Safari: Small World Play

Some friends of ours recently gave Minnie a selection of plastic animals which she's loved playing with. She's been particularly interested in the wild animals, so we thought we'd create an area for them to explore.

We collected a garden seed tray & filled it with a layer of sand to create a dry, dusty base. To make a watering hole we used a clean empty food tray, filled with water & added a few stones to decorate, these also helped hold the tray in place. For a small muddy area around the watering hole we mixed a little soil with the sand.

To make some tumbleweed we used dry cut grass rolled into a ball, this made some neat edging for the tray too. We added some small sticks & small dry branches of rosemary & lavender to help create an arid landscape. (Any dry plants from the garden are perfect for this)

The cubs playing with tumbleweed

To provide some shady spots for the animals we added a couple of branches covered with small green leaves & placed in an archway near our watering hole.

Our shady spot produced some great shadows

The branches were perfect for giraffes to grab a bite to eat!

All the animals had to have a drink & Minnie produced the sound effects!

A monsoon hit yesterday when Minnie's wateringcan appeared, but the animals seemed quite happy... & Minnie discovered they made great paw prints in the wet sand! :)

Then the rain came!

Minnie is clearly showing a real interest in this group of animals. She's played with the safari set every day, & yesterday she independently found a book (which we had collected from a zoo visit a year ago) & began matching the toy animals to the photos of the animals in the book. I wonder where Minnie's exploration will take us next...

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