If you’re reading this, you probably have a large bag of fabric scraps sitting somewhere. Instead of waiting for the next project, why not have some fun in the mean time? We don’t often associate fabric scraps with play, but this next post will change your mind and get you all excited about creating small worlds (if you aren’t already!) Read through these 4 (very good) reasons for using fabric scraps in small world play. Enjoy!
4 Creative Ways to use Fabric Scraps in Small World Play
Before we get started I quickly want to let you know that there’s this great beginner’s guide to small world play I wrote. And if you’re new to small world play or would like to know exactly why it’s so beneficial to child development, you could quickly read it first here. Now, as a huge lover of all things fabric, I’m very excited to get you excited about using fabric scraps in small world play from now on.
Let me count the reasons!
1. use fabric scraps to add texture
When you’re creating small worlds there are different aspects that help children play, grow, learn and explore. The sensory aspect is one of them. Most small worlds have a sensory aspect purely because you’re probably using a lot of different materials. Something you are not doing when you only play with the box of Duplo for example.
Adding fabric adds a literal layer of sensory play to a small world. Most animals and figurines you’re using are often made out of plastic or wood and the combination with (all kinds of) fabric shows the contrast between both.
Fabric also combines really well with a lot of sensory bin fillers and even with play dough and water!
2. use fabric scraps to add dimension
Adding fabric to your ‘go to materials’ can be a huge help in completely transforming the way you set up small worlds or encourage your children to get creative with small world play. Fabric adds this 3D dimension that can take pretend play to another level.
For example adding fabric to a volcano immediately makes it look like it’s erupting. And adding blue see through fabric to any ocean small world can create a sense of above and under the sea or mimic the wildness of the waves.
3. use fabric scraps as a play mat
Now, this is really easy and extremely fun to have a play with. We use fabric scraps in almost all of our small worlds in some kind of way. And the easiest way to us it is as a play mat. Brown, green, blue and yellow coloured fabric immediately brings in the earth, grass, ocean and sand. And there’s no need to stop there. You can create entire worlds, farm lands and so much more by simply laying out a bunch of fabric scraps.
Have a look at our 4 season small world train track which shows it best. But also see how we used fabric scraps as enclosure building material in our small world zoo, which is a great example of how little bits of fabric here and there can have a huge impact on the way a small world looks. If it looks inviting, children can’t resist. And if children can’t resist, play, exploration and a whole lot of learning will happen. Win!
Another way in which we used fabric scraps in a cute play mat kind of way is the travel tin. Have a look at how ridiculously easy it is to create this dinosaur one and this mermaid one.
4. use fabric scraps as loose parts
Yes! Fabric scraps are GREAT loose parts. If you’re new to the loose parts revolution of play, you can read this article first. If not, I probably don’t need to convince you of how fabulous loose parts play is and how well fabric scraps fit into that picture. Little practical note to take away is that you can best cut your fabric with pinking shears so it doesn’t fray.
Watch it all come together in this farm small world where my kids created an entire farm land out of fabric scraps. It may look chaotic to that organised person inside our adult selves, but to the kids it made perfect sense. Of course!
Or have a look at this cute little invitation to create a mini dinosaur world where fabric scraps are part of the building materials.
Fabric Scraps as a vital part of Play
Fabric is such a versatile material that is perfect for creating, has amazing sensory appeal and, next to wood, a worthy counter weight for all the plastic toys in this world.
There’s no limits to the creative things you can do with fabric and because the list would be too long, I invite you to scroll through here, where all our Little Worlds fabric related play ideas are collected. Or you can have a look here, on Pinterest, where the genius ideas simply won’t stop coming. Bless them creative people!
And if it’s more small world inspiration you’re after, have a look at our gorgeous collection of small world play ideas here.
Want to pin this post? You can do that here.
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