Small world aquarium in a boxPosted: 01/09/2014
Turn an old cardboard box into a mini aquarium for small world play for your toddler…
After the success of our spring garden in a box last year, I decided to try out another small world idea for ToddlerGirl. I came up with an aquarium in a box as we were reading a lot of books about the sea at the time, so I thought this would tie in nicely!
This was very simple to make one evening in front of the television:
- I took an old nappy box and cut the top and the sides to open this up for easy access for playing
- I then stuck coloured paper to this – yellow on the base for the sand and blue on the back and sides for the sea
- A few wavy strips, cut from green craft foam, glued onto the blue paper were added to give an underwater, seaweed effect
- I also stuck a couple of bits of green curling ribbon, dangling from the top to suggest more seaweed
- All other decorations were left loose in the box for ToddlerGirl to explore: more green curling ribbon, a couple of green pipecleaners twisted into seaweed/underwater plants, some scrunched up paper for ‘rocks’ and a small cardboard food box cut down to make a sea cave
Next, I needed some sea creatures, so added a few different bath toys we have, including fish, octopus and starfish.
ToddlerGirl has played with this many times over the last twelve months. I keep it out for a few days at a time, then put it away for a while so that it will have a novelty factor.
It’s been interesting to see how the way she plays with the aquarium has changed during that time. She needed a little more input on the pretend play element to begin with but this year has really ‘got’ the small world idea, making up characters and conversations. I always love to hear her narrating as she plays, it’s just lovely to listen to!
When we I brought this out recently, I created a whole under sea play corner in our living room as a backdrop. A big cardboard box acted as a cave, with a piece of shimmering blue/green chiffon draped over the top and an under sea theme towel laid out in front. I dotted more sea creatures onto this, plus a wooden fishing puzzle and a couple of related books. This really extended the play and ToddlerGirl returned to the whole set up several times over the week.