Friday, June 1, 2012

Building Imaginative Play Skills: Chunky Farm Pretend Play Extravaganza

Educational Activity Blogger for Gummy Lump Toys
by Gummy Lump's Educational Activity Blogger Vicky from for Ages XXXX with Adult Participation and Supervision

The Melissa & Doug Chunky Puzzles lend themselves to many creative play activities---including the Chunky Farm Pretend Play Extravaganza that we created!

My three kids love to do puzzles. We own a number of them but sometimes after doing a puzzle three or four times we want to do something a bit more creative. Recently, my kids had the chance to play with the Farm Chunky Puzzle by Melissa & Doug. This puzzle is different than most of the ones we own because the chunky pieces stand up their own, making it easy to use the pieces for imaginative play.

Farm Chunky Puzzle by Melissa & Doug

Farm Chunky Puzzle Pieces
Of course you can simply take out the pieces and return them which had my two year old engaged for quite some time. 

My three year old enjoyed lining up her animals and having me call out clues. "Can you put the one back that moos?"

When we paired the puzzle with some other great Melissa & Doug products and the kids' imaginations really took off. We used the Jumbo Construction Pad, Child Safe Scissors Set and Jumbo Triangular Crayons to create a farm community for the stand up puzzle pieces.

We talked about what we might see on a farm and my three year old twins had plenty of ideas. "Grass!" "Water!" I asked one of my twins if she could find a good color to use for grass. She found the green.

Jumbo Construction Paper Pad
Her sister was in charge of water and she searched the pad carefully until she came upon the blue.
Jumbo Construction Paper Pad
 One pair of the child safe scissors had crimped edges so we used those to cut our grass.

I made a circle for a lake and had a great helper to cut it out.

We talked about what other things we might see on the farm and even referred to the puzzle for inspiration. The kids decided that flowers and trees were important, so they set to work coloring them in with their Non-Roll Triangular Jumbo Crayons.

My youngest was more fascinated with the scissors and kept on trying to cut.

One of my twins decided that the farm needed a donkey so she took it upon herself to make one. She also made a bunny. 

When we were done creating, we brought all our pieces to the floor so we could spread out and play. We added a road to our scene by taping a strip of yellow construction paper to a large sheet of black paper.

I cut out the flowers, trees and animals the kids had made and taped them to some cut up paper towel rolls I had around. This helped all our props to stand up. 

The girls had so much fun adding the chunky puzzle pieces to our farm play.

They came up with a whole story line for the animals on the farm and how they were friends. I love how the Melissa & Doug Farm Chunky Puzzle was a jumping off point for such creativity and imaginative play!

Chunky Farm Pretend Play Extravaganza!

Vicky Perreault is a busy mom to three kids - 3 year old twins and a 2 year old. She believes that kids learn best through play and hands on activities. As a former teacher, Vicky finds great joy in facilitating learning and play experiences for her children and sharing those ideas with other parents on her blog Mess For Less.

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