Open-Ended Play is Jawsome!
Sharks are very popular in my home. Each family member actually has an opinion on what is the coolest shark species and reasons for their belief. Thus, we have been reading about sharks, visiting them and watching television programs about them. Applying information about sharks, however, can be a little challenging.
The idea of the Shark Tinker Tray is for my kids to apply the information they know about sharks in any way they would like. Tinker Trays can include items in your craft supplies, toy closet or just objects you find. In this instance, my children were telling me why they were placing different objects together. This simple activity kept them busy for a long time which is absolutely JAWSome!
Mommy University Presents
Shark Week Tinker Tray
- Container (blue if you would like to represent the ocean)
- Safari Ltd. Whale Shark, Thresher Shark, Hammerhed Shark (or other sharks)
- Safari Ltd. Ocean Toob
- Safari Ltd. Good Luck Mini Sea Life Fun Pack
- Play Doh (blue for water, yellow for sand)
- Optional: Blue colored paper in plastic as background for ocean.
Structured Invitation to Play
Since this Tinker Tray focuses on sharks there is a lot of opportunity for children to explore what they are learning. For example, with the items in this tinker tray I asked my children to design a scene that involves sharks. My son designed a scene including his favorite shark, Hammerhead, and the animals he might eat. My daughter, on the other hand, wanted to explore the animals sleeping in the water. The figures in the Toob enabled them to design scenes or story lines while the Play-Doh and rocks helped create the background images. You can invite your children to design different scenarios, stories or just create.
The Process of a Tinker Tray
A Tinker Tray is an invitation for children to play and explore which is what mine did. Let your kids use their imaginations and creativity to design, build and create their own masterpieces. While playing, kids are building visual, spatial, fine motor and cognitive skills! Who knew tinkering was so educational?
What are other items you would include in a Shark Week Tinker Tray?