Tuesday, March 13, 2012

BIG Builders...

There is nothing like the smell of coffee to wake me up in the morning. I love it. I also love chocolate. Like, really love it. Put the 2 of them together, and well...mmmmmm. Perfection. And just when you think things couldn't possibly get better, a few dump trucks come along and take it to a whole new level!

This activity was one of our most successful ones here at Small Potatoes. The boys took the play to places I would have never even thought of. What started out as a pile of coffee beans and a mound of chocolate playdough, (recipe from the lovely NurtureStore) turned into hours of creative building, dumping, sculpting, crushing, rolling, and most of all, IMAGINING!

I poured a large bag of cheap (Western Family brand) coffee beans into our process table. I added some plastic construction trucks (found at Toys R Us), and some wooden play tools. I made a double batch of the chocolate playdough and plopped it in alongside everything else. Then I let the kids have at 'er!

At first, they did exactly what I had expected. They poured and dumped the beans in and out of the diggers and dump trucks, and drove them up and over the playdough hill.

But not long into their play time, they began to take the activity up into a more complex level...
First, they cleared roadways and marked the centre line with individual beans.

Then they started hammering the beans into the playdough to make some sort of foundation. At this point, I wasn't quite sure what they were up to...

Then, they went to the toy bins and returned with handfuls of wooden blocks. They used the playdough as mortar between their wooden "bricks" and built a house on their foundation! Such smart little boys!!
And then, just when I thought they couldn't be any more clever, they began to crush and grind the beans with a wooden block to make "cement" for their sidewalks. God bless them! 

Little hands building a sidewalk up to the house.

So I was able to enjoy the smell of coffee and chocolate all through my house (seriously, it smelled like Starbucks), and the boys spent the afternoon immersed in imaginative, sensory play. Win win! I packed the playdough into a plastic container at the end of the play session and we kept the beans in the process table for a good week. I brought the playdough out for them each time they asked. They absolutely loved this activity. And so did I.  If you don't have a process table, don't fret...just use your table top, or a large plastic bin. You will be sweeping up beans, but it's a fair trade when you see how much fun your little ones are having!

Don't you want to just get in there and play, too? I did! What are you waiting for?

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy!

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