north-pole-small-worldOverview: Small world play is perfect for building imagination, creativity, and problem solving skills. Join us on our first small world play as we explore The North Pole.

Sicily had been at her dads all weekend, so while she was away I took the time to rotate toys and prepare for our Christmas Tot School. She walked in on Sunday afternoon and noticed it right away.

“HoHoHo” she shouted when she spotted the North Pole Small World I had set up for her in the living room. She spent the next hour picking every single piece of the small world up asking what it was.

Sicily is just starting to have an imagination. She loves to play pretend chef and make us dinner every night. She enjoys taking care of her baby dolls too, so I thought it was the perfect time to introduce small world play.

Small World Play Learning

Sicily hasn’t quite grasped the concept of creating a small world, but she is enjoying the set up. She picks each thing up and says what it is, so she is building vocabulary. The small world has encouraged her to identify colors by picking up the “presents” and telling me what color it is.

I try to ask her some open ended questions to help stretch her imagination and start thinking about the set up as a place to create her own world. Some questions I ask are:

-What is Santa doing today?

-What is the reindeer doing over there?

-What’s going to happen to all these presents?

Every once in a while, I’ll sit down with her and act out a few scenes to show her how to use her imagination. The more I model, the more I see her starting to make a pretend world.

She will knock on the door to Santa’s house and respond with “HoHoHo!” Every morning she has to greet Santa, and every night she has to wish him a good night.

small world play

Setting It Up

This set up was super simple. I have an ottoman sitting against the wall in our living room, so I set it up there. For the snow, I used a few pieces of white foam. I found a Santa, snowman, Christmas trees, and house in the Christmas section of Wal-Mart. I tried to find a reindeer, but the closest I could find in our stash was a moose. But we’re suppose to use our imagination, right?

I also added a few bushes and a train engine from our train set. To top it off, I placed square glass gems around the snow to act as presents. Sicily loves picking up the presents and identifying the colors.

Happy Playing!