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Play matters: homemade dinosaur land

I read a lot of play ideas, especially on Ghost Writer Mummy’s blog and on The Boy and Me’s blog. And sometimes I get round to doing things myself, some ideas need to wait til The Pob’s a little bit bigger.

But…The Pob has just started preschool and I’m halfway through my maternity leave with The Dog. And I’m thinking…come on woman, do some good stuff, enjoy these boys before you’re back in the rat race. Before I can’t.

So MrSlender bought me a cement mixing tray…next stop messy play.

I’ve asked The Pob…what did you dream about?…a few times lately and every time he’s told me he’s dreamt of dinosaurs and proceeded to roar / act out a dinosaur from his ‘dream’.

That’s where the idea of dinosaurland came from. The big little boy. So, we already have a load of plastic dinosaurs, fishes and trees, to make a dinosaur habitat I used cheap long grain rice. Which I dyed. Like this.

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I chose blue for the water (for the fishes), green for the land, red for the volcano larva. I quite simply squirted a bit of hand sanitiser in a zip lock bag and added some of the food colouring, popped in the rice and shook it. The hand sanitiser makes it taste yuk incase any littles decide to taste it! Then I left the bags of rice open to dry out.

I set up dinosaurland using some food containers as mountains/rocks and set the rice in to different areas.

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When I do it again I think I’ll add some real rocks from the garden and maybe add some sticks that we can collect together beforehand.

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I had told The Pob we’d be playing with dinosaurs and he was delighted in the morning to find them all set up.

We played on and off all morning, I’d join in, then let him play himself, then join in again. I showed him how he could move the dinosaurs around, get them to ‘eat’ the trees or the fish, climb mountains. He told me ‘mummy my favourite is the blue rice’ and we made a fish tank, filling a takeaway pot with blue rice and fishes.

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He made up a game of sweeping all the rice to the side, scattering it back and drawing circles.

We listened to the different sounds the rice made on the tray, when we scattered it slowly, quickly and in the foil trays.

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We took our socks off and got our feet in. Tickling. Even The Dog got his feet in.

Then at the end of the morning he helped me tidy it all away and then said ‘thanks for helping me tidy mummy’.

Love him.

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