Winter wonderland imaginary play

Turn a simple cardboard box into a fabulous Winter Wonderland for lots of creative imaginary play and storytelling.

A Winter Wonderland play scene children can make for winter imaginary play | NurtureStore :: inspiration for kidsWinter wonderland imaginary play

Our winter pixies have been made homeless, as their fairy land light table has been transformed into a nativity play scene, so it was time to create a frosty land for them to move into.

nativity imaginary play

I took a large, shallow cardboard box and painted it white. I prepared this the night before so that in the morning it would be ready and waiting for the children to take over ~ ready for them to transform with their own ideas. 
winter play sceneI set out our winter pixies…

winter pretend play pixiesand some materials that I thought might interest the children. These included some blank card templates (last seen when we designed our dream houses), some pieces or card and papers, some shells, wooden tiles and some ‘ice gems’.  These serve as an invitation, to get things started, but of course the children can pull in any items from our loose parts and craft shelves, to play with.

winter invitation to playThe first thing they decided to make was a frozen pond, made by glueing some tin foil to the box, and surrounding it with a few card flowers.

frozen pond winter imaginary playThen they decided that if you had a pond, you’d want to skate on it ~ so they made a skate-hire store.

make a winter play sceneA cafe was added by the pond, so the pixies could warm up with hot chocolate.

snow town imaginary playAnd one enterprising pixie set up a Christmas tree shop. (It’s such a good idea to always have pencils and paper nearby. I often find the children add in bits of writing to their imaginary play if the materials are easily available. Invented spelling is wonderful to see ~ a real indication that children are thinking about sounds and letters and how they fit together. In this circumstance I never correct the spelling: I try to really encourage the children to have a try and not be put off, thinking there’s no point if they can’t do it perfectly.)

christmas tree imaginary playAll sorts of clever making started happening: polystyrene pizza bases were turned into sledges…

sledging pretend playscraps of tissue paper and card became market stalls…

winter market pretend playa fishing rod was created and rented out by the hour.

ice pretend playBusiness was brisk inside the ice skating shop (don’t you love those shelves of boots?)

ice skating small worldAnd the pixies had a fine time playing on the frozen pond.

ice skating winter imaginary playLots and lots of making, imaginary play, storytelling and language development, all from a cardboard box and a few simple props.

What imaginary play land are your children enjoying this month? We’d love to see! You are always welcome to share a photo of your play on our Facebook page, or use the tag #simpleplay on Instagram.

Christmas activities for kidsMore winter imaginary play ideas

Head over to our winter and Christmas activities archive to find play dough snowmen, snowy towns and many more play ideas.

An excellent resource of preschool activities, toghether with 10 printables. Includes math, literacy, art, science and play ideas for thre to fice year olds. Click through to download your copy.

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