The munchkin, Floss, has been much healthier this week, but has still wanted lots of rest time, stories and cuddles after being poorly. The heat continues here is the UK and that's meant more time outside in shady spots in the garden and lots of water play in the afternoon to keep us cool. I think the weather has really helped Floss get a better understanding of 'hot' and 'cold' and the rainbow shelves this week continue with these opposing themes.
The fact that we are outside more has meant we've only done little tweaks and introduced new texts rather than a total shake up on the shelves as they are not being used as much as they normally are.
The meerkat obsession began last week when he was seen perched upon an Eric & Albert Sahara stacker. I'd mentioned I'd be digging out the text Meerkat Mail by Emily Gravett and here it is. It's such a lovely story, with beautiful illustrations, where Sunny the meerkat sends postcards home from his travels. The postcards are such a cool idea and really engage young readers, the story is probably a little old for Floss right now, but she loves spotting the meerkats and other objects as we journey through the book. I'm a huge Emily Gravett fan, if you haven't checked out her books you really must. A couple of Floss's other favourite books of hers include Dogs and Monkey & Me - both perfect for Floss's age (22 months). Play scarves are very popular right now and I love the warm effect they give when put together with parts of the beautiful Grimms Rainbow and Casa Sole. The cute little meerkat is by Lanka Kade.
Oops I've just realised it's another book by the lovely Emily Gravett. I'm really not on commission; we just love her books. This one, Matilda's Cat, has beautiful illustrations as with all her other books and Floss really enjoys pouring over the pictures. The cat puzzle I got from yesbebe.co.uk has three chunky kittens that slot together. I've chosen this puzzle as Floss has been recognising when she has two of things. This gives her the opportunity to put one in each hand and know when she has two, but also gives me the opportunity to introduce the word three to her.
The polar bear obsession remains. I've found a couple more books, one is called Polar Animals and the other, The Polar Bear and the Snow Cloud. We'll definitely be taking a trip to the library this week to see if we can find more. I'm also on the hunt for some accessible non-fictions texts about polar bears too. I'm going to introduce some other arctic animals this week and hide the penguins! I picked up some lovely polar bear fabric from a craft show this week. Just using a small piece of fabric sets an immediate scene for play and the Grimms Rainbow pieces are changed from cave to beds often.
Floss is back to really enjoying stacking and sorting, so this section with the Grimms Rainbow, semi-circles, pebbles and gem are a perfect combination to help develop fine motors skills as well as gross motor skills when her structures get taller and she has to change position. Her enjoyment of small world continues and the loose parts are used with the dwarfs as props for her play too. Lot's of dwarfs are needing help from the police this week too. The siren and blue lights on the Brio car are needed frequently to get to emergencies on time.
We've got Nins to act as the roles of Mum, Dad and Sophie from the book the Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr. A couple of cups to act out the tea and of course a tiger. This book has been a firm favourite of Floss's since she was a baby, I've lost count of how many times we've read it. This set up is by no means perfect. We could have had people who look like the characters, the tiger from the story and a posh tea set, but we don't and that's OK. I don't believe the play is any different, children have wonderful imaginations and I think that the imperfect set up helps them to know that things can be whatever they want them to be. The tiger can be a tiger in any story we have and the Nins can be people from any book or role play they may wish to act out. So, don't worry if you don't have the perfect set up, a couple of props can just really help to bring the story alive for little ones.
The Tigress by Nick Dowson is a mix of fiction and non-fiction. When we go to the library this week I need to focus on finding more non fiction books about animals as this is a real interest of Floss's currently. Have a lovely week.