the other bits and pieces on the scene and it was soon clear that I needed to get out of their way so that they could PLAY!
Rocky was most fascinated with the Diggin Rigs Buzz Saw and spent a good deal of time just pushing it around on the roads. Which was perfect for Pebble, it gave her the space to begin her intricate narrative and set up the characters of the play. Soon they were working together, building Play-Doh walls, trucking rocks from once place to another, and ‘sawing’ objects in half.
Extend the play:
- Children bring their own real world experiences to their play. Drive by or visit a real construction site and talk about what you can see.
- If there are no construction sites near you then try searching YouTube for videos of construction sites or tools in action. I found some cool videos when I searched for “buzz saw truck”. Who knew?!
- Add paper and pencils for children to make their own signs to add to the construction site.
Thanks to the awesome people at Hasbro I have three Diggin Rigs Buzz Saw toys to giveaway to three lucky Octavia and Vicky readers. The Diggin Rigs Buzz Saw playset includes a detachable arm, two plastic blades, an excruder rail and four cans of Play-Doh.
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