Before discussing Small World Play, I would like to provide some context. I am a member of a Facebook group comprised of parents who have subscribed to the Positive Parenting Solutions coaching program. One of the pillars of the method is one-on-one time with each child in the home, during which the parent abandons other responsibilities, phones, and correctional inclinations and accomplishes exactly what the child desires. Mind, Body, Soul time (MBST) is so named because the parent is expected to be present in Mind, Body, and Soul at all times.
One of the recurring topics is suggestions for MBST activities to undertake with your child. Did I mention it must be devoid of screens? Therefore, no movie watching, even if it is time spent together.
I gave my husband a list of ideas suited to the ages of our two children, including playing catch, playing keep-up with a balloon, drawing together, and looking through their memory boxes. Even though I'm not very interested in my son's trading cards, I can contribute if I offer to help him organize them into notebooks.
When I came across the concept of "small world play" on a New Zealand-based blog, I instantly thought of MBST. Small world play refers to the creation of miniature worlds for pretend play, similar to Playmobil, but with materials from about the house, existing toys from play sets, and perhaps even finding objects from outside.
Here are some suggestions for getting started:
Assign a huge Tupperware container to the planet that you construct so that it can be stored and retrieved. And contain items such as stones. (Alternative: Use a partitioned container to encourage a different type of play, such as rooms or beds. These are intended for lunch boxes but could be useful at a Zoo!)
Utilize fabrics to construct the base. Collaborate with your child in the planning process. We need green! Do you know where the pillowcases are stored? I believe that we have a green one.
Towels can represent a body of water. Or rafts for automobiles that must cross a river. Or anything. Or utilize actual water!
Suggest a theme, such as Fairy Land or Dinosaur World. (Read all about the educational advantages of pretend play with miniature worlds on LittleWorldsCo.nz.) I am really pleased with how she utilized a book to create a cave by just covering it with a blanket or cloth. Brilliant!
Then, incorporate layers of texture and detail. See that green cave in the distance? This is a yellow book!
Explore the festive decorations and trinkets for new props. Please appreciate this image of my garage.
Utilize painter's tape to demarcate parking spaces.
Feeling brave? Purchase some dry beans, lentils, or rice for tactile play. I have never been so courageous. On Pinterest, I've seen coffee beans (sounds pricey! ), aquarium gravel, and craft shop things like glass pebbles used as a basis for tub ecosystems, but I believe black-eyed peas or normal beans would be more affordable.