Play Prompts – Learning at Home – Dinosaurs and the Prehistoric World

Dinosaur Play Prompt

Each week at Yes Bebe we explore a different play prompt to help generate ideas from the the Yes Bebe community and team for you to enjoy at home. This week is Dinosaurs and the Prehistoric World. There are simple, quick set ups to more advanced science ideas; something for everyone and spanning so many ages. If you’d love to get inspiration on ways to play with your children then do keep up to date with the blog and join our friendly Yes Bébé Facebook group – Babble.

Last week saw an incredible week of play on the theme SPACE. If you’d love some inspiration then head to the blog post of ideas shared here. If you are sharing your ideas then use the hashtag #YesBebePlay so we can find your ideas. Our aim is to give you ideas anyone can do, they don’t need to be Pinterest worthy, inspiration not aspiration is our motto. We hope that whenever you need some ideas for a topic then you’ll be able to head to the blog and find lots.

You can find lots of book and toy dinosaur and prehistoric world resources on the site here. So let’s dive into some of the amazing ideas that have already been shared this week.

Dinosaur Play

How lovely is this play set up from Charlotte? We love the Holztiger dinosaurs teamed up with so many other loose parts play items. So inviting! When looking to buy toys it’s really useful to think about how many ways they can be used. This is how you can get real value for money from the toys you select.

Here’s a great set up from Simone. The use of fabrics are great for making a cosy play area for little ones to explore.

Look at this creative set up from Marie. Marie is incredibly crafty and a member of out Arts and Crafts Facebook group. Marie frequently posts her amazing crafts in the group. If you’re into crafts definitely worth joining for her inspiration and ideas.

Loose Parts Dinosaur Play

Freedom – that’s what loose parts gives to your children. Loose parts are items that can be moved, transported, ordered, lined up, split, combined. The play is limited to the imagination of the player. How roarsome does this cute little dinosaur from Sophie and family look? Grapat, Grimms and TickIT are great places to start your loose parts journey as well as natural treasure found outside. Here’s the loose parts section on the site if you’d like a closer look.

Dinosaur Saltdough

Dough is a great way to explore lots of topics. It’s brilliant for strengthening the muscles in the hand, fingers and arms as well as developing control and co-ordination. These skills are essential for being able to write. Heather and her family have used salt dough so they can keep their fossil creations. You could use playdough or clay too.

The Prehistoric World

At Yes Bebe HQ Charlotte and family have been transported back in time to the Stone Age with this great little invitation to play.

Thanks so much for all the lovely inspiration so far – we’ll be adding more of the wonderful ideas being shared with us through out the rest of the week so be sure to pop back and see what’s new.

Play Prompts – Learning at Home – Space

Space Play Prompt

We’ve been having a great time exploring Play Prompts over the last few weeks. This week sees the start of our theme SPACE. If you’d love to get inspiration on ways to play with your children then do keep up to date with the blog and join our friendly Yes Bébé Facebook group – Babble.

The wonderful Babble community have been sharing their brilliant ideas each week for their take on a specific play prompt. So far we’ve had the prompt colours, safari, food, minibeasts and oceans. You’ll be able to discover a plethora of ideas with the hashtag #YesBebePlay.

You can find lots of book and toy space resources on the site here.

Exploring Numbers through Space

We’ll be adding to this blog as the week goes on, but first up numbers. Space topics are a great way to explore number. If it’s for little ones then learning to count backwards from 5, 10 or 20 is so much more fun when you get to blast off your rocket at the end.

We love the nursery rhyme song Zoom Zoom Zoom we’re Going to the Moon and Five Little Men in a Flying Saucer to get young children joining in moving and counting. For slightly older children you could get them to write down the corresponding problems for Five Little Men in A Flying Saucer – 5-1=4 etc. SumBlox is a brilliant resource for using alongside songs to help visualise what is happening and the magnitude of each number. Giving your child the block 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 and then asking them to order them for a count down support them in understanding how a 6 for example is bigger than a 5.

For older children you can look at bigger numbers. How far away different planets are from the sun? Would it be quicker to get to Venus or Mars? How long would it take to get there? How many days does it take for a planet to orbit the sun?

Shape and Space

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Katy shared her glitter hand print rockets. Such a great idea to explore shape if you’re looking to get a little maths learning in too. We stock a range of eco glitter on the site here.

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Are your Nins ready to take their maiden voyage into space?! Love this simple idea from Christine using junk modelling supplies.

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If you’re looking for a little 3D shape modelling Han shared their rocket making. You really need to make sure you are in the Babble Facebook group so you can see them launch their rocket using an empty milk bottle – looks so much fun. Not only that the family made an incredible stop motion rocket launch video and their own ‘powdered space meal’ (cocoa, icing sugar, custard powder…mix in milk!).

Sensory Space Play

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Here’s what Charlotte at Yes Bebe HQ and her daughter Emma have been exploring for space week. Sensory bins are a great way to let little ones explore the world around them. Helping hands fine motor tool kit and squeezy tweezers are a big hit for exploring and great for fine motor strength and co-ordination – very important precursor skills for mark making and writing.

Space Books

Book shelf full of books about space and the moon

Those of you who know me in Babble or on the Yes Bebe social media will know I’m a total bookworm. I couldn’t possibly explore a play prompt without books. What are your favourite space books?

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What an amazing stash of space books Simone’s family have – I’m spotting some of my absolute favourites in this photo. You can find lots of the books here.

Space books Penguinaut

Christine shared their morning space set up with a couple of great space books. Charlotte, Yes Bebe owner, said – “Penguinaut is one of our absolute hands down favourite books.”

tuff tray with space themed invitation including number SUmBlox, space letters books and loose parts play items

Christie has gone out of this world with this fabulous little set up. You’ll find several of the resources she’s used here.

Discovering the Planets

Handmade planet mobile

Christie shared their planet making project with us. This one would be great idea for lots of different ages as older children could look to ensure the planet sizes are to scale. Victoria suggested making planets from play dough – something she’s done at home before.

Space Mark Making

I always love mark making activities and Laura and her children have been busy using chalks outside for their space play. We’re going to have a go at some space alien finger print painting later this week.

Mark making with chalk space style

If the weather is a little wet, it certainly has been by us, then you can use your chalks inside like Emma and family have.

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We’ve added some gorgeous new chalks by Moulin Roty to the site. You get all 20 in the set and they are a chunky size and come in a carry case – you can find them on the site here.

Moulin Roty Floor Chalks

Loose Parts Space Play

loose parts from Grapat and SumBlox to make a space rocket and moon scene

One of the many brilliant things about loose parts is how versatile they are. You don’t need specific ‘space’ items when you have them as they become anything your imagination can dream up. Look at this lovely space scene from Charlotte. What would your space rocket look like?

Galaxy in a Jar

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A brilliant sensory activity from Charlotte in our babble group. Here are her instructions to make your very own galaxy in a jar!

  • 1. Mix paint into water, as many colours as you’d like (I measured the water by pouring it into 3 from the jar).
  • 2. Pour in the first layer of water/paint and add glitter. Sequins etc could be used too for more detail.
  • 3. Pack with cotton wool balls to soak up water and stop all the colours running together. You could unravel cotton wool too for more detailed swirls.
  • 4. Repeat until complete.
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Space Walk

Marta and family turned their Dena people into astronauts and their houses into these cute little rockets. Kitpas crayons are great for using on lots of different surfaces and Marta says they wipe of really easily.

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If you haven’t discovered Dena before let me tell you a little more about these incredibly versatile toys. They’re suitable from 10 months plus so make ideal sensory baby toys to explore. They are made from platinum silicone which is ‘soft, strong, bacteria resistant, hypoallergenic and BPA-free material and 100% safe.’ You can put them in the freezer as they can cope with temperatures from minus 60º C to 220º C. This means you can use them in the oven for baking and are dishwasher safe too. Perfect for messy, outdoor and water play. Colours come in a rainbow of bright and pastel.

Upcoming Play Prompt Themes

If you’d like to join in and get prepared here are the themes for June and July 2020.

  • 15th June – Space
  • 22nd June – Dinosaurs and the Prehistoric World
  • 29th June – Weather
  • 6th July – Traditional Tales
  • 13th July – Flowers
  • 20th July – Jobs
  • 27th July – Magic and Mythical

Play Prompts – Inspiration for Learning at Home with Children – Colours

Play Prompt Inspiration

For those of you in our friendly Yes Bébé Facebook group – Babble you’ll be aware of our Play Prompts. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been sharing these with you to help give you ideas of what to do with your children during lockdown and beyond. We know lots of you have been enjoying joining in and we want to help share ideas to get more people involved whether you are in the Facebook group or not.

We will be running themed weeks, however our hope is that these Play Prompts will form a bank of resources that you can draw from at any time. They may support a theme your little one is interested in or a topic at nursery or school.

Play is the most wonderful form of learning and we’re strong believers that there are very few things children can’t learn from play, whether that be social skills, phonics, maths, science and more.

To make things simpler to join in, from this week we will have a play prompt for a whole week. Each day we’ll add some fresh ideas around the same theme and share the wonderful ideas you are sharing too.

Inspiration not Aspiration

Our hope is that these ideas will inspire you and not make you feel like they need to be social media perfect – inspirational not aspirational. I love an elaborate set up that might take me half an hour, but equally often need to pull something out of the bag in 30 seconds. Which let’s face it can be all the time we have!

We’ll be sharing all-sorts with you. We’ll also be looking at ideas for a range of ages, including how to support learning through play with children of varying ages in the same house!

Play Prompt Plan

We want to make sure you know themes in advance – for those of you who would like to do a little planning and gather resources. However, feel free to fly by the seat of your pants and just dip in on a day.

Each theme will start on a Monday through to Sunday

  • THIS WEEK – 11th May – Colours
  • 18th May – Safari – with a special Elmer Day on Saturday
  • 25th May – Food
  • 1st June – Minibeasts
  • 8th June – Oceans

Use the #YesBebePlayPrompts if you are posting, commenting or sharing on other social media platforms so we and others can find you and share your inspiration.

If you’re looking for toys, resources or books to accompany a theme we’ve set up a specific place on the site to give you some ideas – Play Prompts.

Play Prompt this week is COLOURS

This post will get updated throughout the week so be sure to pop back and see what else we’ve added. You are a very inspirational bunch!

Use #YesBebePlayPrompts when sharing on social media so everyone can find your ideas. Don’t forget we want to help give you inspiration, it doesn’t need to be social media perfect.

For toys, resources and books for Play Prompt Colours head here.

Play Prompt Simple Ideas

To start us off, here are two very simple ideas that are perfect if you are feeling a little under the weather or just want five minutes to have a cup of tea!

  • Colour hunt – You get to sit down! You say a colour and they have to go and find an object with that colour from around the house and bring it back to you. For older children challenge them to find trickier colours such as magenta/ dusky rose or look at materials too – find something with metal that is also red.
  • Colour sort – have you got a box of unsorted toys? Or maybe a collection of animals? Whatever it is it’s time to colour sort. Just pop the toys down and away they go. If there is more than one colour on a toy, which colour is most prevalent? Which colour do you have the most of/ least of/ fewer of? Count each group and add a SumBlox or other numeral to the set. For children who are just beginning to learn words and put them together if they have say a red car, when they pick up the car you can say ‘car’. If they are at the stage where they know and say ‘car’ you can then add ‘red car’.

Play Prompt Update

Wow wow wow – what an amazing start to the week sharing your colour play ideas and activities. Don’t forget to keep using the #YesBebePlayPrompts so we can all see your wonders. Here are some of your fabulous ideas and set ups below.

Next let’s think about artists – what artists scream colour to you?

I love Mondrian with his primary colour compositions, Kandinsky and his medley of colourful shapes, Yayoi Kusama and her amazing dots oh and the bold beautiful colours of Esther Mahlangu. Don’t forget you can do anything on any day for the prompt, the ideas of artists to look at are just a little inspiration for you and can be any day.

Check out this Jackson Pollock inspired creation from this little lovely.

Here’s another fabulous round up of your inspirational play for the Play Prompt Colour. You’ve gone all arty!

Experimenting with Colours

One of our Babblers, Rebecca, gave some instructions for a colour milk experiment that you can do at home. I’ve put her instructions below. Thank you Rebecca.

  • Check out this simple STEM activity. We call it Magic Milk. Mine love it. And the best part….it’s mess free.
  • Fill a shallow dish or plate with some milk (we used coconut as we are dairy free)
  • Add a few drops of food colouring.
  • Give child a cotton bud
  • Let child move the drops of food colouring around, mixing and swirling as they go. They will create a beautiful milk masterpiece.
  • Give child a straw and let them slurp up their creation.
  • Voila fun and a snack in one!

Colour and Number Play

There’s been some more lovely colour play today and lots of you have chosen to incorporate National Numeracy day into your play too. Here’s some ideas you’ve shared.

SumBlox has been popping up all over and works so well as a learning resource alongside loose parts such as the Grapat Mandala pieces.

Colour by Numbers Activity

You don’t need a special book for these. Either use a standard colouring book, or I just draw my own pictures. Then, depending upon your child’s maths needs, add suitable problems. So for my daughter we’ll be having the numerals 1-10 to match up with different colours. For older children you could use bigger numbers with a key to which colour they represent. If they are working on addition, subtraction, division or multiplication you could have one of those problems on a segment and then depending upon what the answer is they colour a specific colour eg. you have 3×5= and if your answer ends in a five you colour it red.

A Rainbow a Day

Rainbow Window

How magical is this beautiful chalk painted window of colour from one of out Babble mums – Sara. It certainly brightened up the Babble group this week.

Colour Experiments

Sophie and her gorgeous little one have been sharing so much inspiration this week. Take a look at these science themed ideas. How cool is this idea using coloured, transparent blocks and drawing objects of matching colours. So cool!

They also had great fun with rainbow clouds of colour using Learning Resources droppers, watered down paints and shaving foam. I hope Sophie has inspired you to have some science fun!

Emilie and her lovely daughter have been busy experimenting with colour mixing this week too.

Colour Book Inspiration

There’s been lots of book inspiration this week – do head over to Instagram and make sure you are following #YesBebePlayPrompts where you can find the wonderful accounts sharing their inspiration.

More Colour Inspiration

Yet more wonderful colour play inspiration from out lovely Babblers. We agree it’s totally acceptable to make a ginger bread house any time of the year! Thanks so much for everyone who has shared their inspiration this week.

What ideas will you be sharing next? #YesBebePlayPrompts

Next week the Play Prompt will be Safari – here’s our Safari section on the website.

Let us know what else you’d like to see – together we’ve got this lockdown and beyond play covered!