Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Our Miniature Dinosaur Series (plus a terrific early childhood education teaching tip)

One of the early childhood education teaching strategies I’ve been learning and applying is a concept called “scaffolding”.

Basically it’s about guiding a child’s learning by building upon something they already know or are interested in to gradually explore new experiences and skills.

One cool series I’ve been scaffolding and building and expanding on is our little series on dinosaurs.

It all started spontaneously with a mini dinosaur play invitation I had set up. I had put together a very simple mini dinosaur playground with various items --a few wooden blocks and toys, some rocks and synthetic grass for texture, and miniature dinosaur figurines.

Miniature dinosaur playground

The next day, Nathan asked me to set up the mini dinosaur playground again --which I did. And this time I also brought out some dinosaur books from our collection. I asked him to match the dinosaur figurines to the pictures as I read out the names of the different dinosaurs.

Matching dinosaur figurines to pictures
Later in the week, I decided to mix up our play dough session by throwing in some dinosaur figurines together with a few other props. Nathan had so much fun with this imaginative play, creating three different swampy jungles for three dinosaur friends.
Creating a play dough swampy jungle for the dinosaurs
The pinnacle of this series for me was when Nathan suddenly came up to me one afternoon and showed me this dinosaur he made from our Lego/Duplo blocks completely on his own. No prompting from me whatsoever.

Building his own dinosaur all by himself

What do you think of this ‘scaffolding’ teaching technique? Is it something you would consider trying out at home with your own little ones?


Images taken from my instagram @livingserenely

Linking up to  Sakura Haruka,
Little Drummer Boys and
Twinkle in the Eye

Also connecting with Toni for her #52weeksofmemories series
with this week’s theme on #Learning


  1. I love this! I am always taking tips from your instagram photos and storing them away for future reference. Your kids are so lucky to have such a creative mum. Go Nathan for making a dinosaur on his own.

  2. It is such a clever strategy with children and looks a lot of fun.

  3. Great strategy. So many more things you can do - I find by grabbing hold of what they are interested in they will stay attentive for longer periods. Dinosaurs were a winner in our house too!

  4. Yes I'd give this a shot, I see they do this at my son's kindy also, think they call it building on 'something' - can't remember. I do hope it's going well? I'm sure the kids in your care are loving it x

  5. Love this idea, I will definitely have to let this idea flow with my girls. Play doh is a great medium to use too :)

  6. I love watching my little one learn and develop through play. Every milestone is a joy to watch.

  7. This is great. Love how he improvised on his own too.

  8. Never heard of the concept of scaffolding so thanks for sharing. I love the dinosaur idea very sensory too isn't it.

  9. Scaffolding is a wonderful way of teaching and I really llove how a child learns spontaneously that way. So much joy and creativity too!

  10. You are such a natural teacher! How clever is Nathan for creating the dinosaur all on his own too! I love learning activities that involve imaginative play.


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