Friday, 2 November 2012

Big and Little..... Explorers sensory play

Big and Little is back... and this time we chose the theme Explorers. Before you read on head over to A Mom with a Lesson Plan to check out her awesome BIG backyard explorer dress up. Jillian and her kids have made some great props for their backyard adventures. go now, I'll wait.....

Now onto my little explorers sensory/pretend play set-up. I was inspired by the book We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury for this activity, where a family make their way through grass, water, mud and snow to find a bear.

So, early one morning while the kids were glued to the television I set up some LITTLE explorer fun. It was a total surprise to to them when they discovered four sensory stations (with a little challenge in each) set up outside:

  1. A tray of GRASS clippings. The challenge: under the grass I drew 2 lines – one would lead to the next station and the other straight into the arms of a yellow monster arrrrrgh.....
  2. A tub full of blue coloured WATER. The challenge: I placed a sea monster and some sharks in the tub, the kids would need to find some boats to get their figurines safely across.
  3. A baking tin filled with MUD. The challenge: I placed a couple of 'poisonous' lizards in the mud, the girls would need some stones for their figurines to hop across.
  4. A tray with a mountain of shaving foam as SNOW coloured with green food colouring. The challenge: find the treasure (gold coins) hidden in the mountain.

I asked the girls to pick out their favourite toy figurine and explained how this little game would work. Cakey has watched her fair share of Dora so she totally got it. Cakey started at the grassy forest and made her figurine take the challenge. Boo took one look at the whole set-up, dropped her figurine, ran around the grass, water and mud and dived straight into the shaving foam.

Cakey made her figurine go through the course over and over. I had to keep re-making the snow mountain as Boo kept destroying it before Cakey's figurines made it to the end.

Once the figurines were discarded the kids mixed all the ingredients together.... creating a lovely sensory mess!!

I hope you have enjoyed this month's Big and Little. If you want to see more about our Big and Little posts click here. If this is your first visit to At home with Ali – welcome. If you like it, you can follow along via email, RSS or facebook. You can also find me on Pinterest and InstagramCheers Ali

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Linked to Mom's LibraryThe Sunday Showcase, The Kids Co-op and The Children's Bookshelf


  1. I LOVE IT!!! The sensory experience is amazing and what an fun touch to have a challenge in each one. Brilliant!

    1. Thanks Jill, I love your post too.

  2. I love the connection to such a classic picture book. The story has been told in so many different ways, but this is really unique.

    I particularly love the challenges you set at each sensory bin.

    Thanks for linking up to The Children's Bookshelf.

  3. How wonderful Ali!! I love your little challenges and suprises...they must have had so much fun...and i can imagine the delicious mess and play at the end!

  4. Can I come and play at your house? looks so much fun ;)

  5. I love this book! I love your sensory play idea based around it :) I knowingly smiled after reading what Boo got up to :)

  6. What a fun, sensory experience. I love how you created the little challenges for your kids inside the bins. Pinning! (And, thanks for linking up to The Children's Bookshelf.)

  7. Squee this looks like so much fun! I just loved how you incorporated animals too!

  8. Thank you for sharing this fun book on The Children's Bookshelf. I featured your fun idea on my blog today! What a great experience for your children. I love book inspired fun!

  9. Looks like great fun! I would love for you to add this post, and any other of your ideas, to my weekly Mom's Library Link-Up.

    Thanks and Be Blessed,

  10. Looks like so much fun! Thanks for linking up at Mom's Library! I featured your great idea today!


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