Woodland stories and creatures have been capturing the imagination for years, and with good reason! Stories like Bambi and the Gruffalo (and many others) capture the magic of the woods like no other. We love the idea of entire stories playing out among the woodland creatures, the suspense building until it’s almost too much to bear. I think it’s because the woods are both stunning and terrifying that it appeals this much. Setting up a woodland small world playscape is a great way to let children revisit snippets of stories they remember or let them play out their own fears and fantasies. Playing is processing for little ones and small world play is extremely suitable to do just that.
How to set up a Woodland Small World Playscape?
There are many ways to set up a woodland themed small world. The best place to start is by looking around and working what you’ve got.
Here’s what we used:
- a green blanket or piece of fabric to cover the table
- a cut out piece of felt to add some variety to the playscape
- wooden mountains and trees that I got from My Big World Playscapes on Etsy
- glass gems
- real rocks, pine cones and acorn caps
- handmade crochet flowers (you can find lots of tutorials on You Tube)
- woodland creatures and more woodland creatures
Setting up a small world can be the best part of the activity, so get the kids involved! (Or enjoy some quiet time playing yourself. That’s allowed!)
Getting the most out of your woodland small world
There are a couple of things you can keep in the back of your mind to make the most out of your woodland themed invitation to play.
Firstly, you can look for a fun woodland themed storybook or two to accompany your woodland small world. A story can kick start children’s imagination and they’l take it from there.
Secondly, it might be a good idea to position your woodland small world in a quiet(er) corner and leave it out for about a week. Children don’t have huge attention spans and will revisit their play often if given the opportunity.
Thirdly, add less or more details depending on the age and sensory needs of your child. Smaller children typically need less toys to play more and bigger children are more adept at getting creative with details. For the sensory seekers you could transfer your entire woodland small world to a big bin filled with (green died) rice.
Keep in mind that each child is different and that these small world ideas are just that: ideas. Take from it what works and change, leave out or add as you see fit.
To read more about the benefits of small world play for child development you can read this article and for more small world play ideas, have a look at our other creations here.
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