There’s something so wonderful about creating a small world to play with.
Whether your child loves dolls, trains, dinosaurs or diggers, setting up a miniature land, where they can imagine, role play, chat and act our stories, is packed full of play and learning potential.
Here are fifteen of our favourite small world play ideas, and invitation for you to join in with us.
15 fabulous small world activities
What happens when we help children gather materials and set up a small world?
They stretch their imaginations and make up stories.
They develop language, learn and practise new words, and make conversations between characters.
They explore their senses and invent things with loose parts.
They might try out new situations or work on fears or challenges they are facing in real life.
They get to be the boss, in charge of their own mini world (which every child would love, right?!).
And we get a window into them, their minds and their passions, as we watch them direct the play and share what is important to them right now.
A small world is super simple to set up – or as elaborate as you care to make it.
Two dolls, two cups and a tea pot and you have a cafe ready to go.
Draw some roads on a piece of paper and add some cars and you’ve got a city.
But if you love crafting and making, you can go to town, adding all sorts of embellishments too.
Young children get the most from small worlds which are familiar – where they can act out things they see in everyday life, or which bring a favourite story to life.
Older children might love to really stretch their imaginations and create magical lands and fantasy worlds.
Favourite small worlds
Make simple puppets, and host a tea party.
Or set up a sensory tub small world – like this sleepy bunny lavender tub.
GET FREE SENSORY PLAY RESOURCES
Sign up for my weekly Super Sensory email and your teaching fairy godmother - that's me! - will send you free sensory play activities.
- sensory play activity ideas to match all the festivals and themes of the year
- fun recipes so you can make your own sensory play materials
- free printables to add math, literacy and lots of creativity to your sensory play activities
To get all the free sensory resources, sign up in the box below.