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Category: Nature Play

  1. Play Ideas - Teddo Play Cards

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    Play Ideas - Teddo Play Cards
    Written by Emily Dalby
    After seeing the new additions to the website, we just knew we needed to try out the Teddo Play cards! As a home educating family they looked like a really great resource so we decided to go for the 'Where our Food Grows' cards.
    The cards are a really good size, they are a good thickness so sturdy enough to use without bending or curling edges like you'd get with paper or card. On one side there are real life photographs of various fruit and vegetables and on the other side of the card, it has the name of the fruit or vegetable along with some facts. The cards come in a lovely little storage box to keep them in and the magnets are included, if like us, you intend to use them on boards for learning.
  2. All about Bugs

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    All about Bugs

    written by Laura

    Bugs; a topic that provides my little boy with a lot of joy. At four years old Finn has always loved insects, whether they fly, crawl, hide or sting he want to spot them, watch them, hold them and learn about them.


    It’s certainly an interest that can easily be facilitated in both play, and preschool ‘learning’ set ups. We have some fabulous toys and learning aids from The Wooden Play Den which are used most days. Our Lanka Kade bugs are perfect for adding into story sacks, while using both fictional and non fiction books, we especially like using them when talking about the different habitats bugs live in, and making them little homes of their own. They are so robust, perfect for taking out into the garden, or on a walk, and hiding them for a little bug hunt of your own.

    The other items we usually have to hand while outside are our magnifying glass and bug pot. Perfect for hand eye co-ordination, a toddler hand sized magnifying glass can add a lot of joy to a walk. It also encourages the little ones not to go right in and touch the insects. They are perfect for encouraging your little one to use descriptive language and talk about what they are observing. The bug pots also come with a magnifying lid which again helps observations without harming the bug. Pair these with an ID book to check off what you see and you and your little one can have hours of fun.



    We absolutely love our Little Robin Education Identification cards, with a photograph of the insect they allow your child to use their own skills to ID creatures. They can be used to create games too such as guess who, story creation and spotting which one is missing. Pair them with an ID guide and again get out and about with them.


    If the weather isn’t on your side for bug hunting, the yellow door play dough rollers and insect stones are absolutely amazing. Play dough is the perfect tool for calm and quiet play, fine motor skill enhancement, pre writing muscle strengthening and loads of fun. The rollers and stamps add an extra element, pushing, pressing, creating pictures. They also pair nicely with The ID cards for matching and the Lanka Kade bugs too.


    Our most recent addition to our bug tool kit is The Den Kit Co bug hunting pack. Full of great additions like a notebook for field observations (the stick pencils will be perfect with this) and my sons favourite, the pooter. The Pooter allows you to suck a bug along a tube into a viewing chamber without picking it up. We have used it to collect spiders from the bath tub, caterpillars from the garden, and lots of other insects have found themselves in our pooter too!

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    The Wooden Play Den has such a great selection of bug related toys and they all link together so well. If your child shows an interest in bugs, there are a plethora of resources available (and no bug touching is necessary!). The magical world of bugs is there to explore and with the addition of some fun toys it’s really easy to promote.

    To find the whole range of toys and books about mini beasts - click here. 

  3. Spring Play Ideas

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    Spring play ideas

    Written by Sheila O’Reilly

    We’ve finally made it to Spring! I’ve never been happier to leave the Winter months behind. It’s been a long haul with lockdown and miserable weather. The days are so much brighter and signs of Spring are popping up everywhere with gorgeous daffodils and tulips and birdsong. I love Spring-themed activities and thought a blog sharing some of our Spring play might be useful😀.



  4. Ways to Play - Yellow Door "Lets Investigate Stones"

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    Ways to Play - Yellow Door "Lets Investigate Stones"

    These unique resign stones are one of our most popular toys here at The Wooden Play Den. They are suitable for outdoor and messy play and can be washed easily. They are all approximately 7cm x 8cm  The footprints range are double sided with the animal on one side and the footprint on the other. The sets available are: 

    • Safari
    • Farmyard
    • Woodland
    • Dinosaur
    • Polar

    Other stones available which are one sided are:

    • Bugs
    • Fossils




  5. Nature Play Outdoors

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    Nature Play Outdoors 
    Written by Sheila O’Reilly
    Outdoor play is such an important part of childhood and there is nothing my girls love more than getting outside to play and explore.
    Playing outdoors gives children the opportunity to exercise, develop stamina, strengthen gross motor muscles, takes risks, appreciate nature and much more.
    We have definitely acquired a new found appreciation of simple nature play since the arrival of Covid-19 and Lockdown in March. Much more time has been spent playing in parks and forests through Spring, Summer and now into Autumn this year and we have enjoyed observing the seasonal changes too.