Winter Wonderland Small World Play

Here’s a super fun sensory play activity for preschoolers- Winter Wonderland Small World! It’s easy to set up and inspires all kinds of imaginative play!

Follow our Winter Play and Learning Pinterest board!

 

Winter Wonderland Small World Play~ Buggy and Buddy

*This post was originally published on January 11, 2014 and has since been updated.

 

This week I’ll be collaborating with five other amazing kid bloggers in our newest series- Winter Play Days. Over the next week we’ll each be sharing three creative ways to encourage play centered around the winter season for a total of 18 winter play ideas!

 

Winter Wonderland Small World Play~ Buggy and Buddy

 

This year I’ve become a huge fan of small world play. It’s such a fun way to encourage imaginative play for a wide range of ages. And having both a 2 year old and a 5 year old, that’s a huge plus for me!

 

Disclosure: This small world DOES contain small parts that could pose a choking risk to small children. Please use materials suitable for your children and never leave children unattended. (This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.)

Winter Wonderland Small World

Our latest small world, Winter Wonderland, is full of all kinds of sensory materials and loose parts- perfect for stimulating imagination, and it’s super easy to set up! (This small world is simply meant to inspire you. Please don’t feel like it needs to be set up exactly like this one. Take what you like from it and add your own spin!)

 

Winter Wonderland Small World Play~ Buggy and Buddy

Setting Up Our Winter Wonderland Small World

I started by finding an area in our home that’s easily accessible to both kids, as well as easy to clean up. For us, that was on our kids’ table (similar to this one) right in our kitchen. It’s the perfect height for both kids and is on a hard surface for easy cleaning.

 

I thought it would be fun to create a backdrop for the play area so I created a snowy background scene. I used the back of some already drawn on easel paper to cut out clouds and used a needle to thread some cotton balls on clear beading thread to make our snow.

 

Cotton balls and clear threading wire background

 

Then I grabbed a large wooden tray and filled it with salt (one of our favorite sensory materials). I added some clear gems (which the kids later told me was an icy pond) and some of our favorite wooden animals.

 

Winter Wonderland Small World Play~ Buggy and Buddy

 

I created a few trees by placing some homemade play dough on top of some cylinder shaped wooden blocks from our block set (similar to this one). And I couldn’t resist sprinkling a little fake snow over the top of them!

 

Trees made from play dough and wooden blocks. Perfect for small world play! ~ Buggy and Buddy

 

I had found some flat styrofoam circles and styrofoam balls at our local dollar store which I included along with some flat toothpicks. (I wouldn’t recommend using the round toothpicks with pointy ends with the styrofoam. You’ll definitely end up with some poked fingers.)  I attached a few of the foam balls to a flat circle using a toothpick and then scattered the rest of the toothpicks around in the snow.

 

Building snowmen with styrofoam and toothpicks. Perfect for small world play! ~ Buggy and Buddy

Playing with Our Winter Wonderland Small World

Once the kids got up from rest time, I invited them to play with the small world! They first inspected the salt in the tray. Theo spent a lot of time running his fingers through the salt, while Lucy used a toothpick to draw in the salt.

 

Winter Wonderland Small World Play~ Buggy and Buddy

 

The kids quickly moved on to poking the toothpicks into the styrofoam. They created snowmen and all kinds of structures!

 

Winter Wonderland Small World Play~ Buggy and Buddy

 

Even my 2 year old enjoyed building with the toothpicks and styrofoam!

 

Winter Wonderland Small World Play~ Buggy and Buddy

 

The kids enjoyed covering the trees with ‘snow’, poking holes in the play dough, and building little dens for the animals.

 

Winter Wonderland Small World Play~ Buggy and Buddy

 

And of course they were attracted to the wall decor. Theo’s favorite part was blowing the cotton balls to make a snowstorm…

 

Winter Wonderland Small World Play~ Buggy and Buddy

 

… while Lucy made the snow fall below!

 

Winter Wonderland Small World Play~ Buggy and Buddy

 

Lucy also decided the clouds needed a few more details.

 

Winter Wonderland Small World Play~ Buggy and Buddy

 

Theo did too!

 

Winter Wonderland Small World Play~ Buggy and Buddy

 

I loved that the kids actually drew on the clouds. It’s something I didn’t even think of myself, but what a great addition to the small world play!

 

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Comments

  1. Oh my goodness, I love that they drew on the clouds! That is so cute!! And it’s wonderful to be working with you guys again. I love these series!

  2. Oh how FUN! I also love how they drew on the clouds, but my favorite part I think is the styro snowmen!!

  3. So much to love about this small world play! I think my favorite is the cloud with the snowflakes falling down. Isn’t it great when the kids ad something different to an activity than what we expected??

  4. What a fun way to bring winter inside! That picture of Lucy with her hand on her hip is cracking me up. 😉 What character!

  5. This is such a lovely small world, Chelsey! There is so much to do and explore with it yet it has a very calming vibe. Love it!!

  6. Beautiful! And really inspiring. A lovely post.

  7. This is such a beautiful and creative idea! Thank you for sharing! I really loved the way you made snowmen! Very cute!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Winter Wonderland Small World from Buggy and Buddy […]

  2. […] Winter Wonderland Small World from Buggy and Buddy […]

  3. […] Winter Wonderland Small World from Buggy and Buddy […]

  4. […] Winter Wonderland Small World from Buggy and Buddy […]

  5. […] you are finished here. If you missed my previous two posts in the series, be sure to check out our Winter Wonderland Small World and Symmetrical Snowflake Craft. (This post contains affiliate links to […]

  6. […] out when you are finished here. If you missed my first post in the series, be sure to check out our Winter Wonderland Small World. (This post contains affiliate links to […]

  7. […] would be a great addition to any winter-themed small world play (like in place of the salt in our Winter Wonderland Small World), and it’s also fun to use on its own! This post contains affiliate […]

  8. […] This Winter Small World, from Buggy and Buddy, is pleasing to the eye, and created using craft and pantry items you […]

  9. […] Ever since visiting the Motoi Yamamoto salt exhibit at our local museum last year, we’ve been crazy for creating with salt and sand! (Recently we used salt as the main sensory material of our winter small world.) […]

  10. […] snowman building to cascading snow this winter wonderland from Buggy Buddy is full of unique details kids will […]

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