Make a beautiful, natural small world play set up to create an animal habitat to encourage young children with imaginative play and storytelling skills. So easy to create and a wonderful, multi-sensory invitation to play for all ages.
I am a huge lover of small world play and believe it offers so much to children for enriching their language, imaginative play and storytelling skills. There’s nothing sadder than looking around an early years setting and seeing no small world play set ups for the children to play with!
I recently created this giraffe natural small world play scene for the kids as two of them are dotty about giraffes at the moment. I shared it on my Instagram (I share a lot more there than here so do pop on over and follow along for even more play and creativity ideas!) and it proved very popular indeed. So I thought I would add some more pictures here plus some links to where you can find some of these items for creating your own small world scenes.
Firstly, we don’t have a huge house nor do we have a dedicated playroom even though I would love that freedom of space very much! Instead we make the most of corners like this little DIY creative space in the kitchen and also have a set of open shelves for toys and invitation to play set ups. I’ve got some pictures of those shelves over on Instagram too.
And here are some baby and toddler mini shelves we have had out when they were crawlers!
We set small world play scenes out on top of the play shelves and also on a kids’ table placed in front of them so that we can attach a backdrop, like in this case.
For this natural small world play scene we used:
rosemary (cut fresh from the garden)
[Amazon affiliate links]
We placed the hessian from the shelves down onto the table top, weighing it down with some blocks. Over the top of this we added some fake grass, then the pebbles, wood blocks and pine cones to create a natural playscape.
We used fresh rosemary from the garden to make pretend trees and they smelt wonderful! We have used rosemary for many pretend play and sensory set ups in the past including this rosemary play dough, rosemary scented water and herbal scented rice.
The children enjoyed making stories and imaginative play scenarios. It would be to use this alongside an animal habitat theme and to pair alongside some animal story or information books too!
Here you can see our full collection of SMALL WORLD PLAY IDEAS.
And here are all our NATURE PLAY ideas too!
[This post contains some Amazon affiliate links to help you find products that we love! Thanks.]