Dinosaur Digging and Ice in the Tuff Spot

So yes, we did both dinosaur digging and ice in the Tuff Spot today .. but not at the same time!

At the end of our visit to the British Wildlife Centre yesterday we made the obligatory trip to the gift shop. All 3 kids choose a dinosaur/fossil digging thing – the ones where a dinosaur toy or bones are encased in plaster and you have to “excavate” to get it out.

So this morning we excavated.

It was harder than we had anticipated and Gordon and I did end up doing quite a lot ourselves (serves us right for not noticing they said for ages 8 and over!), but the kids all had a good go and enjoyed doing it. The ones Jasmine and Thomas got had whole dinosaur toys inside, but Ben’s had bones that need to be snapped together to make the skeleton. This is a job for Gordon tomorrow!

This afternoon the Tuff Spot was moved outside and we had some ice/water play.

Last night I coloured some water with blue, red, yellow and green food colouring. I then filled some tupperware, star shaped silicone cases and ice cube trays with the coloured water and placed some toys (small, stretchy bugs and snakes I got from the British Wildlife Trust shop yesterday), beads and glitter stars in some of the containers, before placing them in the freezer.

I set the tuff spot up with 3 large empty bowls, some smaller cups and containers, spoons, old toothbrushes, 1 large bowl of warm water and the ice.

I also gave the kids a small bowl with some salt in as well, so they could sprinkle it on the ice, but they all immediately tipped it all out onto the first piece of ice they got their hands on so that didn’t really work!

They spent all afternoon melting the ice to release the animals, pouring water from one container to another, asking for more water, making up stories about the animals, fishing for stars (or starfish as Jasmine called them!), making ponds and stirring bowls of water to create whirlpools. Thomas also spent a long time using a spoon to collect water from the Tuff Spot in a bowl and then pouring this water over a large piece of ice to melt it.

Water play is a firm favourite in our house and today’s activity kept the kids busy for the whole afternoon. When it was time to finish and come indoors for dinner Thomas carefully poured some water back into the ice cube trays and asked me to put it in the freezer “for next time”. I guess we’ll be doing some more ice and water play soon then! What can I do to make it a little different next time? I’d love to hear some ideas.

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One thought on “Dinosaur Digging and Ice in the Tuff Spot

  1. claire lee says:

    genius idea with the ice, i love it! thank you for sharing. i brought our tuff spot this week, inspired by your moon sand blog!
    as for next time, how about doing it in reverse, if you’re brave enough? let the kids mix the coloured water (maybe save it for outside save the food dye getting on your carpet!). ask them what they want to put in (how about stuff they can find in the garden? snail shell, leaves, daisies, feathers, stones?). see how freezing affects the items. then the next day they have their own creations to play with. claire

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