Imaginative Play Scene — A Castle Garden

March 26, 2013

artifical grass play scene

I’m not sure what made me think about it, but I had this idea of using a section of artificial grass as a base for an imaginative play scene.  And so I went to Clark Rubber and bought half a metre (you could probably find the stuff at places like Bunnings too). Cost me under $15, and it’s proved to be a hit with the kids.

This is the perfect sort of activity for the school holidays, because once you set it up, the kids tend to come back and forth for days on end, adding to the play as they go.  I had the grass sitting in the garage, waiting for an opportune moment to use it, and then I saw a picture of the gardens at Château de Chenonceau in France. What an inspiration!  And BOOM: so was born the Castle Garden Play Scene.

Château de Chenonceau in France -- gardensimage credit

A Magical Castle Garden

What we used

Like any of our play scenes, most of the stuff can be find around the home or can be purchased for very little cost.

Materials

Underbed storage container

Fake plants (found at a discount store)

Artifical grass

Decorative Stones

Bowl (filled with water and a drop of food colouring)

Small Dolls

1. Cut grass to size.

artifical grass play scene

2. Small fake plants are delightful because they add such a wonderful element of magic and colour.

Princess Lawn Imaginative Play Scene -- Blossom Tree

3.  A bowl filled with water and a drop of blue food colouring (which does stain because it’s so diluted) is perfect for mermaids, of course.  I noticed the chidlren added in a few shells to the water from their collections.

Imaginative play scene -- mermaid pool

4.  The children already had these cute plastic crystals. Pretty, pretty. And we added some stepping stones too.

Crystals

5.    Add toys/dolls/anything!

imaginative play scene -- dolls

6. I set this up for the kids outside on a mat under the car port, so it was in the shade but still outside in the fresh air. The wonderful thing about these sorts of things is you can set it up inside, or outside.

imaginative play scene

imaginative play scene - castle garden

More Artifical Grass Play Scenes

The artifical grass is great for other play scenes too. We’ve done a dinosaur park,a  farm, a zoo!

More

Imaginative Play Scene Ideas

5 Ways to Get Started with Imaginative Play (from Picklebums)

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Frau_MahlzahnNo Gravatar March 26, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Very nice idea, I will remember to pick up such a container next time we go to Ikea and use it for this purpose, ;-) . I like this idea with the play scenes a lot!

By the way, I so envy you for being able to spend so much time outside IN T-SHIRTS AND SHORTS,!!! We are still suffering from winter here — it’s been snowing for the last two days, and there has never been such a series of cold days in a row ever since the weather was recorded!

Even the kids don’t want to see any more snow! We want spring!

(Actually, a couple of weeks ago, we were so desperate, we made our own spring, ;-) : http://fraumahlzahnsgrazerlei.blogspot.co.at/2013/03/blumenfreitag_8.html)

So, thinking about it some more, I think I’ll go right now and find stuff we could use for a nice spring play scene minus the container…

So long,
Corinna

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar March 27, 2013 at 6:47 am

We’re pretty spoilt here with the weather in Australia. It’s Autumn here, and it’s still hot!

I loved that you made your own Spring! I’ll pop over and see the pictures.

How even more wonderful will Spring be after a long cold Winter, hey!

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Frau_MahlzahnNo Gravatar March 26, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Btw.: My youngest one, Minka, just saw the pictures, and off we are to find all the materials we need to create such a play scene, ;-)

So long,
Corinna

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar March 27, 2013 at 6:47 am

Oh, make sure you send me a pic of the finished product!

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Frau_MahlzahnNo Gravatar March 27, 2013 at 7:13 am

Hi Kelly,

thanks for your comment over at my blog, ;-) .

Minka had a lot of fun with the play scene today, she saw your pictures and went right ahead to find stuff she could use for her own play scene, and then played happily all morning:

http://fraumahlzahnsgrazerlei.blogspot.co.at/2013/03/spiel-landschaften.html

What I really liked about it was that with the play scene her play had somewhat of another quality. She plays real well and imaginative, but this time you could sense that it was more special.

I think I’ll really pick up a container at Ikea and use it for this specific purpose only, to make it more special.

Thanks for the idea!

So long,
Corinna

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katepickleNo Gravatar March 27, 2013 at 9:44 am

ooh the fake grass idea is genius!!

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar March 27, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Don’t know why I didn’t think of it before! Loved your post too Kate, BTW x

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AlanaNo Gravatar March 27, 2013 at 11:32 am

i love fake grass! we have been using it for awhile for the kids and its always a hit! We set up farm animals and fences etc and the kids have a ball!

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar March 27, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Perfect!

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Sam StoneNo Gravatar March 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm

I need to get one of those containers. They are so handy for kids play :)

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar March 27, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Yes you do!! I use it ALL THE TIME! It’s one of those things we really need to give to new parents LOL

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www.onimisiwordsmith.comNo Gravatar February 18, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Good to find an expert who knows what he’s talking about!

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valda masonNo Gravatar March 28, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Just fell in love with your idea of artifical grass, went to Mitre 10 and bought a piece. Have grandchildren for Easter and hope they will have as much fun as your family. Nana on the farm.

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar March 28, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Oh, how wonderful! What a beautiful picture I now have in my head! I hope they love it and it adds a little extra spark of joy to playtime at their nanna’s x

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