Small world play is when a scene is created for children to engage with and extend. These scenes can take many different forms from: farm yards, to woodlands, to arctic landscapes, dinosaur worlds or simply a collection of thought-provoking loose parts (often natural objects) that may hook a child’s interest.
Once a scene is created, the role of the adult is to step back and observe how children interact with the scene, the resources and each other. These small world scenarios allow children to re-enact real life situations; re-tell or extend a story they have heard; create their own story; and work alongside others sharing and listening to ideas.
This week in the Meerkat Class a Fairy Woodland was created. After finding some beautiful natural resources at Gramedia on the weekend, I was excited to set up a scene and see what the children would do with it. Over the course of this week the children have imagined a whole new world in which the fairies come to life each night and are able to fly around our classroom, having their own discoveries, by aid of the magical leaf feathers that hang in their fairy land.
We even faced a problem in Fairy Woodland today when it was discovered that the leaf feathers, that supply the magical power, had been crushed by giant hands. Lovingly and with gentle, fairy like fingers, the children smoothed out the crushed leaves and hung them back in Fairy Land so that each fairy will be able to fly again tonight.