It’s Day #4 of the Fall Invitation to Play Series. Four of my blogging pals and I are teaming up to bring you a total of 25 fall themed invitations to play. We hope you’ve been enjoying the series so far. If you’re just joining us, please click the following links for an explanation of the series and for my first three posts.
trees (these were originally inserted into a topiary ball that I bought last spring.)
apples (red pom poms in assorted sizes)
I’ll be putting this tray out on the table for my son and daycare kids tomorrow. Since we’re planning to go apple picking soon, and since we’ve already picked a few of the first ever apples from a tree we planted a few years ago, I’ve been toying with the idea of creating an apple orchard/apple picking small world. But after seeing this simple play invitation amuse Peanut (age 3) this evening I’ve decided to hold off on anything more elaborate for now.
There is plenty of fun, pretend play, and story-telling to be had with just the three materials in this invitation. Peanut enjoyed planting the trees, putting apples in them, and then picking the apples. Keeping the set up simple and open-ended allows the children to add other objects and materials as they see fit. Tonight Peanut brought a doll over to the table and she helped pick apples too. I expect to see his much-loved John Deere tractor carting apples around tomorrow.
In addition to sparking the imagination, this activity is great for fine motor practice. Squishing and manipulating the play dough helps develop hand strength. Poking the trees into the dough and then placing apples on them requires focus and a certain degree of dexterity.
This invitation to play also allows for the practice of basic math concepts such as one-to-one correspondence, patterning, and sorting (pom poms by size).
I hope you’ll now visit my amazingly talented blogging pals to see what invitations to play they’re sharing today: