Woodland And Wildlife Play Set

Nov 18, 2015

Bringing the outside in is one of our favourite ways to play. The materials are free and the play possibilities are immense.

Children learn about nature as they touch, smell and explore the objects from outside. Quite often, you can add a few simple, store-bought items and create a play experience that will last for hours, days or even weeks.

This week, we've been talking a lot about Canadian wildlife. We've discussed which animals we might see if we ventured out into the mountains and woods. We've also talked about how these animals live.

Together, the children and I gathered items from outside to recreate a woodland habitat for Canadian wildlife and we set it up on our play table.

You Will Need:

Here's what we collected from outdoors:

  • fallen leaves
  • sticks and twigs
  • stones
  • pine cones

Here's what we added:

  • plastic greenery from the dollar store
  • glass stones for the water
  • a plastic tent from our toy box
  • a grizzly bear, black bears, a fox, a racoon, a beaver, a pair of deer, rabbits, a moose and a fisherman
  • moss from the craft store

I put all the elements out for the children and let them "build the woods" however they liked. They built a river for salmon with the glass stones so the bears would have food.

They built a beaver pond that ran from the river.

A beaver pond made from glass stones, twigs and leaves.

They also added a campfire for the fisherman—so he could keep warm and cook his dinner.

A tiny campfire built for a toy fisherman.

You'll Also Love: Canadian Animal Paper Bag Puppets

And then they played. They hid the wildlife and had each other guess where each animal's hiding place was and they imagined all sorts of make-believe adventures for all the animals to embark on before the winter snow comes.

Article Author Arlee Greenwood
Arlee Greenwood

Read more from Arlee here.

Arlee is an Early Childhood Educator, earning her degree at BYU Idaho. She runs a government accredited care center in her home in Red Deer, AB. She studied with the New York Institute of Photography and she owns her own photography studio. Arlee is a mother of 6, an aspiring yogi, a lover of books, bento box lunches, travel, good food and wine. She’s a blogger in her “spare time” and she will never say no to chocolate. Find her at Small Potatoes, on Twitter and on Facebook.

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