Fine motor – threading leaves

Our living room looks out onto some pretty large trees and Lottie is fascinated with them.  They have a lot of ivy growing up them and so we collected a few of the leaves and made our own super quick and easy threading set.

I used a hole punch to make two holes in each leaf and then just wrapped the end of some wool with sticky tape to stop it fraying.

That was it! Our threading set was ready to go…

Threading, fine motor, nature, leaves, early years, EYFS, learn through play

Lottie only managed to thread the wool through one of the holes in each leaf but in time she’ll be able to thread it through both holes to create more of a garland effect.

Easy, quick and free! What more could you want!

Supplies and Suppliers:



Hole punch

Sticky tape

EYFS links:

PD: fine motor skills

UW: plants



Small world – crochet trees

I made these little crochet trees to use in my sensory bin and small world set ups.

Crochet trees, wooden trunks, small world play, nursery decor

They’re sized for the little wooden peg people that we use a lot and I’m really pleased with them!

I have an Etsy shop where I have some of my cross stitch patterns listed (pretty unrelated to this blog!) and I’ve added these trees to it.  This is a bit of shameless self-promotion but if anyone would like to have a look at them then here’s the link:

Crochet trees, wooden trunks, small world play, nursery decor

Thank you!



Sensory bin – sticks and leaves and nature bits

Today we had a nature themed set up. We’d been for a walk in the woods recently and while we were there we collected some leaves, fircones and sticks. I put them together to create a very easy but entertaining sensory bin.

Small world/sensory bin/tub nature themed, outdoors, peg people, crochet trees, wooden house, learn through play, early years

My daughter loves her little peg people (more detailed post about them to come!) and so we made nature homes for them. I found a lovely wooden hamster house in our local pet store and I’ve been desperate to use it in something. Turns out the peg people fit into it perfectly!

We just added the collected natural items and some leaves for the floor. Oh and some adorable little crochet trees (handmade by myself – link at the bottom!).

Small world/sensory bin/tub nature themed, outdoors, peg people, crochet trees, wooden house, learn through play, early years

This was really easy to set up but kept Lottie amused for ages. Especially when she discovered she could take the roof off the house and see the peg people inside!


We also had great fun using the sticks to push the fircones along the floor. We raced each other and Lottie loved it. It was great for developing her fine motor control (and a bit of competitiveness too!).

Supplies and Suppliers:

Assorted leaves, sticks, fircones etc

Peg people or dolls house people

Crochet trees:

Hamster house:

EYFS links:

PD: sensory exploration, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, co-ordination, control

UW: imaginative play, exploring the world, plants



Sensory bin – dinosaurs/our own Jurassic Park

My LO is currently obsessed with dinosaurs. I think it probably stems from George in Peppa Pig (“dinosaur, roaaaaarrrrr”) so I decided to make her her very own Jurassic Park. She’d picked up some plastic dinosaurs in a gift shop a few weeks earlier and these dinos had been everywhere with us since (and I mean EVERYWHERE!)

Sensory bin/tub/tuff tray dinosaurs/Jurassic park, learn through play, sensory play, small world

I used a few pieces of bog wood bought from our local aquarium supplies shop, some fircones we collected, black coloured rice, plastic jewels, some little handmade volcanoes and her four beloved plastic dinosaurs.

Lottie enjoyed the feel of the rice, she let it run through her fingers for ages. She also loved the noise it made as she sprinkled it back into the tray from high up.


She then discovered she could pour the rice from one ‘volcano’ to the next. You can just about see from the photo that the volcanoes were made from egg carton bits, turned upside down and dribbled with red, yellow & orange paint to look like lava. Oh and I also drew some black rocks on with a sharpie – gotta love the detail!


Much fun was had by all with this one… and there were lots of shouts of “dinosaur, roaaaarrrrrr” as she played!

Supplies and Suppliers:

Dinosaur toys

Bogwood/sticks/wooden bits and pieces

Fircones/leaves etc

Rice – coloured black (see this post for a How to guide)

Plastic jewels –

Egg cartons – cut up and painted

EYFS links:

CL: communicating

PD: sensory exploration, fine motor skills, co-ordination, control

Maths: space, measures

UW: imaginative play, exploring the world, animals