We have been learning about Penguins this past week, at the request of the children so earlier this week I set up a penguin tuff spot for them.
To make up the tuff spot I used some home made snow. I used playdough, cloud dough and play snow. See here for information on how to make these up. (I use this tuff spot and stand)
I had in the previous week made up some Peg Doll Penguins. I used these blank wooden peg dolls and painted them up using acrylic paint.
I made five peg doll penguins (to mirror our own family) and they are great for the children to use in their small world play.
I set the tuff spot up in our kitchen as it was a wet day and I knew this would be messy and that’s the easiest room to clean. I set up the three snow areas and left the penguins in the middle.
The children and I talked about the penguins and what we had learnt and Mr D promptly asked where the fish were, as that’s what penguins eat. I improvised and added some tiles into the tuff spot, hidden under the snow and cloud dough. I use Bananagrams tiles.
The children had great fun finding the letters and ‘feeding’ them to the penguins as well as playing with the snow. They soon asked for spoons and plastic knives and had a good play for over an hour.
We talked about the penguins and the children soon decided that it was the penguins birthdays and made playdough cakes and sang numerous renditions of Happy Birthday.
Ways to extend learning:
- Talk about the textures of the sensory materials used to make the snow – introduce language such as smooth, tough, sticky.
- Count the penguins and match to numbered tiles
- Hide letter and numbers in the play snow and encourage children to find them. We spelt the children’s names but you could spell penguin, or link to any letters/sounds/phonics work you are doing
- Provide range of tools.We used spoons and knives and moved the snow around. I also provided small cups for the children to fill. You could use tweezers (we like these)
- Follow up with stories about penguins or use your peg doll penguins to act out a story
- Encourage the children to talk about how they are playing with the penguins
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