What is Small World Play and Why is it Important

What is Small World Play and Why is it Important

Small world play is the acting out of scenarios in a miniature play scene, supported by small figures, toys and other objects. Children can play in a small world context that supports them to make connections with other people, both real and imagined, as well as the world in which they are a part of. Anything can come into play for the kids by using items found in their homes or gardens. There is no limits to their imaginations and creativity. Unknown to them though, the learning potential is enormous!

And it's not just play! The Care For Kids website has a really good article on this subject.

Creating and manipulating miniature universes gives young children the opportunity to develop emotionally. By acting out real world scenarios, and even re-enacting remembered moments, children are able to explore the way they feel about different people, events and situations.
Source: CareForKids

On top of the potential for emotional, personal and social skill development, there are also lessons to be learnt in reasoning and problem solving, numeracy and language development, and toward a greater understanding of the broader world.

From the article A Beginner’s Guide to Small World Play:

Small world play invites children to be creative, and boosts confidence when children are able to experiment with different (both new and familiar) materials and build something they think is awesome. It is also an excellent way to practice social skills (when for instance building a small world on a play date) where children can connect with each other and learn to take turns, listen to someone else’s ideas, compromise and so on.
Source: Little Worlds Big Adventures

Need some ideas for Small World Play? Take a look at this video I found on YouTube.

If this interests you and you want to know more, you can find a wealth of information and understanding via the following articles:

Little Worlds Big Adventures: A Beginner’s Guide to Small World Play
Care For Kids: It's a Small World: The Importance of Small World Play
Sticks and Stones Education: Small World Play