One morning as I started to break down a box for recycling I realized that it would be the perfect size for my daughter's toy bus and cars to drive through. We immediately got to work making a tunnel. You can't see it in the picture but the "tunnel" is covered in her almost two year old scribbles. Lots of hard work. We made a road, a stop sign, and a parking lot. It's cluttering up my living room floor now, but we've gotten so much play out of driving the cars in and out.
Of course, since I can't just sit and enjoy my daughter- I'm always lesson planning- I immediately realized what amazing language the tunnel was promoting with my daughter. Just rolling the cars in and out of the tunnel was working on prepositions. Was the bus in the tunnel? Did it go through the tunnel? Put the cars on the road. In the parking lot the fire truck is next to the ambulance.
Not only did she play non-stop, but she talked to herself the whole time, narrating the position of all her cars. We are totally doing this next year in my classroom when we study maps. We'll hit the grade level objectives for map skills, but we'll also be able to embed all of our speech and language goals into the unit. We'll build a larger town (we can create our own buildings out of cereal boxes, etc) and connect it with maps. We'll also get literacy skills in there by making signs for our town. And of course we can tie it in with some good book. Hmmmmm. Any book suggestions out there?
My daughter currently loves Little Blue Truck, which we could re-enact but it isn't very town focused.
I love when a unit starts to come together all at once, with the pieces falling into place simultaneously.