Skip to main content

Car Mat and Unstructured Pretend Play

Pin It
This is the car mat I made for Jacob for Christmas. I actually made it last year but he has enjoyed it so much lately I thought I would post about it. I used examples from more than a few blogs to put this together. I included all of our favorite places and some places I thought would be fun. There is a gas station, train station, farm, bakery, fire station, car wash, library, police station, grocery store, zoo and neighborhood. 
Jake uses all sorts of vehicles on the mat, even some of his big trucks. He loves construction and brings his construction equipment over to "work" on the area next to the mat to build a road or building that is not yet there. 
He is using blocks to build a building. Notice he has his "workers" and his trucks. This play mat is a great example of pretend play. When he started playing with it he used the provided buildings and we would drive around visiting each one. The pretending was very surface level. Now he has moved up developmentally and is adding a deeper level to the play. He is building and playing with items not provided on the mat. This takes him using his experiences and his imagination to delve deeper into his play. He will build a road step by step with the knowledge he has gained from reading books about construction.
He will also pull his farm out and incorporate it with the play mat. Having the farmer go to the store to deliver food for the store to sell or going to the gas station to get gas for the tractor. Above he is having the firemen put out a fire in the barn. 
Playing with all of these pieces together makes his play that much deeper. By having a deeper level of play it is showing that he can see connections in the world- how all things work together. Play is practice for life and understanding the world. It is very important for a child to be able to elaborate play. 
Jake did not get here on his own. I get down on the floor and model play! We read books and we explore the world around us which all aids in his development. This is an example of play that we do that is unstructured. I do not have a secret agenda but learning is still going on!











   

Classified: Mom

Comments

  1. That's so neat!!! A lot of fun and learning going on, that's for sure :) Stopping by from TGIF and am your newest follower.

    ~MiaB
    www.mamamiasheart2heart.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. VERy cool!! What a fun interactive toy!! Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Happy New Year,
    Beth =-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such fun! My son would love to "stop on by" and play too! =) I'd love you to share this with my readers for Fun Stuff Fridays. http://www.toysinthedryer.com/2012/01/fun-stuff-fridays-6.html

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Play to Write- Week 3

We participating in a Wednesday Play Group called Play to Write over at Cherrios and Lattes. This is week 3- Write/Spell Your Name.  We started this week's practice with some name tracing. Cherrios and Lattes provides the printable for some dotted letters. She suggested doing rainbow writing with this sheet. I showed Jacob but he was more interested in writing all the Jacobs. I started by modeling on the first name. Then I held his hand and we did it together. Finally I let him do the last three on his own with only my verbal prompts.  He took this very seriously and was very proud of himself! I was surprised at how much he liked doing this activity. He has a long way to go but he did pretty well! One thing I had to repeat was not to go around the o and a more than once. He wanted to go around and around. This is an activity that I think he will want to do again! The next activity was Missing Letter Name Practice. We started by singing a little song I sing for Jake to teach him h…

Learning Colors

Pin It

Every month I try to include a new color activity in our Structured Play time. Colors are probably the item that gives him the most trouble, or at least give me the most trouble! He doesn't seem to be able to say his colors after over a year of practice! Sometimes he will get them with no problem and other times get can't get them right to save his life! I was actually starting to worry that he was color blind! I found these cute little colored organizers in the $1 section of target. I loved them and got some inspiration. (I picked up one of each color I could find. No luck on green, boo!) I then printed these color cards from Home School Creations. This website has a plethora of resources. Set aside some time if you are going to check it out because you will be sucked in! :) I placed the cards face up, mixed up on the floor. The pictures are fun I knew Jake would find them interesting. I asked Jake if he wanted to sort the cards into the bins but he said no, so I started …

Name Writing Practice

Jacob did a little name writing practice today. He was asked to trace the dotted lines to write letters for his name. This is good practice with spelling as well. I had him say each letter as he wrote the letter.  As you can see he is very choppy and not exactly on the dotted lines. His motor skills are not quite sharp enough yet to be able to hold the crayon and he especially loses control as he works on towards the end. We also did a Missing Letter Name Practice. Both of these ideas came from Cherrios and Lattes' Play to Write, Write to Read. These are good ways to practice names and writing. He gets very angry if he thinks he made a mistake. See the scribbling. I have to reinforce that it is ok to make a mistake and that everyone makes mistakes but we just keep trying. Practice is the only way to get better. When this happens I cannot help but think of my former students that did the very same thing and proceeded to throw fits and give up. I hope to help Jacob get over this fr…