Small world play is always a favourite in our house! It has been since my eldest was about 18 months, setting up a mini world for them to explore and discover is wonderful in so many ways. I find that small world play is so much more than just imaginative play but also such a great opportunity for real world learning.
Whether its learning about houses and families though a mini town or learning about prehistoric animals though a mini dinosaur land ( these are two of our favourites!) there is always a way to incorporate simple learning into play.
These are my top tips for making your small world even more exiting!
1. Add water!
This is my go to for a lot of things, when I first became a parent my Nan gave me
the advice that if we were ever having a tough day with the kids to just add water. Now that can be a bath, shower or in this instance adding water play to your small world set up! My favourite way to do that is with an Ocean small world! Instead of using something like a play silk for your base just grab a container/ dish that can hold water, filling it up, add some animals and your good to go! You can always add a few drops of blue food colouring & corn flour to make in opaque!
2. Make it together!
I don’t know about you but I normally find that small world play is
something I set up ahead of time for my son to find ( normally so I can buy myself time too cook / drink a hot coffee ect) However I have found that often our best play is when we set it up together! This is a fantastic opportunity to observe and learn about what your little is currently interested in!
3. Take it outside!
This is as simple as it sounds! Grab your favourite small world pieces as
venture outside on to the grass / sand pit or even mud if your feeling brave! Spending time outdoors always makes us feel better and often ends up with us adding pieces from nature into our play!
4. Add a sensory base!
Now I’m a massive fan of sensory play so I am always pretty keen to add
these in where possible! Our favourite’s are Muddy oobleck in our dinosaur small world or cloud dough added to a beach / ocean world!
5. Choose a colour theme!
This is a great one for young toddlers that are starting to identify and
match colours and also a cool challenge for older kids to see what they can create sticking within a theme!
The best part about small world play is that the possibilities are endless! You can build your own out of basic blocks or use more specific resources to create something new every time! One of our favourite brands to use are The Freckled Frog as they have an incredible selection of products for all different worlds!