Build A Dog Kennel

As part of our dog week, I thought that it would be a fun idea to build our small world dogs a kennel!! This really engaged the monsters, more than I ever imagined it would and they played for around 45 minutes (which for my guys is unbelievable!)

What you need:

Wooden blocks
Craft sticks
Small world dogs

I popped all of our bits in a small roasting tray (if you haven't noticed by now I'm a little obsessed with using them as containers for our invitations to play!) 

I set it up on our after school mat and the monsters were automatically intrigued and immediately emptied the tray out, even before opening their snack!

Their designs started off quite simple, as you can see below...

...but soon became more and more elaborate! At one point they even worked together to build 'doggy kennel flats' I wish I had gotten a picture of this but with little hands like Elsie's around the big tower didn't last long enough for me to grab my camera after my initial WOW which immediately attracted Elsie's attention, much to Evie and Jenson's dismay, as she smashed down the magnificent 'tower'.

We finished off our play session by talking about other things we could have used to build a kennel, the monsters suggested boxes from recycling, fence panels from the garden, blocks from our Angry Birds game, marble run track, blue tack, sticky tape, straws...the list went on! I can't wait to give our building attempts another try with some of these great ideas next time!

What is STEM?

STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math. This may seem a little 'out there' for young children, but actually, children spontaneously engage in STEM activities on a regular basis, probably without you even realising, from a young age!  

Through this one simple activity the monsters designed, brainstormed, worked together and shared ideas, worked individually, tested out their ideas, modified their ideas, used motor skills, hand-eye co-ordination, spacial skills, build on social skills and grew language by using positional words. Math skills like area, sorting by size/shape and problem-solving. They learnt early science learning about balance and gravity and cause and effect. And when they had finished building their social skills came into play as they sat narrating and creating play scenarios. 

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