“Over and Under the Pond” Magical Pond

A Curious Book & a Magical Pond!

After reading Kate Messner’s “Over and Under the Pond” we wanted to go on a boat and explore a pond too! Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option, so we created our own Magical Sensory “Pond” to investigate and play with. I’m excited to walk you through making your own Magical Sensory Pond, so let’s get started…

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Summary of “Over and Under the Pond”

“Over and Under the Pond” written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christoper Silas Neal is one book in an informational nature series of picture books. It features all the amazing things you can discover over, under, and all around a pond. A mother and son are paddling in a boat on a pond engaging in conversation and investigating all they see, hear, and even what they don’t. Beautifully detailed illustrations pleasantly paired with the informative text throughout the book makes it a great starting point for exploring pond life & sparking curiosity about nature.

A Magical Pond?

You might be wondering… “What do you do with it?” or “How is this not just going to be a sensory mess?” There are many ways to answer these two common questions…

hands submerged in our magical Pond

First, the most basic answer to “What you could do with a Magical Sensory Pond?” is… have Messy Fun. Sensory play at its finest is not about “doing” something specific. It is about exploring, feeling, listening, watching, problem solving, creating, etc… This is an open-ended activity. Just as each child has their own unique personality, experience, and preference in play, the outcome of this activity is just as special.

As for the second question, Yes, this can be a messy one! But, I hear you. I’ve been asked that question many times. Therefore, a detailed answer, along with strategies for successful messy sensory play, can be found by reading, “What about the Sensory Mess?”

What We Did with our Magical Pond…

a collage of items we used in our magical pond

We tend to keep the activities as simple as possible around here. We’re not interested in complicated or costly. We are also all about fostering independence. For this activity we filled up a large shallow container with water, added some food coloring to create a greenish blue color, & glitter for fun (and well, to make it magical!). 😉

Then we added whatever we could find that made sense for a pond, such as, flip frogs, dragonflies, stones, ducks, and because unicorns are always welcome in my daughters play they were added too! This of course made it even more magical and added a layer of imagination. That sparked a great conversation about all the cool things we might find in a Magical Pond!

hand using a play stone to create a wave in the Magical Pond

My daughter enjoyed investigating what she could find in her pond, and quickly decided it was a fun idea to close her eyes and fish for items. Next she engaged in imaginative play with the characters she found. Water play is always a big hit at our house and once glitter and unicorns are involved the play usually lasts a while.

I would suggest Magical Sensory Pond Play if you’re looking for a cool activity to connect with your child.

Materials We Used

  1. “Over and Under the Pond” book (from the library or buy it HERE)
  2. Water
  3. Long & shallow bin
  4. Food coloring
  5. Glitter (optional)
  6. Dragonflies, Ducks, Flip frogs, Unicorns, Stones, etc… (optional)
  7. Nesting cups (optional)
  8. A tray (optional)
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

How to Make a Magical Pond?

  1. Lay the long and shallow bin wherever you want to play with it.
  2. Fill it up with water.
  3. Add food coloring (we used more green than blue),
  4. Characters and manipulatives,
  5. & Glitter.
  6. Once the play seems to be winding down a bit, introduce nesting cups & a tray. This may spark additional play and investigation of characters. See “Communicating & Connecting” in our FREE Printable Library for some ways this might spark greater imaginative play!
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

Wait, There’s More…

Sample of “Communicating & Connecting FREE Bonus Printable.

I believe you can easily strengthen communication skills and foster independence all while playing and connecting with your child. To help you do this; I’ve created a FREE printable for each activity called, “Communicating & Connecting”.

It will give you a list of suggestions I’ve found very helpful as a Mom & as a special education teacher; to help you build lifelong skills. Please don’t feel obligated to do everything on the list (but if you do, you’re a rockstar 😉 ).

As a Thank You for subscribing; this is a special FREEBIE for our Email Subscribers Only. 🙂 Click here if you’ve already subscribed. Otherwise, Sign Up below to get the password & access to our entire FREE Printables Library today! 😉

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