If your child is anything like mine they have a couple favorite toys. My girls LOVE their legos. We have the big Duplo ones for my toddler and my 5 year old has just started loving the smaller ones. It really brings me so much joy to watch my munchkins be completely caught up in a creative activity that really has them problem solving and creating and imagining. I am always a little sad when their interest begins to wane. Enter Legos and water for the win!!!!
For a quick and easy Take a Minute Tuesday you will need to find some legos. Or your child’s favorite blocks will do.
- Legos (or blocks)
- Long, shallow container
- For extension small water proof people or animals would help
- Fill your long shallow container with 1/3 water.
- Lay a towel out on the table or floor and place the container ON the towel. (Better yet do this activity outside. It’s too cold here so we are stuck with a table and towel.)
- Create a simple structure or two at the edge of or in the water. It will help if you can easily imagine what this structure might be.
- Add a few water proof critters to the scene.
I took my girls legos and built a slide and a look out tower in a cake pan. I then added a few lego people near the slide or on the tower. I added a few of my girls favorite items from their legos, the fireplace and tree were a definite must. Then I added a hippo and an elephant near by. With this simple set up I could easily see my girls declaring, “Look out for the hippo!” Or I could imagine them lining up the friends to go down the slide. TIP: You want the area to look like a very tidy and creative child JUST finished playing with those legos. When the toy looks inviting your child will be more interested in it.
This was a huge hit with my 2 1/2 year old. She kept asking, “What this? What this?” Right away she grabbed the crocodile and had him chomping up the water. Then he wanted to get out of the ‘pool’ but the mean elephant said he couldn’t. I did no prompting or pushing. She just sat down and jumped right into an imaginative play session. All thanks to that tidy child who left their toys behind…yes I am the tidy child.
She played happily for 20 minutes with these legos. As I noticed her attention waning, basically she got quiet, I introduced the spare lego parts bowl. She immediately said “thank you thank you mama” and got right beck to work.
If you notice in the above picture after a little while of playing she had hoarded all of the legos INTO the small cake pan. This makes it very difficult to play. When I saw the joy starting to be replaced with buggeredness (that is a real word) I suggested that the crocodile might eat anything and everyone in the water. Then she started yelling, “Out of the water” and kicking everybody out. At that point I stepped in and suggested we make the people a home for night time. I built a simple building and the play continued. She had to tuck all the animals in and feed the hungry crocodile so he would stop chomping on the building.
BONUS: My baby LOVED watching her sissy be loud and crazy with her legos so they were both entertained!
My preschooler loved this activity as well. Once little miss took a nap Evy stepped in and created a whole new scene. I love how an activity like this can work for different ages and keep them both entertained.
- I think my girls would love legos and sand, beans, rice or shaving cream. Really any sensory activity added to this play would be a hit.
- I would like to do this set up again but get rid of all the lego people and add trolls, or ponies. I think that would extend the play in a whole new direction.
- With my oldest I could give her lego missions. “The people need to be able to get to the top of the buildings but the crocodile wants to climb the stairs. Can you build a building that only people can get on top of?” or “The animals all got sick and need to go to the vet. Could you make a hospital where they can be given medicine?” These types of challenges can add to the play, problem solving and overall learning.
I hope this activity can give your little ones a bit of joy!