Television or screen time, however, isn’t all bad.
One afternoon, Miss Possum and I snuggled down and watched the movie Finding Nemo. It was a brilliant introduction to ocean creatures.
Animals with human-like characteristics can build a strong, almost instant connection with a child. When Poss started quoting some of the dialogue, after one viewing, I knew she was hooked.
Together, we decided that we would make our play-room into an ocean and so started a month-long process of planning, creating, and pretending.
Planning an underwater Playroom
We gathered books about the ocean from the library and used them to plan the ocean environment. After all, fish need somewhere to swim!
Miss Possum then chose the animals we would have in our underwater room. A mermaid came up a few times but I promptly reminded her that SHE was the mermaid.
Building the Underwater Playroom
Firstly, every blue sheet in the house was spread out on the playroom floor.
Then, Miss Possum chose the animals; fish being the obvious first choice.
One of my favourite readers requested I create a fish template (ahem, Grace). Not one to disappoint, you can download the fish template we used by clicking here.
Miss Possum chose to use only one fish on the template I made (figures, but she was in control).
We painted newspaper and then used the template to cut out the fish.
We also made a jelly fish, an octopus, crabs, a turtle, a sea anemone (yep, they are animals) and a shark.
While making our creatures, we talked about the parts of their bodies, what they ate and where they live in the ocean.
Playing in the underwater Playroom
Don’t underestimate pretend play. Pretend play is a fun way to learn and have kids absorb new information effortlessly
I was told I was a whale (not impressed!) and Miss Possum was a mermaid of course! We dipped and dived in the water. We swam away from sharks and watched the sea turtles swimming in the current, just like in the movie.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that indoor activities can inspire wildlife education too. Who knew a movie would inspire such educational fun!
How has a movie or television inspired you and/or your children?