What exactly is small world play and why is it important for kids?
Small world play is a form of play that nurtures the imagination through the use of toys or other materials to play out a scene. Scenarios can be inspired by real life, imagination or even a story. There are no limitations with this form of play; it is the perfect way for your child to explore their imagination and foster creativity, while developing important life skills at the same time.
What should be included in a small world?
Notably, children do not need an abundance of resources or materials to engage in small world play. Imagination and creativity go a long way!
It's easy for little ones to become overwhelmed and distracted, so if you're introducing your child to small world play for the first time, it's best to start off with limited resources to encourage a more self-directed style of play.
Open-ended toys are wonderful companions for small world play as their versatility allows children to incorporate them in a multitude of ways.
What open-ended toys can be used for small world play and how?
Does my child need fancy toys to enjoy small world play?
The great thing about small world play is that children have the imagination and capacity to create magical worlds with everyday objects. In a child's hands, a stick can become a magic wand and a pebble can become an animal or a car. A toilet roll makes an excellent tunnel and a scrap of fabric can be transformed into a river or a lake. Children do not need specific toys or materials to create small world scenes. Encourage your little ones to incorporate everyday items into their next playtime and watch their imaginations blossom. Resources you can use include:
· Elements of Nature (pebbles, shells, leaves, flowers)
· Recycled Goods (shoeboxes, cereal boxes, toilet rolls)
· Sensory Elements (water, ice, rice, sand)
· Cotton Balls
· Popsicle Sticks
· Tea Towels
What are some small world play themes?
Just look at the variety of scenes Kelly and her children were able to create using their collection of open-ended toys below! Do check out her Instagram account - @mumz.world - for more inspiration. Remember, the only limit is your imagination!
The Story of Christmas
A Spooky Dragon's Den
A Stage for a Star