Bookish play : Jolly Olly Octopus

The aquarium is one of our favourite places and Jolly Olly Octopus by Tony Mitton is a humerous book that we read often.

So, using this book seemed like a good choice to compliment both Hamish’s love of the ocean and his new sea creatures.

Ocean play with sea creatures
Small world ocean play

How to start

We always start our bookish play in the same way each week, by reading through the book and opening discussion on the characaters, story and talking about the illustrations.

Then we move onto the activity that accompanies the book’s theme.

To compliment this book, I wanted to use the little sea creatures to first match up to the various sea creatures in the book and for some small world play to enable Hamish to retell the story as he interpreted it.

Bookish play with Jolly olly octopus
Jolly olly octopus

Make your own

You will need:

  • Clear container
  • Small plastic sea creatures
  • Water
  • Blue shower gel or a few drops of blue food colouring to add colour to your water
  • Salt – optional
Boy playing with sea creatures
Left alone to interpret the story as he understood it

How to play

We first read the book and as I pointed out a fish, shark or octopus on the page Hamish named the sea creature and then he found me the small plastic toy that was the same.

Next, I poured water into the container and aadded some blue shower gel to give the water a blue hue.

I left the plastic sea creatures next to the bowl and Hamish to play.

I was quite shocked when he told me that the water needed salt as sea creatures live in salt water. So, we added some salt to the mini ocean.

Small world play offers a great opportunity to introduce general knowledge facts as your child plays.

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