Town-in-a-box small world play!

You may remember when we had a HUGE cardboard box in the summer and I turned it into a play town for the girls to sit in outside? They loved it and it was great fun for a few days, but eventually had to go in the bin!

 We got a few smaller boxes last week and spent some afternoons playing along a very similar theme but on a smaller scale indoors. I flattened out a box and drew a simple roadway and town scene with crayons.

The girls were very creative about the toys that they added, including a huge pile of pebbles (from our Pebbles Discovery Box) for the construction workers to dig through and sort! As well as some smaller wooden blocks for “building houses and walls”, a slide for the park, fire engine for the station and plenty of play figures and vehicles!

It cost nothing, took 5 minutes to prepare and made for lots of creative, imaginative fun on a dreary, cold afternoon! Plenty more of those in the winter ahead, please!

Learning Links:

creativity: making up stories, using figures and materials in an imaginative way
literacy: storytelling through small world play, creating characters and dialogue
pshe: working together, sustaining interest and involvement in self-chosen activities
science/ KUW: talking about the jobs done by different people and related vehicles/ uniforms/ materials

Cakie: 37 months
Pop: 19 months


  1. says

    Oooh fab idea! My boys love cars, love cardboard boxes, so this would go down a treat with them!! Wishing I hadn’t thrown out the huge box that the TV came in now though! 😉

  2. says

    That’s fabulous! This is definitely something I would do. So, cool. Isn’t it amazing the things you can make with just the simple things laying around the house? I love it. I’m sure your girls had a blast and the creativity just goes wild. Fun!

  3. says

    I have done this too with big flat boxes. The children love adding their own touches and buildings. Such great fun with a simple box

  4. says

    Ooo Helen! Thanks SO much for commenting on my blog :-) I know you from your fab “50 ways” series and articles in EYE from my teaching days. I have looked for the likes of you and Roz Bailey, Sally Featherstone and Sue Palmer on FB pages before but not found you, so I’m very pleased to have now! Are any of them on there too?
    And yes I know about story boxes and love them!

  5. says

    This is an awesome idea! A friend of mine just recently shared your blog with me…and I am loving all of your great ideas!

  6. says

    I LOVE your blog! Great ideas. When my daughter was in Kindergarten, we made a car from a cardboard box for her to wear in a parade. Lots of fun. Kids love tactile exploring through big media. You might be interested in my blog: Kindergarten for Teachers and Parents.

  7. says

    Hi Anna – thanks for the lovely comments! I don’t think that the other folk that you mention are on Facebook. Sally has kind of retired and lives up in Yorkshire now. Strangely, I was working in her daughter’s Year 1 classroom earlier this term. Didn’t think I could really give her any ideas!!! I am desperate to do a blog – but finding it all a bit of a minefield – I really need a website too…..I haven’t had my professional facebook page very long, and my personal one had quite high privacy levels because i do use it for my ‘real life’. I am going to try and sort out some small world photos today! I now write for a company called Yellow Door – done some nice computer stuff with them, and this year have designed a set of Superhero Families, with teacher’s notes. Life’s good!

  8. says

    She is so absorbed in the creative fun you have made for her. I especially love that she put her own creative additions to the play. Her pebbles were a wonderful addition.