Small World Play: 4 Season Trees Bonnie Scorer March 26, 2018 Activities, Spring 2018 This activity was generated by our youngest. After making a popsicle stick house, he wanted a tree to go with it, spurring the idea that he could have trees that would change with the seasons! Materials Various sizes of popsicle sticks (We used tongue depressors for the trunks) Hook & loop fastener (Velcro) self-adhesive dots (You can buy these at dollar stores, craft stores, hardware stores etc.) Glue (We used a glue gun, but craft glue could work too) Brown paint Paintbrush Buttons (Often you can find large mixed bags of buttons which would be great for this or use some from your existing collection) Small World Play dough (For the trees to stand. We like the recipe below and add a bit of coco powder or cinnamon to it to make it brown. Or simply buy some!) Figurines Items that might help set the scene (Rocks, gems, felt, etc.) Our Favourite Play Dough Recipe *This recipe should be made by an adult* Ingredients: 1 cup flour 1 cup water 1/2 salt 3 tbsp cream of tarter 2 tbsp vegetable oil Food colouring Directions: Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium pan. Add water and oil. Cook on medium heat, adding the food colouring and spice. Stir continuously. When the dough mix pulls away from the sides and forms into a large ball, the dough is ready to be placed in a small bowl to cool. Store in a plastic container or re-sealable bag. Source: Japer Place Child and Family Resource Centre We always find these items useful too: Directions Create and glue your tree shapes with your popsicle sticks. We used a tongue depressor (wide craft stick) for the trunk and then formed the branches, using smaller craft sticks. Allow to dry. Paint your trees and allow them to dry. Attach the rough side of your Velcro dots to the tree branches where you think leaves would grow. Attach the fuzzy side of your Velcro dots to the backs of your buttons. We tried to pick colours that were typical with the seasons in Canada. We put three of the seasons’ buttons into storage containers and then added the button leaves to the trees from the fourth season. We then played with those, creating a scene with loose parts and figurines. Use materials that you might have on hand, like construction paper, rocks or fabric scraps to flesh out the setting. Switch the seasons by changing the leaves. Purpose Developing one’s fine motor skills. Recognizing colours that are typically associated with the various seasons. Small worlds are great for imaginative and role play, communication, developing imagination etc. Safety Notes We suggest that you use a tray and a smock to protect your clothing and surfaces. Use a glue gun with care and direct, adult supervision. Buttons can be a choking hazard, therefore be sure to keep them out of the reach of children ages 0-3 years of age or those that tend to put things into their mouths. Please like & share: Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Name* Email* Website Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.