Set up a simple invitation to play with building blocks and kitchen foil. Foil is a wonderful material for sensory play and combing it with classic building blocks can lead to so much fun and discovery.
I set up a simple invitation to play with two baskets – one containing colourful building blocks and the other containing pieces of silver kitchen foil. R was immediately interested and began exploring the materials.
Foil is so wonderful for sensory play. Before he even looked at the blocks, R spent some time examining the foil. He’s played with foil before of course, but foil is so appealing to kids. The way it is shiny and reflective, the sound it makes when it is crumpled, the way it can be scrunched up into a ball and then laid out flat again.
After examining the foil, R selected his first block and began wrapping. This was a great for fine motor skills as he folded the foil, squeezing it and twisting it to hug the blocks. He was developing his problem solving skills as he determined the best way to wrap each block, sometimes pressing the foil tight or rolling the cylinder blocks along the floor.
Our wrapped blocks provided lots of inspiration for imaginative play and R pretended it was my birthday and handed me wrapped “presents” for me to unwrap. He also enjoyed unwrapping the presents and finding a colourful surprise inside.
The following day we used the wrapped blocks in some mirror play (post to follow tomorrow). They provided a fun twist on regularly coloured blocks.
Colour sorting game. Eventually R wanted to unwrap them and as he did this, he grouped the blocks according to colour. This is another way that the activity is so great for a range of age groups. R knows his colours well and he did this because he loves organising and grouping things, but this would also be a fun colour sorting game for younger children who are still learning their colours. Babies and toddlers would especially love the novelty of unwrapping the foil packages and discovering which colour was inside. R and I played a guessing game – we each unwrapped a foil parcel and we would try to guess which colour was inside. We actually did pretty well with our guesses!
This activity provided several days of open ended play and we enjoyed imaginative play, sensory, fine motor skills practise, problem solving, colour recognition and grouping. A range of age groups would enjoy this as well – from babies discovering the properties of foil to toddlers delighting in the surprise wrapped inside, to preschoolers learning about colours, construction and dramatic play.
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