Under the Sea: dioramas and counting octopus

Well, we’ve kept to the plan so far!
Today we made two things – dioramas and counting octopuses.

The diorama was fab to make and looks brilliant. It was only meant to be a crafty ornament type thing but Harrison has loved using all his sea creature toys in it as a small world backdrop.
A diorama is a 3d picture or scene created in a small space. Ours was an ‘under the sea’ scene to fit in with our theme.
We used a shoebox as a base. Last night I painted the inside blue and painted on some seaweed, but older children could do this themselves. I had also printed out some sea animals from here and cut these out. Harrison had a bit of a scribble on them but then asked me to colour them in. Whilst I did this, he stuck on some little crab stickers that came in his sticker book. Alex was quite happy in his highchair playing with sea creature toys.
When the pictures were coloured and cut out, Harrison chose where he wanted to stick the octopus and crab. I taped some blue thread to the back of the star fish and jellyfish and taped it to the inside ‘roof’ of the diorama. However,they did twirl round so we coloured some more in and stuck them back to back.
We then glued in some grey pom-poms as rocks – we used the glue gun to do this so they stayed put. Harrison finished by sticking some crabs on to the rocks, remembering them from our trip to the Sea Life Centre


We also made a counting octopus. I cut a paper plate in half and we glued on some googly eyes. We drew on a friendly smiley mouth. I’d cut out some strips of coloured paper. We chose eight strips and glued them on to the back of the plate for tentacles. At the end of each tentacle we glued on a circle and labeled each one from 1-8.

Harrison adores his octopus, having lots of fun counting the tentacles and even cuddled it when relaxing for his nap!

Mini Creations

Snow dough: a messy sensory activity

Today I was brave and attempted some messy sensory play – a big deal with two
toddlers and a fully carpeted house!
We had a go at snow dough. In a plastic tub we mixed cornflour and shaving foam. It took quite a bit of experimenting to get the consistency right but I think it was roughly equal parts in the end.
I then dumped in some pine cones and twigs that we collected on one of our autumn walks and some baubles. I lay down a cheap shower curtain on the living room floor in an attempt to keep the mess contained. It did still manage to get everywhere but was easily vacuumed up afterwards.
As soon as I put it down Harrison was enthralled and identified it as ‘snow’. He picked it up and sprinkled it, telling me it was snowing and then used the twigs to draw patterns in it.


What he did next was lovely. He took the toys from his school house set and created his own little small world in the tub, with a swing, slide, roundabout and the little characters. He used the pinecones as trees and had great fun in making it snow over his little scene.

He then realised if he compacted the ‘snow’ down he could use his hands and other objects to stamp impressions into it.
His next request was for me to add some water to the tub. I wanted to say no because of the mess, but then realised that’s the whole point of messy sensory play. We tipped a small cup of water in it to make ‘gloop’ and mixed it up using the twigs. Harrison described it as ‘gluey’


It kept Harrison amused for a good hour, not bad for a two year old with the attention span of a gnat! Alex played with it on and off but he’s poorly today so nothing really holds his attention.

A messy but fun activity – have a go!


Post Comment Love