The most amazing thing about small world play is that you can be inspired by any theme and use just about anything to set it up. No two small worlds will ever be the same and every time a child engages in small world or sensory play it will be a different experience.
15 Fun and Creative Small World Play Ideas
I’m Ann from Little Worlds and I’m so happy to guest post here today. I’ve been following Lemon Lime Adventures for a while and have learned a lot from Dayna over the years. My all time favorite post by Lemon Lime Adventures you ask? Easy: Storytelling with Legomen, it makes me smile every time!
Today I want to talk to you about small world play and show you some of the most fun and creative small worlds I’ve seen so far. I hope that by the end of this post you’ll feel encouraged and inspired to go and set up your own invitation to play!
What is small world play all about?
It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of small world play. I love the creative process of setting up a small world and I love to watch my children act out their imaginative stories.
Small worlds are the ideal platform for nurturing children’s imagination from a young age. It provides them with an opportunity to explore new materials, act out scenarios from real life, build language, practice social skills and gain an understanding of the world.
Small worlds are irresistible!
I love how small world play will always challenge children to learn and grow in some way, no matter how old they are. And that is because it is child led and self directed play. Children will take exactly what they need from it.
A small world is totally irresistible. No child can pass up on the opportunity to at least go and check it out. And that is what I think is the fun part about small world play. I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of setting up a small world invitation to play that is relevant to my children.
And you can very easily set up small worlds yourself too!
Small worlds come in many themes, shapes, forms, materials and set ups. You are not limited in any way in your interpretation. And that is pretty exciting. Whatever your style is for setting up small world play, I have a treat for you. The 15 small world play invitations I want to show to you all have a unique approach that is sure to inspire you for years to come. Enjoy!
1. Day at the Beach Small World from Little Worlds
2. Small World Cardboard Box Town from The Imagination Tree
3. Squirrel Train Small World from Play Trains!
4. Desert Moldable Sand Small World from Crayon Box Chronicles
5. Under Water Small World from Little Worlds
6. Sensory Farm Yard Small World from The Imagination Tree
7. Dinosaur Small World from Little Worlds
8. Cardboard City from Lemon Lime Adventures
9. Native American Small World from Crayon Box Chronicles
10. Making a Zoo from Every Day Materials from Best Toys 4 Toddlers
11. Rain Forest Small World from Crayon Box Chronicles
12. Construction Site Small World from No Time For Flashcards
13. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Sensory Small World from Little Worlds
14. Little Red Riding Hood Small World from Learning and Exploring Through Play
15. Turtle Themed Water Table from Craftulate
I love how all the above small worlds each have a different way of presenting the materials and engaging in play. It shows you that whatever the age, interests of the children or resources available to you, small world play is for you and your kids!
If you’d like to learn more about small world play, what it is, why it benefits children’s development and how you can easily get started at home, you can read my beginner’s guide to small world play.
Now I’d love to hear from you. What is your favorite small world? What themes have you set up and what materials did you use? Are there any tips or ideas you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!
Ann is a former OT and mother of two little ones. She spends her days running around, trying to keep up with her family. On her blog Little Worlds she shares creative play ideas and tutorials for handmade toys that spark the imagination and encourage creativity. Ann was born in Belgium and is currently living in beautiful New Zealand. And yes, as a true Belgian she eats chocolate every day!
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