Imaginative Play Scene: Pond

I enjoy setting up imaginative play scenes for my kids. You can read the reason why in this post: Desert Island Play Scene.  My latest creation is a pond scene. It’s easy and cheap to set up.

The inspiration for this project was milk bottle lids; on water, they look like lily pads so I created a play scene around that.

imaginative play scene: pond


Large rectangle plastic container



Plastic bowl

Stick (log)

Milk bottle lids

Lily Pad Template

Blue food colouring (optional)

Small plastic figurines (frog, duck, kangaroo, fish)

1. Print and cut out lily pad template and press into milk bottle lids. See the end of the post for more ways to use this template.

milk bottle lid craft print out

2. Fill a bowl with a little water, add blue or green food colouring (optional) and place lily pads on the water. This goes inside the plastic container as pictured.  We found a log-look-a-like stick outside and used it in the water too.

Note: The lily pads tend to get wet and the picture blurs but the idea is to set the scene to stimulate imaginative play.  It’s easy to replace the lily pads if kids worry about it.

imaginative play scene: milk bottle lids lily pad

Add a few rocks and leaves in the plastic container to create an environment.  On the template, there are stepping stone cut outs to use inside milk bottle lids too.

imaginative play scene: rocks

Play inside or outside.

imaginative play scene for kids

Pond Eco System

The pond theme is only an inspiration and I don’t force educational learning while my children play. What I mean is: we set up the play scene with a particular theme in mind but the children can add anything they like to the play environment.  That said, it can be interesting to link play to real life so we set up the pond environment with a some typical pond animals.  We already had ducks and a turtle and I also found a Schleich frog while I was shopping, so all up, this activity cost me $4.50 (the frog) and everything else I found around the house.

{image credit}

pond eco system

{Matching: Schleick Pond-inspired animals to look out for or find them online here}

schleich pond animials

* Small parts. Not suitable for young children, especially under 3’s.


Milk Bottle Lid Crafts

More ways to use the Milk Bottle Lid Template

Milk Bottle Lid crafts: Rainbow Chairs

Rainbow Chairs

imaginative play scene: pond

Pond Play Scene

imaginative play scene: rocks

Stepping Stones

milk bottle lid craft: animial water trough

Water Trough

Milk Bottle Lids crafts: Tree House

Fairy Seats

Milk Bottle Lid Dinner Plates

Dinner Plates

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  • Reply
    The Imperfect Housewife
    February 29, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Great activity!

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      February 29, 2012 at 8:00 am

      Make sure you share your rock pool on my fb wall once you’re done!

  • Reply
    February 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    I’ll never look at a milk bottle lid the same way again!

  • Reply
    March 6, 2012 at 10:31 am

    This is the type of thing I used to set up when I was teaching 2-3 year olds, I loved watching the play scenarios they came up with! Now that you’ve reminded me, my daughter’s about the right age to start too! This one looks fantastic!

  • Reply
    Play Products I RAVE About
    March 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    […] scenes like the pond scene […]

  • Reply
    May 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Hi Kelly…. i accidentally came across your site..but i must say its really AWESOME!! Its a jzt like a one stop site full of resources which is comes very handy for people like me who lack a bit of creativity…..!!! thankz you so much….for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us.

  • Reply
    May 1, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    This is very cool…always thinking of fun ways to make better use of our time together. It got too easy to switch the telly on for a while there.
    Now I have found your blog, you will help me so much, I always wanted to be a crafty mum but never had much experience 🙂
    Shared 🙂

  • Reply
    20 Activities for Multi-Age Groups picklebums.com
    August 16, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    […] are never too young or too old for imaginative play. Make a pond pretend play scene with these printable floating accessories. From Be a Fun […]

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