Antartic Excavation- Sensory Play

On the weekend I decided to put together a little activity to keep my toddlers and older child entertained whilst I attempted to detail clean the kitchen.

This activity is great for toddlers to try and figure out how they will get the animals out of the ice.  It is also a great fine motor skills activity - holding onto the hammer and breaking up the ice and pouring water onto a defined location.

This sensory play was pretty inexpensive as you use whatever items you have lying around the house.

Step 1 - Place a selection of plastic animals into a container

Step 2 - Fill with water - note: the more water the harder the excavation

Step 3 - Place in freezer until you are ready to use.

Give you child a collection of different instruments - we used screwdrivers, hammers and cups of water.  Now let them go..... Allow your child to choose the instrument they think will help (remember there is no wrong way).

My 9 year old went for a screwdriver first.  She quickly changed to the hammer (plastic) and started hacking away of the ice.   She was finished within 5 mins.

The 2 year olds quickly realised that the screwdriver was not going to break the ice and with no other hammer available they moved to the water.  I think they enjoyed the water play more than the excavation.

The hardest part of this was trying to keep the 9 year old from instructing the younger ones with what to do.  She is a born leader and just wants to help them achieve the satisfaction of finishing like she did but was unaware of the hidden education for her brothers.

This is a great activity for summer and I think next time I will make a large brick for them to work as a team to excavate.

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