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Arctic Small World Play

What is Small World Play? 

Small World Play is just what it sounds like, a “world” created on a small scale. These small worlds can range from Jungle scenes, to Forest scenes, to Arctic scenes, (basically anything you can imagine, you can create).

They are a great way for children to explore their own imaginations in a format that is fun, open-ended, and where they have the power and control. It provides children with the freedom to explore their understandings of the world, as well as experiment with roles and social dynamics. Often the objects within the world provide the children with the space to explore their feelings, and act out scenarios that they may not otherwise be able to explore.

Small World Play encourages children to engage in storytelling, and thus stimulates and inspires the use of language in a variety of ways.

You will need:

  • Characters from the story 'Betty the Yeti's Disappointing Day' (these could be the Story Stones as shown on this site, or wooden blocks with Betty the Yeti printables stuck on, or perhaps toy figurines depicting the various characters)​​

  • “Snow” materials such as cotton balls, clear glass pebbles, clear or blue marbles, silver or white tinsel, white Kinetic Sand

  • Toy Trees (or representations of trees such as wood blocks with pictures of trees stuck on)

  • Tray or Table to “host” the small world

Click on the "Play" button to watch the "How To" Video

What to do:

Step 1:

Set up the tray/table to simulate the Arctic.

(A variation on a theme could be to create a sensory Small World using shaving foam and the toy figurines- or perhaps a real “ice” world, with ice cubes and water.)

Step 2:

Retell the story of "Betty the Yeti's Disappointing Day" using the Small World set up and the story stones or wooden blocks with characters from the story.

Step 3:

Encourage children to explore the small world.

 

Possible questions to ask:*

  • "Can you tell me about what you are doing?"

  • "I see you have the Betty the Yeti stone, can you remember some of the things that she did in the story?"

  • "What happened next?"

  • "What do you think would happen if....?"

  • "Show me how you...."

  • "How do you think this character is feeling? Why do you think that?"

  • "I wonder why....?"

*While it is great to ask question, it is important to remember to allow children time and space to explore, imagine and create all on their own.