One of the very first small world play activities we did was in honor of winter last year. Lucy adored the cotton balls mixed with the snowflakes but particularly liked the deer. Earlier this year, I added arctic animals to our play closet and she asks for them all the time.
I decided to step the small world up a notch by creating an open ended arctic world on the coffee table. Fun ensued.
I love small world play becuase it's open ended but sets a scene for Lu's imagination to really run wild while exploring ideas and concepts related to a theme. One of the best things about small world play is thtat you may already have things in your house that you can use to get started. Scraps of cloth, left over felt, even pieces of paper can become outdoor scenes in an instant. Rocks, pinecones, acorns and leaves are get scene setters and can be found right outside your door!
Lucy wasn't even out of her pajamas before the table caught her eye and she started playing.
The "dada" deer immediately jumped into a bowl of "snow" while she got to work with the other creatures.
Soon they were all tumbled together in a pile while she began to build a forest.
Once the forest was built bunny came to join the fun and most of the other animals ended up taking a swim.
Next up, dumping EVERYTHING out on the table.
The deer quickly replaced bunny in the forest but most of the other animals stayed in the lake together.
She had fun matching the colored gems to snowflakes scattered around the table.
We are going to leave this table up for a few days and see where our imagination takes us. She loves making up stories and I love sitting nearby listening as she plays intently on her own.
I love open ended materials becaust it inspires children to look beyond what is in front of them and use their imagination in ways that traditional toys don't. Have any fun ideas to expand on our arctic table? Pop them in the comments, I would love to hear from you!
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