Today is our last of this week Story Book Summer with the Jungle theme – all summer long we are sharing posts bringing books alive for children with our Storybook summer this weeks theme all about the Jungle. Today Kate from Kitchen Floor Crafts shares some fantastic small world play bringing alive Edward in the Jungle for her kids and us.
I’m really excited to be participating in the Story Book Summer Series from Rainy Day Mum. This is my first time collaborating on a series like this! You can typically find me over at Kitchen Floor Crafts. We’re a small family with a small house; but a lot of fun, love, and projects. I’m a mom to Big Brother (age 4) and Little Brother (age 16 months). I’m currently a part time elementary teacher and I love creating fun learning, crafting, and play experiences for my own two boys. We enjoy literature of all kinds, and we try as often as we can to tie books into our activities.
We kicked off our Jungle exploration with the book Edward in the Jungle by David McPhail. We stumbled upon this book at our local library this spring. Edward is a little boy who loves reading about the adventures of Tarzan and his animal friends. One day Edward is reading in his favorite spot with his toy animals when suddenly he’s on an amazing animal adventure of his own in the jungle. Or is he? What Big Brother enjoys best about this book is that at the end it seems as though it really is just a tale of a great imagination at work. As someone who often finds his own great imagination taking him into adventures, I think he really connected with Edward.
The book seemed to lend itself easily to small world play. Although we’ve created sensory bins from books before this was our first venture into book themed small world play. We have a friend, Little Miss H, with us this during some of the days this summer and as it was a day she was with us it meant she got to partake in all the fun on this project too.
Before we started in on the small world play I also wanted the kiddos to learn a little about some of the jungle animals they’d be using in their play. I chose six of the animals from our set of play animals and created short fact/clue cards about each one. As I read the cards out loud the kids could be looking at the animals and visualizing which one might be the right answer to the clue card. When I was finished reading the clues aloud they took turns guessing which animal it was by placing their finger on their nose.
After our game the kids were excited and eager to try creating their own small jungle. For this small world play I thought that it would be fun for them to create their own set up and I just provided them with the materials. I filled our sensory bin with a thin layer of sand and collected some other materials from our backyard (ferns, sticks, some bark, and small rocks.) I also gathered many animals from our animal bin which were also from the book. This meant I included a few animals, like zebras and giraffes, which I don’t typically think of as jungle animals.
The kids got right to work creating the jungle, building with the pieces I’d collected and adding in some of their own finds. As the play continued the jungle changed based on what their animals needed, like a place to swim or sleep. It was great how engaged and collaborative the kids were with this project. We will definitely be exploring some more small world play based on books and themes.
Thanks again to Cerys for organizing the Story Book Summer Series and allowing me to share over here at Rainy Day Mum!
More Jungle Themed Activities and Crafts for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Some other book-related posts you might enjoy over at Kitchen Floor Crafts include
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.