Thursday, May 24, 2012

Underground Train

We live in a big city with an underground train. My son loves it. He loves anything associated with trains. He must spend 90 percent of his time playing alone ordering his trains, cars and buses around the room. I decided to do something to add to his playtime which we could work on together. So we built our own U-Bahn (underground train in Berlin).

A while ago I spent an early Saturday morning drawing on a dissembled cardboard box to make a road and car park for all his cars. We took this, some empty toilet rolls and some tape, and started talking about how to go about it. It took a while to put enough rolls in place (it was a big box), and I had to do most of the work as it was a little tricky for a two year old. He started playing with something else in the room as I finished, but once I was done he was very pleased with his new toy.

The rolls looked a little like the pillars we see in some stations, and it was pretty dark under the cardboard so it looked quite realistic. It was a little wobbly, but this made him think carefully about his movements in and around the structure. The road on top became the way into the space inside the train track, where there was a shopping centre and a bus stop, according to him.

I loved watching him move around - on tiptoe, bending this way and that, peeking through the tunnel, reaching in to move the train. He made up a story about a man in a van. All in all, he practiced quite a few skills. These are some I noted:

  • He used his limbs in different ways developing his fine and gross motor skills.
  • He created stories by himself expanding his imagination and vocabulary.
  • He watched me make a whole new level to his play area with a bit of card and some tape increasing his capacity for creative thinking.

We spent the next few days improving on the underground train to make it stronger and more adaptable to changes in the track.

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