With the highest regard, this is a sponsored post with Safari Ltd. All opinions are my own, from the heart, and I am so excited to collaborate with this amazing team that brings Toys That Teach to our children. You can read more about Safari Ltd ’s mission of “educating children about the importance of nature and its conservation through the joy of play” here.
While most adults do not share a deep affection for bugs, children, on the other hand, spend hours in a backyard flipping over rocks and inspecting blades of grass in search of the coolest caterpillars and tiny crawlers. True, insects are amazing creatures, however, it might be best to leave the real ones outdoors and rather study the realistic models! Children can learn, practice imaginative play, and advance fine-motor skills and dexterity with the help of these meticulously detailed and accurate colorful insects models!
What you will need for this sensory invitation to play:
- a tray (to contain everything)
- Insects TOOB (which includes 14 insects, including a caterpillar, dragonfly, centipede, grasshopper, housefly, ladybug, spider, honeybee, cockroach, scorpion, praying mantis, ant, and 2 butterflies)
- dry black beans
- moss, bark, or twigs you find during nature walks
There are so many ways you can present this sensory play-tray. Toddlers might enjoy burring or hiding insects in black beans. You can play a game: “Which insect is missing?” A lot of times, little ones through their imagination would engage in a creative pretend play with little or no adult help and all you have to do is to simply observe! (Make sure nothing goes into their mouth as beans can be a choking hazard!)
Preschooler’s curiosity, on the other hand, might lead to questions such as the names of insects, what is their habitat, diet and so forth. You can explain that without little creatures our entire ecosystem would shut down. Animals such as fish, bats, and amphibians would have nothing to eat; rivers and lakes would be overrun with algae, and flowers would remain unpollinated. So, offer your little entomologist a bug loupe to explore creepy crawlers up close! Teaching children about insects is a great way for them to learn about nature in general since everything in our world is interconnected!
And, please, do not worry about “kindergarten readiness” and whether your child can read or count till 100! Because our preschoolers are NOT in kindergarten yet, so “Let Them Be Little” and let them PLAY with Toys That Teach! Let them explore, manipulate and learn on their own terms now. So, please, stop googling “kindergarten readiness” and set multidimensional sensorial invitations to play so that your child can LEARN through The Power Of Play! There has been an abundance of research around PLAY and its positive effects on early childhood development, showing strong links between creative play and language, physical, cognitive, and social development. Toddlers engage in pretend play when they imitate actions and events they have experienced in their family life. Then, at four and five-year-olds, they engage more and more in PLAY activities that expand their knowledge of the world around them, develop their motor skills, and stimulate social development! And all that from PLAY!!!
So, buy your Toys That Teach NOW and get 15% OFF your ENTIRE ORDER by entering a promo AnyaM1. By doing so, YOU are setting multidimensional real life invitations to PLAY RIGHT NOW which will affect the long-term cognitive, social and physical development of your child!
And, in case you are a kind of entomologist who just must venture outdoors, I made a Bug Scavenger hunt just for you! Download a PDF here! So, grab your bug container, bug tweezers, a bug loupe or even the entire Bug Explorer Kit and set off to explore!
You can see this post on Instagram here. Please, always supervise your children while they are learning through play!