Panda Small World Play

Table of contents for P is for Pandas

  1. Panda Small World Play

When P was our letter of the week, we were also reading books about the animals of Asia. It worked out well that we could study pandas at the same time.

Panda Small World Play {Fantastic Fun and Learning}

We found some great envelope boxes from a local office. They go through them often for mailing purposes, and we are able to get new ones when ours start to wear out. They are sturdy and the perfect size for our small world play scenes. Plus, they come with lids, so we can store our scenes to save them for a while.

What’s in the box?

Our panda small world play box contains:

  • Black beans
  • Large green glass beads
  • Small green glass beads
  • Rocks
  • Small bamboo twigs (Ours were $1 each from the miniature plant bins at Michael’s)
  • Small container
  • Pandas from the Safari Ltd. Pandas Toob

Panda Small World Play {Fantastic Fun and Learning}

My oldest daughter enjoyed helping me set up the box, and all of the kids enjoyed playing with it throughout the week.

Panda Small World Play {Fantastic Fun and Learning}

One of my favorite things about small world play is to see the kids’ creativity and story telling change throughout the week as they interact with the scene more. As we read different books about pandas I heard the kids including many facts in their dramatizations. After reading Giant Pandasย the kids started having the pandas climb trees and eat bamboo. They also recalled that pandas like to live alone, so soon all of the pandas were spread out to different “bamboo forests” around the living room. By interacting more with the play scene, they are definitely remembering more of the details than if I had simply read the story alone.

Panda Small World Play {Fantastic Fun and Learning}

You can find more inspiration for your panda theme or Asia unit study on my Asia Pinterest board.

What else would you have included in the panda small world play scene?

This post has been shared at some of theseย fantastic link parties.

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  1. I’m not sure how in the world I missed this post earlier! Your panda small world play is just beautiful, and I know a ton of kiddos who would love to play in it. It’s so inviting, I just want to play in it. ๐Ÿ™‚ You always have such awesome, well thought out small worlds!

    • Shaunna says:

      You are so sweet, Mary Catherine! We loved putting this together when we were learning about the animals of Asia. It was so helpful in letting the kids act out the facts we learned through our studies.

  2. Adorable! My son loves pandas. For Christmas I got him bamboo building blocks (real bamboo tubes and some various shaped platforms) he loves to build castles with them and these little pandas would be perfect, we have the Little People zoo pandas and they are a bit bigger.

    • Shaunna says:

      I think I have seen the bamboo building blocks you are talking about. Thanks for reminding me about them. They looked awesome. I do like that the Safari Ltd Toob pandas come in a variety of sizes, so maybe they’ll work well with your blocks.

  3. So glad I found your post featured at Life with Moore Babies on the Mom’s Library link-up.
    This is precious ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m off to check out more of your posts and am pinning this one to my pinterest board! Thanks for sharing your great ideas ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. We love pandas (especially my younger daughter)! This is an adorable bin too! Thanks for linking up to Mom’s Library!

  5. A fun activity for kids…. plus the bonus of learning about the pandas. Great idea.

  6. Super cute panda play bin! Thanks for linking up at TGIF! Hope to see you linked up again tomorrow =)

  7. What a fun small world! Jealous of those envelope boxes! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing on the Sunday Showcase!

    • LOL! I am a fan of the envelope boxes, too. I bet if you contacted a local company in your area you could get a good connection…like the utilities company or a place that sends out bills frequently.

  8. This is really lovely…I think I’d have fun playing with it. We do something similar with meerkats in our sandbox.

  9. What fun! The panda playground looks wonderful. I am sharing this post on the Read.Explore.Learn. Facebook page and its Pinterest page.

  10. What a fun bin! And I love how you overheard the kids using info from the stories you read. Great idea to have a sensory/small world bin to go along with books you’re currently reading.

    • Thanks! I have been trying to tie our sensory bins into our overall themes and the books we are reading, and it seems to really extend the learning opportunities. I think it will be even more helpful as my oldest starts to think she’s “too big” for sensory play. We will be able to really expand with story telling and some beginning writing while my youngest is still eager to explore the sensory elements of the bins.

  11. Adorable! I love the bamboo! Pinning to my small world board.

    • Thanks! I was thinking of trying real bamboo (you know the small kind), but I was afraid I wouldn’t keep it alive after our play…not quite the green thumb here! The plastic ones can be used over and over. ๐Ÿ™‚

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