In Polar Lands

28 10 2011



I was going to save this idea for mid winter but needed another playscene idea this week so I got it out earlier. I wasn’t that impressed with it and would like to do it again but better. I bought the instant snow to go in LBM and BBL’s Christmas stockings so we could have a white Christmas whatever the weather. I was actually disappointed by the volume of the snow so it was quite realistic in that sense!! You can get bigger tubs of instant snow and I’ve used them before. It’s expensive but is fun for children and I used mine last time to create the land of Hoth for a Star Wars mad child. I learnt a lot about Star Wars that week.

This time I created ice floes from packaging, added the snow along with some polar animals, vehicles and the Octonauts toys again. Admittedly it wasn’t quite right as penguins and polar bears don’t live on the same poles but they also don’t live in my kitchen so creativity is allowed. The best part for the two small boys who got to play with it were the large coloured ice cubes and addition of a few pots of table and rock salt. They were very quick to use the tools such as picks and small hammers (not real ones but from one of those dinosaur plaster cast things that are far too much effort for the reward) to break the ice up. Colours mixed with the snow and the ice started melting. Pouring the salt onto the ice cubes even rewarded them with a smoking reaction. Impressive stuff for 3 year olds. There was a lot of science going on – the snow changing from a small amount of dry powder to a larger quantity of wet “snow”, melting ice and its reaction to salt and even learning that their fingers tasted horrible when covered in salt. I think maybe next time I will use a smaller container because the builder tray was too big for the quantity of play items inside. It might also be worth doing it outside in the summer and fill a plastic box up with water so the ice floats like icebergs. Even more learning could be had and it would be great a great way to cool down on a summer’s day. Roll on summer – I’ve already had my white Christmas!




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