Is there a fairy fan in your family? Then you are going to love this play dough fairy world activity that had my 5 year old daughter buzzing all week.
Fairy activities, crafts and small worlds come in all the popular shapes and sizes. I’m sure you’ve seen and done many before. There is a trick though to setting up the kind of invitation to play (or create) that is just right for your child and will capture their imagination like no other. And I’m going to tell you all about it.
Invitation to Create a Play Dough Fairy World
What is it that excites your child? Besides fairies that is. That is the main question. If we can tap into our children’s real interests at this time, that addresses their needs, we have got a winner of an activity on our hands.
My daughter for example loves sensory play (painting, play dough, bath time) and has a slight obsession with flowers and pretty leaves. In fact, we have a ‘no more flower picking’ rule in place that stretches the perimeter of our neighbourhood. (We might have gotten some complaints …)
One of my daughter’s current needs is to have some quiet time by herself after school. She just started and it’s a lot to take in. Add an active 2 year old brother to the mix and the late afternoons have the potential to quickly turn into a two hour sibling fight. If there is anything I can do to avoid that nightmare, I will.
Thinking about and combining what my daughter loves and needs led me to set up this epic play dough fairy world invitation. It has her favourite figurines, sensory material and loose parts AND she can easily take it to her room, close the door and play uninterrupted for a as long as she wants. Win!
It ticks all the boxes which is why this invitation to play is so perfect for her. And let me tell you, that fairy small world has been played with until that last flower and twig were no longer!
Have a look and see what exactly we did.
I like invitations to play to look, well, inviting. So I get out the tray and pretty bowls. I try to think about colours and textures and add some glitter wherever I can. In general, I usually set up an invitation in such a way that I’d like to play with it too. (Which I sometimes do!)
I did nothing special here. I had a look through the play dough box and picked her favourite fairy and woodland animals. I added some fairy props for good measure. After that I made a batch of play dough and chose matching colours for the dough. I was going for a forest theme and picked green and brown (which turned out more of a grey, but no-one cares) and of course pink. Glitter wasn’t optional, I know the way to my girl’s heart! For loose parts I just quickly had a look around our garden and found some rocks, twigs, leaves and flowers for her to place and ‘plant’. All done and dusted within half an hour.
And just for fun, I love to tease my kids (just a little) by building some anticipation about a certain something waiting for them to discover at home. (Like I did here and here.) It’s priceless to see their little faces break into huge smiles! Setting up little invitations to play for them to discover I think is a great way to do something special and nice for your children. Since I’m not a lunch box note kind of mom, this is what I get excited about!
My daughter played and played and played. She rearranged the forest fairy scene multiple times and then asked me to ‘come and visit’ so she could tell me about all the adventures her little friends were having.
I adore observing her play. I love listening to her stories and wish I could videotape them all because I have no doubt one day I’ll forget. Given my current pregnancy brain malfunctions, I’ll be happy if I remember tomorrow.
At night she covered her play dough fairy world with a muslin cloth so everyone could sleep (of course) and they could continue their journey together the next day. (So precious!)
It was slightly challenging to keep Mister 2 year old away from the place where all the cool things were obviously happening so I set up a very simple little play dough invitation at the kitchen table. It involved cars and diggers and within 5 minutes most of it was on the ground … But it’s the thought that counts, younger siblings never want to miss out!
Setting up your own Invitation to Play or Create
Depending on where your child is at now, you might want to make a few changes. You could easily replace the play dough with any other sensory bin filler (find more inspiration here and here) or add little items of special interest like lego blocks, bugs, … whatever your child is excited about.
The beauty of setting up invitations to play is that they’re incredibly versatile. It’s so easy to tweak things a little to make them irresistible to your child. Each invitation to play is another gentle encouragement to engage in imaginative play and flex those all important creative muscles.
I’ve been collecting a number of exciting invitations to play here on Pinterest and I’m hoping that today you’ve come away somewhat inspired to put something together for your child(ren) at home.
And for all the fairy lovers out there: I really really hope this got you all excited and that you’ll have heaps of fun playing!
If you enjoyed reading about this fairy world and setting up invitations to play, I think you might really like this article I wrote about small world play. In case you’ve never heard of small world play before: quickly grab a snack and glass of anything and sit down because you’re about to be amazed!
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