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Desert Small World Play

This month we’re learning about the desert. It’s not always easy to make places like the desert come alive for little learners because many of us in Wisconsin have never seen the desert. I use many different types of materials to help children get the feel for what the places might be like including pictures, books, videos and play, like this desert small work play bin. This invitation to play includes simple materials you can find to recreate the desert themed small world and sensory bin.

Desert Diorama Science & Nature STEAM Station play idea from Mother Goose Time in this month's preschool theme Desert Discovery. #MGTblogger #MotherGooseTime #DesertDiscovery #deserttheme #smallworldplay #sensoryplay #sensorybin #invitationtoplay

Desert Small World Play

This is my take on the Desert Diorama Science & Nature STEAM Station play idea from Mother Goose Time in this month’s theme Desert Discovery. I decided to invest in some small cacti plants that we can hopefully use for many years ahead. They can be a little pricey but I found them 40% off at Michael’s.

Desert Diorama Science & Nature STEAM Station play idea from Mother Goose Time in this month's preschool theme Desert Discovery. #MGTblogger #MotherGooseTime #DesertDiscovery #deserttheme #smallworldplay #sensoryplay #sensorybin #invitationtoplay

I loved the color of these marble rocks so I added those with a small amount of fine sand.

Desert Diorama Science & Nature STEAM Station play idea from Mother Goose Time in this month's preschool theme Desert Discovery. #MGTblogger #MotherGooseTime #DesertDiscovery #deserttheme #smallworldplay #sensoryplay #sensorybin #invitationtoplay

The Desert Toob desert creatures are perfect for this desert invitation to play. Toob toys are the perfect addition to sensory bins!

Desert Diorama Science & Nature STEAM Station play idea from Mother Goose Time in this month's preschool theme Desert Discovery. #MGTblogger #MotherGooseTime #DesertDiscovery #deserttheme #smallworldplay #sensoryplay #sensorybin #invitationtoplay

We’re loving our new IKEA FLISAT Children’s Table! I can see it being very flexible and fun for our ever changing room.

Desert Diorama Science & Nature STEAM Station play idea from Mother Goose Time in this month's preschool theme Desert Discovery. #MGTblogger #MotherGooseTime #DesertDiscovery #deserttheme #smallworldplay #sensoryplay #sensorybin #invitationtoplay

I found these small wood bowls at Ross Dress for Less – they came in a set of 4. They’ve been perfect for so many uses – love them!

Desert Diorama Science & Nature STEAM Station play idea from Mother Goose Time in this month's preschool theme Desert Discovery. #MGTblogger #MotherGooseTime #DesertDiscovery #deserttheme #smallworldplay #sensoryplay #sensorybin #invitationtoplay

This cactus planter looks real but it’s not. It’s not very pokey, but just enough to make it seem real. The plants do not pull out of the pot so I think it will hold up well. I do have a rule that these items stay in the sensory table so they do not get dropped or handled too roughly.

Desert Diorama Science & Nature STEAM Station play idea from Mother Goose Time in this month's preschool theme Desert Discovery. #MGTblogger #MotherGooseTime #DesertDiscovery #deserttheme #smallworldplay #sensoryplay #sensorybin #invitationtoplay

Kids love snakes. Me, not so much. The scorpion is very popular too.

Desert Diorama Science & Nature STEAM Station play idea from Mother Goose Time in this month's preschool theme Desert Discovery. #MGTblogger #MotherGooseTime #DesertDiscovery #deserttheme #smallworldplay #sensoryplay #sensorybin #invitationtoplay

Our lonesome coyote.

Desert Diorama Science & Nature STEAM Station play idea from Mother Goose Time in this month's preschool theme Desert Discovery. #MGTblogger #MotherGooseTime #DesertDiscovery #deserttheme #smallworldplay #sensoryplay #sensorybin #invitationtoplay

Lots of moveable items make this bin attractive to little hands.

Desert Diorama Science & Nature STEAM Station play idea from Mother Goose Time in this month's preschool theme Desert Discovery. #MGTblogger #MotherGooseTime #DesertDiscovery #deserttheme #smallworldplay #sensoryplay #sensorybin #invitationtoplay

Mr. lizard hanging out near the rock.

Desert Diorama Science & Nature STEAM Station play idea from Mother Goose Time in this month's preschool theme Desert Discovery. #MGTblogger #MotherGooseTime #DesertDiscovery #deserttheme #smallworldplay #sensoryplay #sensorybin #invitationtoplay

I didn’t add water to our STEAM Station but you could.

Desert Diorama Science & Nature STEAM Station play idea from Mother Goose Time in this month's preschool theme Desert Discovery. #MGTblogger #MotherGooseTime #DesertDiscovery #deserttheme #smallworldplay #sensoryplay #sensorybin #invitationtoplay

Questions to Ask During Play

  • What might you find in the desert?
  • How do people and animals cool off in the hot desert?
  • How can you move the water from the bowl to the other areas in the desert? (if you use water)
  • How could you make a river in the desert?

More Desert Discovery Activities