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Welcome back to Pondering Playtime, my fortnightly series where I share a favourite picture book and a craft or play activity to go with it. This week, I’ve chosen A Squash and a Squeeze by Julia Donaldson. I’ve created a farmyard sensory tuff spot using cereals, to go alongside it.
A Squash and a Squeeze – What’s the Story?
A Squash and a Squeeze is about a little old lady who lives a simple existence in a very small house. She’s unhappy that her house is too small for her until a wise old man comes along and shows her (through the medium of a selection of farmyard animals) that she has all the space she needs!
A Squash and a Squeeze – Farmyard Sensory Tuff Spot
For this tuff spot, I decided to use different cereals to create the different sensory zones. All of these cereals are bargain basement versions so it cost very little to put this together, and the farm animals are a set that we were given by M’s grandparents around a year ago. It took very little time to set up. The longest part was setting up the knockoff Weetabix ‘hay bales’ – once that was done, I simply poured in and spread out the cereals, then shoved in the farm animals.
You will need:
- Various cereals – I used budget versions of Weetabix, bran flakes, porridge oats, rice crispies and all bran.
- Farm animals
- A tuff spot (but any kind of tray or container would do)
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A Squash and a Squeeze – What M thought
A Squash and a Squeeze is a well-loved classic in our house, as we’re big Julia Donaldson fans. M enjoys this book as we always put on funny voices for the little old lady and the wise old man. She also likes the repetition of, “Wise old man, won’t you help me please? My house is a squash and a squeeze,” and the wise old man telling her to take in her hen/cow/goat/pig.
As for the cereal farmyard sensory tuff spot activity, M is always interested when the tuff tray comes out! She got stuck in straight away and enjoyed feeling the different textures of the different cereals. Now that her speech is developing, we talked about how each cereal felt in her hands and the sounds that each animal makes. She also experimented with taste and discovered that rice puffs taste good, and raw porridge oats do not!
Here’s a little video I made to show the tuff spot and M’s reaction to it in more detail:
If you enjoyed this, you can find more Pondering Playtime activities here, and you might like to join my Early Years craft and activity Facebook group; Play Craft, Explore. We’d love to have you! And lastly, don’t forget to Pin it!
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