Combine natural elements like leaves, twigs and pebbles with toy dinosaurs to create a magical small world play scene. Small world play will encourage imagination, storytelling and language skills.
If you’re a regular reader here at One Perfect Day, you’ll know how much we love small world play. Ironically, our “small worlds” will often take up a very large part of our living room such as our small world frog pond. This time though, we set up a little play scene at the end of our dining table which didn’t take up much more space than a place mat. I gathered a few bits and pieces, created a little scene, and R was happily engaged long enough for me to get the dinner made. Perfect!
The first thing I always do when creating a small world, is set the scene by making the ground. For this small world I used a segment of blue felt for a pond. Next to this I placed a woven place mat to represent some sand and dirt, and over that I placed a circle of artificial grass. Three simple elements and a small world is taking shape. Add a few pebbles around the pond, some twigs and a couple of natural wood blocks and you have the makings of an inviting little scene.
There’s something magic about small world play scenes. There’s so much scope for little imaginations to build on what you’ve set out for them. I don’t worry too much about making it look perfect. The point is to just make it inviting enough so that R wants to engage with it. He can then use his imagination to create whatever scene or story he likes.
I love looking at the small world play scenes when R has finished with them, especially little moments like this dinosaur taking a drink from the watering hole.
It’s lovely to listen to R playing with scenes like this. To hear him narrating stories, speaking in different voices as the characters interact.
This little scene was left on our dining table for a few days, each day changing and evolving as R returned to it. Our table is always covered in games, or craft supplies or Lego. Is yours? (Please tell me we’re not the only ones!) I’ve actually grown to love seeing all of that active play on the table.
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