When setting up a small world play scene, I usually place them at child height on a low table top or basket and make it accessible from as many angles as possible. Leaving the small world scene out for an extended period of time (I’d say at least a couple of weeks, but more or less time following the child’s lead) gives plenty of opportunities for returning to the scene and adding to it with other elements as their interest grows. Small world play was my favourite area of play to set up for my classroom while I was teaching and I still love doing it now!
The sheep and goats had a paddock of dried and fresh grasses to share.
In our farmyard scene we needed a mud bath for the pigs to roll around in, so Cakie filled a tub with soil from her vegetable patch. The pigs had a wonderful time!
The ducks, swans and peacocks needed a pond to swim on so we put a few drops of blue colouring into a tub of water to make one.
The animals had a nice field made of hay to roam around in, as well as some grasses, rice and split peas to eat. (Looks like Granny Farmer had a slight mishap delivering the animals’ breakfast this morning!)
I adore these miniature vegetables we have in our Teeny Tiny Things collection (aka a large box of misfits that we’ve collected from various sets of Playmobil and Sylvanian Families!) Girl Farmer collected all of these crops and arranged them so tidily, before settling down for a rest.
The girls loved this farmyard and played with it for much longer than they have in the past because it was set up as an Invitation to Play and because it stayed out for a long period of time. The mud and water did get mixed up together and eventually replaced, but all other toys remained within the play scene.
Have you tried creating a small world scene? What has your child’s favourite been?
creativity: create stories using toys and other items to represent new objects
literacy: use dolls/puppets and story props to retell stories and create new ones
physical: fine motor skill development though arranging and ordering small objects, sensory exploration
knowledge and understanding: exploring about farms, names and types of animals, animal behaviours/ food/ habititats/ uses etc Vegetable/ fruit names and types
Bean: 20 wks
Looking for more small world play scenes to try? There are LOTS here in the archives to choose from!