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Welcome back to Pondering Playtime, my fortnightly series where I share a favourite picture book and a craft or play activity to go with it. This week, I’ve chosen Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers*.
Lost and Found is about a boy who one day finds a penguin at his door. Assuming that the penguin is lost, and unable to locate the penguin’s owner, the boy decides to go about transporting the penguin back to the South Pole.
For this book, I have chosen a tuff spot activity for M to be able to explore an icy habitat. In this case, the South Pole. Unfortunately, the ‘South Pole’ set of model animals I bought for this activity contains a number of animals, including polar bears, that don’t live in the South Pole at all. So you’ll have to forgive me for not being geographically accurate! M absolutely loved playing with them, though! She did a lot of excited squeaking and pointing as I was setting up the tuff spot.
For the ice, I froze two large trays of ice cubes and filled three large zip-lock freezer bags with water, two of which I sat up in the freezer to make ‘ice bergs’, and the third I laid flat in an attempt to make a glacier! In addition, I lined the tuff spot with an old piece of underlay, which made for a nice icy effect, as well as creating a bit of friction for the ice to sit on. It also meant that M had a slightly warmer-feeling surface to lean on than the plastic of the tuff spot, as her fingers got pretty cold handling the ice, as you can imagine! This wasn’t really necessary though, and I think she’d have had plenty of fun sliding the ice across the surface of the tuff spot, had the material not been there.
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Lost and Found is a favourite book of ours. I’ve owned a copy since I first started teaching, and was excited to introduce it to M. The illustrations are simply lovely. I think M agrees, as this is a book that she often asks for us to read together.
M absolutely LOVED this activity! She had a very serious face on as she picked up the ice, turned it over in her hands and played with it and the model animals. I think it would be really fun to repeat this activity on a hot summer day. In summer, M could get more of an experience of the ice melting. I’d love to try freezing some of the animals inside the ice, too. That way, they could be revealed as the ice melted. This would make a great activity to learn about water changing states.
If you enjoyed this, you can find more Pondering Playtime activities here.
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