Some may say, "a mess". But, Luke and Nina shout excitedly, "It's our time machine!" They go on to tell me all about it:
The jug with water in it that is hooked up to the rest by a plastic hangar is the gas. The box is Nina's buckle seat. The couch is the second floor, where the dinos will be kept. The fan near the couch (not in the picture) is the "electric" and will help blow the dinos. The toy dinos (not viewable as Luke is blocking them) tell our little explorers where to find real dinos. The Leap Frog fridge farm (behind Nina's head on a small chair, somewhat obscured by a hat -- which is to keep them cool as they explore Dino World) is also "electricity" and will help attract dinos, because dinos like songs. And, the balls on the couch (not in the picture) are snow that fell on the time machine as it zoomed through space...
The explanation kept on coming and my amazement at it did, too. For, yesterday morning, as I attended to my morning chores, Luke and Nina busily scavenged the living room, bedroom, front closet and kitchen for parts for their creation -- a time machine! Then, once the chores were done and their machine was built, they asked if I would join them for breakfast as they made their voyage to Dino World. Since part of our Rule of Seven here at Jammies School is to "love playing", I replied with an enthusiastic "of course", and so our adventure commenced.
Dinos, dinos everywhere, real to the kids as play synthesized past learning and experiences. Past books, museum visits, learning games, etc. all wove their way into our morning play. Then, in the evening, when Daddy got home from work, the play was revisited. The kids engineered a mini-version of their time machine to bring daddy aboard to Dino World.
(By the way, this play was inspired, I think, by Robert and the Dinosaurs by Leesa Waldron, a short, silly, but imaginative read that Luke picked up from the library as one of his prizes for the loads of Summer reading hours we have logged. It's not on my Top Ten of Dinosaur Picture Book Fiction, but at a mere penny on Amazon, it is definitely worth a look for dino-loving kids and dino-unit creating teachers. The time machine concept certainly caught on here...)
Childhood 101 We Play link up. And if you are interested in seeing more ideas for crafts, activities, recipes, tips and educational resources for Toddlers, check out the links at Delicious Ambiguity Tot Tuesdays.