This castles small world sensory play has been one of my favourite activities from our castle theme. It offers so much room for exploration, that I’m not at all surprised that the boys loved doing it so much.
I didn’t want to spend any money, so decided to just used whatever I could find around the house to put in this small world play. If I’m completely honest, I really couldn’t justify spending the time making an entire castle out of cardboard boxes, so opted for Duplo. Duplo is so versatile it meant that the boys could then take it apart and then rebuild castles of all different designs if they wanted to.
Every castle needs a moat, I used glass pebbles but if your children have a habit of putting things in their mouth or you have younger children you could always used balls of blue crate paper like we did in the Billy Goats Gruff sensory bin (you can read about that here). Monkey is only one so I was a bit cautious about him going near the pebbles. He didn’t pay too much attention to them at first but after a while wanted to play with them, so I tidied them away.
I used wooden lollipop sticks as a bridge across the moat. Bear had a great time pretending the knight and his horses were clip clopping over the bridge.
We tend to have a big stock of porridge oats in the cupboard, so I just used that for the farm part of the small world play and then used the Schleich animals that we used during our farmyard theme.
For grass, I decided to make up a batch of gloop flour. You can always opt for green card if you would like to keep mess to a minimum, or alternatively you could use actual grass.
To make the green gloop you will need:
– 3 cups of Plain flour
– 2.5 cups of Water
– Green food colouring
To make the gloopy flour I simply mixed the flour and water together. To change the consistency of the gloopy flour, you can either add more flour to make the mixture thicker, or water to make it more watery.
I then added in the green food colouring, again how green you want your grass to look is up to you and obviously the more food colouring you add the more vivid the colour of the gloopy flour.
I wanted to include as many different textures as possible, so for the dragon’s mystical lair I just used cotton wool that I had pulled apart and then sat the dragon on top of it. We used our imagination a bit for this part of the small world play and pretended the cotton wool was mist surrounding a cave at the top of ‘Dragon mountain’.
I used shells to signify the sea and then used some sea animals figures from our underwater theme from the summer. Bear pretended that the castle was on the side of a cliff and that the shark tried to attack the dragon when it flew to the castle.
The boys had a lot of fun with this activity because there were so many different elements to it. Monkey was more than happy making the animals stomp through the farm and grass parts of the small world play. He was particularly interested in the green gloopy flour, he kept making the horse walk through it before lifting it out and then watching the floor fall away from the horse’s hooves.
Bear is obviously a bit older than monkey and his imagination is really coming into play now. It was amazing watching him create entire stories, from the dragon trying to steal the ‘treasure from the king’s castle’ to the ‘knight going to explore the land’.
He also found other ways to play with the castle small world scene though and used a shell as a scoop for the porridge oats.
I always find small world play so much fun with the boys and try to incorporate it into most themes we do.
*Note: Always use age appropriate materials when doing messy or sensory play. All messy and sensory play activities should be supervised by an adult. Neither I nor Our Fairytale Adventure holds any responsibility for any damage or injury caused while taking part in this activity