One thing I love about giving my kids lots of time to play is that they come up with the most fun imaginative play scenes! May's Idea Nest nature study topic is ponds, but I only had to read one of the featured books before they started creating a pond in our backyard. It didn't involve a flood or an excess of water, thankfully.
Although I had planned to offer different materials for pond play, they did their own thing, which is perfectly fine with me. Amazingly, their play turned into an explanation of the frog life cycle, complete with story stones that they asked me to whip up quickly with front yard rocks and a few Sharpies.
In case you need a little inspiration, here are some ideas for pond play.
Related: Introducing the Idea Nest
Make An Outdoor Pond
This is not as elaborate as it sounds. A pond could have water in it, or not. It could be small or large. It could involve mud (a huge hit in our family!) or be tidier. Basically, you need a container or designated spot for a pond. Here are some suggestions:
- A blue plastic baby pool
- Sticks arranged in a circle (it won't be able to hold water but maybe mud?)
- Plastic storage container (this is what my kids chose to use!)
- A large soup pot (they used this, too! It's about their favorite outdoor "toy")
- Tarp wrapped around two drainage pipes, a trick I learned as a Tinkergarten Leader!
- An unused birdbath or flower pot
Once you have a container, fill it with pond goodies! At first, the pond that my children made was clear with rocks and shells floating in it. It didn't take long to be filled with mud, grass, and bark. It looked like a legitimate pond! Here are some more pond-like additions:
- Toy reptiles and insects
- Rocks painted with reptiles and insects
Related: The Complete Charlotte Mason Preschool Guide
Setting up a pond is obviously the best part of this pond idea, but my three still found ways to play with their pond for hours!
- Retrieve items from the bottom of the pond
- See what floats
- Make frog story stones
- Let the frog rocks explore the pond, hop away, and basically try to survive
Indoor Pond Play
This post would be incomplete if I didn't tell you about one of my very favorite pond play ideas that we did this month! I usually don't get into fancy sensory bins because clutter, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Since we've been homebound for six weeks now, I bought a loose parts frog pond kit from Mulberry toes on Etsy for something a little special. To go along with it, I bought a playsilk dyed like a pond from Kitchen Dye Works. The result was a gorgeous, imaginative play scene that kept my kids engaged and happy for days!