This month's Sensory Box is filled with split peas, gift boxes, wooden- trees, reindeer and Santas, stockings and spoons. Jake wanted to add a dump truck and digger as well. (no surprise there!)
I started by introducing each piece of the box then I allowed him to explore the box while I read, The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett. (Great book!) I made sure to make connections with the book and the box.
After the story I decided to replicated a part of the story where Santa and the reindeer take off to deliver presents. I used his red wagon toy and the other items from the sensory box. I modeled for him how to play with the items. I pulled the wagon with the reindeer and mimicked Santa delivering gifts from his sleigh. He loved it and quickly took over.
(-I would like to make a statement here about the importance of modeling play. Jake is 2 years old and at this point he still needs help with using his imagination to play. He loves playing but is limited in experience and this leads to him running out of ideas to continue play. By modeling play, Jake is then given a platform in which to draw ideas. It is so fun to watch him playing on his own days after I have modeled for him. He will play on his own for hours.)
Jacob played with the reindeer pulling the sleigh and delivered the presents a few times. I modeled putting and item in the gift box and giving them. Then opening the box and being surprised, excited and saying thank you. Jake really has no relocation of Christmas so all of this PLAY is teaching and preparing him for Christmas this year. After my modeling he gave me presents! :)
Jake played a while as I watched. He modified the reindeer pulling the sleigh by replacing them with his dump truck! No surprise there, he loves his trucks! I loved seeing him take his play to the next step. He learned from my modeling but it did not limit him! I just can't wait to see how he plays with this sensory box throughout the month!