The Princess & the Pea - Outdoor Play

As you know we've been eagerly gardening & tending our fruit & vegetable seedlings. For some reason my girl's favourite plants are the peas. With this in mind, I couldn't resist introducing her to the classic Fairy Tale "The Princess & The Pea" by Hans Christian Anderson.  She loves the story & finds the number of mattresses offered by the queen hilarious. As she is always keen to play outdoors I thought I'd set up a 'Princess & the Pea' play area for her.

Not surprisingly we didn't quite have enough mattresses to take outside, but these cushions made a neat alternative!

We piled the cushions & pillows as high as possible & she tried to climb up to the top.

The tower of 'mattresses' didn't stand for long, & soon she was eagerly building another tower.

Once she had piled her 'mattresses' I lifted her to the top. Much giggling & screams of laughter followed as she rolled, & tumbled to the ground.

Then we placed a dried pea under the bottom cushion & built the mattress tower once more. 
Amazingly she could feel the pea - obviously, she must be a real Princess!

This was such a fun activity & one which enabled my girl to retell the story in her own words. She adored acting out the key characters, pretending to be the queen making the bed with the many mattresses, & then becoming the Princess balancing on top of them, & of course falling off!

This physical play also enabled her to test out her gross motor moves, as well as predict & explore how the many cushions would balance on top of one another. As she built each tower of cushions she was able to adapt her thinking & eventually discovered that the larger cushions worked better at the bottom with the smaller ones at the top.

I love a simple play setup like this that just flows & grows with children's imagination & discovery, perfect!