Today I thought I'd share some of our fun seed play ideas. I have to give credit to Tom Sensori, of http://tomsensori.blogspot.com/ for really inspiring me with his contraptions for play, and to many many pinteresting people who have shared their ideas too. My kiddos have not grown tired of seed play, at least partly because I change it up every week or so. Here are some of our recent ideas:
Plastic critters to hide and seek in bird seed...
Pirate treasure! Compasses, plastic coins, jewel gems, some cardboard treasure chests, old mismatched earrings, shiny bits and bobs... whatever you have on hand. And of course, telescopes (cardboard tubes)!
On this particular day we couldn't get outside, so I put a car slide toy in a huge, flat cardboard box, added pinto beans (I found a 10lb bag at Costco) and some kiddos, and viola! Fun in a box. This was really noisy too, so I was relieved to be able to put it away once the kiddos went home!
Water play toys and tubing with bird seed. The seeds clogged up the toys, so we had lots of fun wriggling fingers and sticks down in the seed to unclog them. The tubing is from an old game that I bought at a garage sale, just so I could have the tubing. As the seeds move through it, they make a lovely, soft sound.
This was a huge pile of nuts in the shell, plus popsicle sticks, corks, clothes pins... all natural woody materials. The different shapes went down the tubes in different ways, but the pecans were everyone's favorite.
This contraption was made with a shallow box that photo frames came in, and another, slightly larger box. I created a drawer with the shallow box, and the kiddos put pinto beans down through the holes in the top, and enjoyed putting their hands down into the box to retrieve them, as well as sliding the drawer out of the way.
As you can see, none of these toys cost much money - you can see the cut off 2 liter soda bottle cup, an empty candy tin, and an old toy being used as scoops, boxes being reused before they're recycled, the nuts were none-the-worse for wear for being rolled... these creations are inexpensive, and just require some old boxes, duct tape, and imagination to build. The seeds can be stored and reused, and aren't too hard to clean up. The only thing that really gets used up is the bird seed, as it is hard to get it all up! Not to worry, as soon as the kiddos leave, the seeds we didn't pick up become squirrel and bird food.
So what do the kiddos learn from our seed play? Co-operation, fine motor control, the various ways things can move, gravity, language skills as they talk about what they are doing, imagination... all terrific skills for preschool and kindergarten kiddos to develop. Won't you join the fun?