An Update on our Natural Play

After the interest in our indoor natural play materials which I shared as part of last week’s We Play, I thought I would share some of the play which I have observed and at times shared in during the last week. All of these have been spontaneous and predominately toddler initiated…
:: Lots of sorting – by type, by colour, by size
:: Lots of use of a new word, ‘pattern,’ whilst playing with the materials
:: Using the smaller pieces to make faces, with the large flat tree blocks as a base

:: Experimenting with sound – tapping rocks or tree blocks together as musical instruments and drumming with tree blocks
:: Competitions to see who can build the tallest tower with our tree blocks and who can stack the most flat stones
:: More playdough and natural material creations

:: Our animal figurines and little people have regularly come to play – with a camel and tiger seen here playing on the seesaw at the ‘park.’ They have enjoyed picnicking on seed pods, kicking seed pod balls and sheltering from rain under the ‘trees.’
:: ‘Cooking’ with rock eggs and seed pods. I am looking for a copy of the story Stone Soup to extend this play in coming weeks.
:: And just this evening, Immy has come to me with some shells we have added to our materials, using them as coins to pay for her trolley full of shopping.

The natural materials have been easily assimilated into Immy’s every day play. I have plans to add to the collection of materials and will keep you updated of any changes, additions and new experiences.

Quite a few readers have inquired about our wooden tree blocks. This set was purchased (in Australia) from Honeybee Toys (if you do purchase a set, please tell them Childhood 101 sent you). I personally think they are fantastic blocks and we intend to add to our collection soon as we have recently felled some trees in our backyard (some type of conifer/pine which we have chopped down to make way for some more useful fruit trees) – I just need to get Dad 101 busy with the saw!

I would love to hear your ideas of natural materials you have successfully added to your play space.


  1. Ellas doing lots of Wombat Stew activities at school (Prep), reading the book, going to the play etc so we have also been looking at Stone Soup, the Wide Mouth Frog and The Enourmous Turnip at home

    Have this Stone Soup page bookmarked with some fun activities to do too

    plenty of others on the net but dont have the book, sure something on YouTube too

    have fun

  2. SquiggleMum says:

    I love how enticing natural materials are. Those stones sitting on the wooden blocks are so inviting…

  3. We make oodles of fairy soup here – Savvy's recipe for this: flower buds, a "pinch of grass", "a blow of dandelion", some dirt and pebbles and then she always says "mix it all up" as she stirs it.

    We use flowers, twigs, stones etc to make faces and spell out our names.

    We often go outside and find "treasures" (stones, leaves etc) to use with our art and craft activities. We are going to make some stone pets soon.

    The natural environment has loads of resources for classifying and sorting objects as well as size sequencing activities.

    Recently my daughter has become interested in taking her magnifying glass with us when we are outside. I have read somewhere (for the life of me I can't remember where) the idea of marking out a small square on the lawn and then using a magnifying glass to focus on all the details within that area.

    Natural materials are invaluable when it comes to open ended play.

  4. The Sunshine Crew says:

    love all that you do on your blog and all of the cool ideas you share! We love natural play too.
    A bunch of us actually are in the process of doing a nature items swap. We each have found neat materials from our region of the USA and Canada.
    Since our family lives in the state of Florida, we found some Florida rat snakeskin, shells, huge pine cones, palm fronds that we are making into little woven mats, sand from Clearwater Beach (Gulf of Mexico beach by us), some small stones, a few dried flowers, dried Magnolia leaves, and some random pieces of bark from the various palm trees in our yard.
    Love reading everyone's posts and all of the We Play link ups each week!
    Also, in case you are interested, we are going to play a fun online scavenger hunt this weekend, so if that sounds like fun, please pop by my blog to get the details.

    Have a nice weekend,

  5. I :heart: Honeybee Toys. They had a shop near my youngest daughters school that has recently been sold to a new owner who is thankfully stocking the fabulous natural toys still. One of my fav. activities after school drop off is to go get myself a coffee and wonder through the shop drooling over the awesome toys.

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