Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dinosaur Landscapes

Both Bubble and Squeak are very interested in dinosaurs and one of their favourite books at the moment is 'The Triceratops Twins', an ABC For Kids Read & Listen book based on an episode from Play School.

Inside the front cover of the book they detail how they made their dinosaur landscape for the story, so while the girls were at preschool yesterday (Squeak's first day!) I had a go at making some small portable versions as a surprise.

I have a stash of these cheap 5L containers from our local $2 shop which were the perfect size and height for the girls to access. I like that they have lids so we can pack them away when not in use.
A deep tray or play tub would work well too, or even building the landscape right in the sandpit if you have one.

First I attached some small bowls to the base with Blutac (sticky tack) to act as a lake. You could use anything for this - small foil pie trays, clean jar lids, the base from a juice bottle or build up sides using plasticine stuck to the base of your box.

Next came sand from the sandpit.

Then some cuttings from our big conifer trees in the backyard.
In the book they create their own trees for the landscape using toilet roll tubes and tissue paper which looks fantastic, that was a project I wanted to do when the girls were home though.

Then I added some river stones (found in the decorating isle of most dollar shops if you're not lucky enough to have access to them locally).

In the book they use blue cellophane as water, we didn't have any of that handy though so I used crushed water beads instead. They added a great extra sensory feature to the landscapes and the dinosaurs could actually swim in it.
We had water beads on hand but there are heaps of things you could use instead - real water, blue rice, streamers, polystyrene beads, or nothing at all!
(For more information on water beads check these posts HERE and HERE)

Don't be fooled by the fork in the photos by the way, I had intended to mash the beads but discovered this was next to impossible and ended up squishing them with my fingers instead.

Our finished landscapes. 
The girls have since added a lot of things to their boxes themselves; branches, upside down gumnuts (used as volcanos) and plastacine birds in the trees.


  1. Love your dinosaur landscape Caz...can I come over and play too?

    Georgia :)

  2. Those dinosaurs sure are lucky to have such a fabulous home! I love how you expanded their intrest from their favorite book!

  3. We wish you could Georgia! Hope you and your family are well x

    Time For Play - thank you! I'm amazed at all the different ways the kids have been using the landscapes.

  4. WoW! I can't believe how quick and easy those were. How fun! Thanks for shaing:)

  5. Your dinosaur landscapes look like a lot of fun. My girls love dinosaurs too - we just did some messy play with them with playdough, lava, water and ice.