Gruffalo Woodland Toy Shelf
Floss, our daughter, goes Gruffalo mad every so often. Initially, it starts with wanting to read the books and maybe a showing of one of the mini films. Then she asks for the Gruffalo puppets. We have a toy rotation system in place in our house, so not all our toys are out at once. If you’d like to find out more then check out my Top Tips for Toy Rotation blog post here. So, this week we got out the Gruffalo resources and made a woodland scene for them.
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Lots of our toys have multi-purposes and items for play scenery are great to help setting the scene for stories and play adventures. If you’re just starting out on gathering toys that can be used for lots of open ended play they I highly recommend looking at trees, Grapat mandala pieces, rainbows and scenery. We purchase ours from Yes Bebe – BUSY10 gives you 10% discount (T&Cs on website) – they ship worldwide. They can be used in so many different ways so give really good value for money over time. It’s also worth noting that brands such as Grimms, Grapat, Ostheimer, Holztiger and other well know toy brands sell exceptionally well second hand and you can often sell them for 90% of the retail price.
A list of where you can find the resources are at the bottom of the post.
Play At Their Height
We use low level storage for Floss’s toys. It means she can easily access everything herself. This is an Ikea Kallax unit and it’s the prefect height for a play space on the top as well as the little spaces underneath for other toys. By having little themed areas it makes it much easier for children to take responsibility for their own things. They know where their toys are and where to put them back!
You’ll notice that alongside the toys there are books. I like to have a mixture of fiction and non-fiction texts for Floss to explore; she’s a real bookworm. You’ll often find her sat reading a book from memory and acting out parts with her toys. A mixture of old favourites and new titles is a good balance. We love heading to our local library to select new ones.
Adding toys/ resources in conjunction with a book really helps to bring books alive for little ones. Often called ‘story sacks’ they help children to read, retell and reinvent stories. If you’d like to find out more about how to build story sacks here’s a blog post I wrote recently. We don’t keep story sacks as sets as many of our toys and resources are chosen as they can have multiple purposes. We find scenery such as trees and logs as well as animals can be used to build so many different story play possibilities.
Recently, Floss has become incredibly interested in puzzles, her attention span for this type of activity has significantly increased. We love the Hape George Luck double layer puzzles; I actually remember having one of these when I was a kid. I’ve found that leaving a puzzle partly complete gets her attention more than it being full or empty. A small little bowl of puzzle pieces next to the puzzle is a great invitation to get started.
Learning Something New
When introducing new ideas we first explore things together. It’s Diwali celebration time of year and Floss and I have watched videos together, made Diva lamps and enjoyed acting out the story of Rama and Sita. Leaving some of the resources out has meant she’s been acting out the story independently with puppets, lining up the Divas to show Rama and Sita the way home. If you’re looking for ideas to explore Diwali with children check out this blog post here.
Dinkum Dolls – Language Development
Dolls are great for letting children act out every day situations. They build confidence and help to explore topics that you may want to discuss with your child. It can be good to use dolls to help with concepts such as potty training and health eating choices to name just a couple. We love these soft movable Dinkum Dolls. They often get read to and ‘help out’ in other games and play that Floss is engaged with. Dolls develop communication skills too. The level of conversation has significantly increased since we got two of the dolls and Floss now takes on the roll of replying for each one and developing an understanding of turn taking in conversation.
How Long Will This Toy Rotation Stay?
This is variable. Usually, I will make some changes after a week. This may only be a couple of bits or a change in books, or it could be the whole shelf. It depend upon how Floss is playing with the items. From experience, I expect the Gruffalo will be out for a few weeks as it takes a while for her interest to wane for the Gruffalo. I’ll probably focus more on the Gruffalo’s Child if we are looking to mix things up. It’s really about observing your child and seeing how they interact with what’s available.
BUSY10 for 10% discount at Yes Bebe (T&Cs on website)
- Gruffalo Mouse – http://tidd.ly/c7e83c83
- Gruffalo Mouse – UK https://amzn.to/2MQuWSQ US https://amzn.to/3652jZU
- European Bird Tree – https://yesbebe.co.uk/fauna/7716-european-birds-puzzle-tree/?ref=7448
- Felt Bowls and Balls – https://www.hope-education.co.uk/product/early-years/natural-and-heuristic-materials/natural-rainbow-ball-and-bowl-set/he1674355
- Gruffalo Book – UK https://amzn.to/2pRXHpm US https://amzn.to/2MOQVKg
- Grimms 12 Piece Bright Rainbow https://yesbebe.co.uk/grimms/11482-grimms-12-piece-rainbow/?ref=7448
- Grapat Mandala Pieces https://yesbebe.co.uk/485-grapat/#/age_suitability-3_years/?ref=7448
- Holztiger Oak Tree – https://yesbebe.co.uk/plants/519-holztiger-oak-tree-wooden-figure/?ref=7448
- A Year Around the Great Oak – https://yesbebe.co.uk/books/27516-a-year-around-the-great-oak-gerda-muller/?ref=7448
- Lanka Kade Owl – https://yesbebe.co.uk/lanka-kade/2619-lanka-kade-natural-brown-owl/?ref=7448
- Lanka Kade Fox – https://yesbebe.co.uk/lanka-kade/2615-lanka-kade-natural-red-fox/?ref=7448
- Gruffalo Puppet – UK https://amzn.to/2MLDudM US https://amzn.to/2BM6hZy
- Gruffalo’s Child Puppet – UK https://amzn.to/2ojEV9Y US https://amzn.to/2qOI2aX
- Owl Puppets – UK https://amzn.to/2qOXDaB US https://amzn.to/32R8MWj
- Fox Puppets – UK https://amzn.to/2Nd07ad US https://amzn.to/2BM6Qm8
- Snake Puppet – UK https://amzn.to/2BL7LTR US https://amzn.to/2PpjgZ5
- The Girl, The Bear and the Magic Shoes – UK https://amzn.to/2BOopSk US https://amzn.to/33WCppo
- Polar Bears – https://www.ericandalbert.com/products/large-polar-bear
- Hape George Luck Arctic Animals – https://yesbebe.co.uk/hape/2368-hape-george-luck-arctic-animals-puzzle/?ref=7448
- Chalk Houses – http://tidd.ly/aa807485
- Chalk Pens – https://amzn.to/2ozJ8WL
- Usborne Diwali Book – UK https://amzn.to/2PlbeAp US https://amzn.to/2PlbeAp
- Dinkum Dolls & Accessories – https://yesbebe.co.uk/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=dinkum&submit_search=/?ref=7448