This was actually an activity we did in the summer, but as we are learning about life on the farm at the moment, I decided it would fit in nicely with our recent theme.
Small world scenes are perfect for encouraging young, developing imaginations and the best thing about them is, I normally have all the different things for it already.
First of all I split the tray into three parts. I covered half of the tray with straw, one third with compost and the rest had a grass base.
On the mud base I set up a Duplo farmyard set we already had to replicate a farm house, a wheelbarrow from our Duplo safari set and used a plastic pig from a separate motorised tractor toy for the pigs in mud area. I then put a tree from our Duplo safari set, the sheep from our Duplo farm set, the sheep from the motorised tractor toy and some schleich deer on the grass. Finally I placed some schleich horse figures on the straw to replicate a stables and field. Once the scene was set up, I left it up to the boys to dig in.
I try to take a step back from small world play and just let their little imaginations run with them. It’s fascinating watching them, because even Elijah (who at this point was about 9 months old) was making a clip clop sound while moving the horses along through the straw and Oliver was creating entire scenes. In his little world, the sheep had fallen over, so the farmer and his dog went to pick him up and the pig had a great time building a house of straw and rolling around in the mud.
This was also a great way for the boys to play together. Because there were so many different elements in such a small space they didn’t overcrowd each other and instead sat together playing and bonding.
With small world scenes you can make it as elaborate or as simple as you like. I think people assume small world play has to be elaborate, which can often put people off creating them, we aren’t all crafty after all. But small world play can be made up of what you already have to hand and often when it comes to nurturing small imaginations less is more.
Note: All sensory and messy play activities should be supervised at all times. Neither I nor Our Fairytale Adventure hold any responsibility for any injury or damage caused while taking part in this activity.
What do you think of small world play? If you give this one a try, be sure to let me know in the comments, on Twitter, Instagram or on Facebook. You can also follow me on Pinterest for more sensory and messy play inspiration.