Small World Safari Park

Last week, we went to the Safari Park for my mum’s birthday along with all of Sophie’s safari animal cuddly toys and a most importantly, a picnic. Sophie loved seeing the animals and wanted to feed them all!


Her favourite moment, and the one she has chatted about every day since we went, was when the giraffe poked his head in the car! She absolutely loves animals and was so excited.


Sophie’s grandma had bought her a set of plastic giraffes from the gift shop which I put in her playroom. A couple of days later, I noticed Sophie playing with the giraffes and a car on her car mat.


I put some cars on the mat and Sophie immediately started to move them and make car noises.


I fetched Sophie’s book about a safari park and put it next to the mat. She started to look through, lifting the flaps and naming some of the animals.


We talked about what we could see in the book and then we collected up any animals that she had that were also in the book. We placed them on the mat and created our own safari park.


As Sophie moved the cars and the animals around she started to make munching sounds so I fetched some pasta to use as animal food.


We pretended to be the little people, driving the cars around and feeding the giraffes. She giggled lots as we played.


At one point Sophie ran off and then came back with some bits from her play kitchen saying ‘mix, mix’. She was making some more food for the animals.


Sophie then drove around on her whirlee using a bag of flour from her play food pretending that it was a box of animal food. It was lovely to watch her use her imagination as she played. She even held the food high in the air and said ‘poke, poke’ to pretend to feed a giraffe that was poking its head into the car.


I asked her if we could have a picnic in the car like we had done with Grandma, Grandpa and Aunty Katie and she went off to fetch her picnic basket!


We made sure to have a piece of birthday cake too for Grandma’s birthday.


I really enjoyed that Sophie initiated this activity and seeing how it developed as we played. We have now made a space on the shelves to keep three bowls containing cars, people and animals for Sophie to access herself.

This activity is good for:

  • engaging in pretend play using toys
  • playing with small-world models
  • beginning to make-believe by pretending


Sophie – 22 months

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