What is a fairytale? Is it a make-believe story? Does it have magic and spells? Is it a story passed down over the years? Are animals acting like humans? Does it begin with “Once Upon A Time”? Does it end with “Happily Ever After”? Are they good guys? Are they bad guys? Is there a Princess? Is there a Prince? Are there Castle and Forests? Is a character a hard done by?
Whatever the story lines, children love fairy tales. They are fun and engaging and allow a child’s imagination to develop. Whether it’s a traditional story line or a plot twist a fairy tale will allow your child’s ideas to flourish.
Small worlds are small scale imaginative lands. Through small worlds, your children’s play can travel though space and time at their fingertips, they can practice, review, and re-enact real life scenarios and events or stories though creative play. These invitations to pretend provide language opportunities as well as the chance for both collaborative and independent play.
Fairytale small worlds are a favourite in all classrooms so here are a few of my favourite small world bits and pieces that can be used in so many different ways!
- Fake grass – I buy it in a 1m square from bunnings and use it for so many different things!
- Green spilt peas and yellow split peas make a great sensory base for sensory small world play (if you don’t want to use food you could try beads)
- Packing fill makes great straw (and hay or paths)
- Popsicle sticks are great for houses and fences
- Mini bricks
- Blue felt for water
- Rainbow chickpeas (read how to make your own here!)
- Sticks & stones
- Pine cones
- Wet sand
- Dyed rice
- Dyed Pasta
- Water beads
- Chickpea foam
- Shaving foam with food colouring
- Chia Slime
- Kinetic Sand
Plus story stones.. of course! Learn how to make your own here!
There are so many benefits to small world play from language development, promotion of independent play, sensory development, fine motor skills and learning through play. Building fairy-tale small worlds invokes a truly imaginative moment for your child. Who doesn’t want to live in a fantasy world?