If you've been following our epic saga of the lost blacklight flashlight, then you'll know that back in October, I hinted at a very exciting, glowing project that we were working on. Then my two year old "misplaced" our flashlight and the project has been delayed for many months. Finally, I'm excited to unveil our very belated, Halloween small world! Yesterday, I showed you the process we used for growing our glowing crystals, and today I'll show you how we played with them!
It began by raiding our recycling bin. Germans are crazy about recycling, everything gets sorted! So, we had lots of containers to choose from, and we decided a plastic Twizzlers bin and a box would make a good cave with a sunken pool. I cut a hole in the box, slightly smaller than the opening of the plastic bin so that it would be able to hang suspended. Then, we covered the box in black construction paper, and poked holes in the sides. Double stick tape around the remainder of the bottom let us adhere our crystals easily.
We decorated our cave with supplies we had on hand, like semi-precious stones, glow in the dark stars, and glow in the dark insects (these glow bugs would be perfect for this small world, but we used non-glow bugs).
Aurora had fun examining the pretty rocks, we talked about a few of their names that I remembered from eighth grade science glass... oy, that was a long time ago! She categorized them and found ones that were similar based on color and then we set to work making a spider web!
The holes we punched in the side of the box allowed her to take a plastic needle and some yarn and lace a spider web! We used two, two meter lengths of yarn to make the web so that she wouldn't have to pull a four meter piece through as she worked. This seemed to work really well and she had a lot of fun weaving a home for her spider friend!
We put the bugs where they belonged, either in the water, the dry parts of the cave or up in the web, and then turned out the lights! It was SO exciting to see our crystals finally glow after three months of waiting! They were crazy bright, and definitely added to the small world experience!
Occasionally, the kids and I enjoy popping in a nature documentary, and this week we were watching the BBC Insect Worlds which is all sorts of creepy and awesome! I'm not a bug lover myself, but I'm hoping to desensitize the kids to them so that they have the courage to protect me from them. ;)
The documentary shows a 13 inch centipede that crawls to up to the ceiling of a cave, hangs down, ensnares a bat and eats it... It's not for the faint of heart, but we did learn a lot, and Aurora had fun acting out various predatory insect scenarios!
We were both pretty wowed with how our diorama turned out, we'll definitely have to make more environments in the future! I think small worlds are a fantastic way to combine sensory and imaginative play with learning, and for us, it definitely goes along with Aurora's passions, she LOVES to learn about animals! Perhaps a dessert is in order next so that we can forget about this chilly winter!
For more sensational sensory ideas, check out my Pinterest board devoted to exploring the senses! Follow Brigette @ Life Lesson Plans's board Kids: Sensory & Small World Bins on Pinterest.