In our last family update, I mentioned how Oliver has really taken to the children’s book ‘Dinosaurs Love Underpants’.
I’m a strong believer in encouraging children’s interests and so I set about coming up with an idea to incorporate dinosaurs into a messy play activity. Eventually I settled on the idea of creating a dinosaur land.
To create our special dinosaur land you will need:
– A mortar mixing tray (available on Amazon)
– Some cut plants
– A small weaning bowl
– Toy dinosaurs
– Sticky Mud (Recipe below)
I took out our trusty mortar mixing tray, covered half of in children’s play sand, created a small circle in the sand and placed small weaning bowl (filled with water) in the circle.
I then took some of our collected cut ferns and taped them to one side of the tray (this took a lot of tape). I then cut the leftover ferns into smaller pieces and placed them on the tray next to the taped on ferns.
To create the sticky mud, I mixed a few household ingredients together:
– ¼ pint of cornflour
– ¼ pint of cocoa powder
– ½ pint of flour
– ¾ pint of water
*Top tip – sieve the coca powder into the mixture last and mix with a fork to work out all of the lumps.
Once the mixture was made I simply poured it onto the tray and let it spread out across the tray. For our dinosaur land, I used three lots of the above recipe.
For the finishing touch, I placed some toy dinosaurs in the various different parts of our dinosaur land.
Oliver absolutely loved this activity and so I left it out in our dining room all day for him, so he could keep going back to it when he wanted. We spent a lot of time burying the dinosaurs in the sand and then digging them up again. Mr. C got very involved in the ‘imaginative play’ aspect of it when he got home from work and set about making the dinosaurs eat the ferns and take a drink from the bowl of water, which encouraged Oliver to do the same.
This is a particularly interesting messy play activity because it is something that can be as big or small as you like and can be made in various different ways. A friend of mine saw the pictures and took to making a dinosaur land for her son to play with too. She created their dinosaur land by taking a tray and filling half of it with sand and half of it with soil. She then added a few plants from her garden and the dinosaurs and ‘hey presto’ their very own dinosaur land for a minimal budget.