*The twins are 25 months actual, 23 months adjusted
Hi everyone! Today I’m very excited to kick off our “On the Farm” series by sharing our first ever small world play set-up!
I have been anxiously awaiting the day when my twins were ready for small world play. Once I began to see them engaging in imaginative play with their toys, I knew the wait was over! If you are not familiar with small world play, it is simply when children use miniature items to reenact scenes from their own experiences, books, fairytales, etc. Many small worlds incorporate sensory play materials to enrich the experience and make it more realistic. As you can imagine, small worlds are great for many areas of development, including language. Check out our post Building Language with Small World Play for more information and tips for using small world play for language stimulation.
This farm scene was so much fun for me to set up. It really is a creative outlet for grownups! I was particularly inspired by these small world farms by Imagination Tree and Sunhats and Wellie Boots. I made a few different vignettes so that several children could play together comfortably. We set this activity up twice; once for a play date with Tex, and another time for some after-nap fun with Mimi (pictured). In the future, I plan on having an area where we can set up small worlds that can be left out for a week or two and added to over time.
To create our farm small world, I started with a Little People Barn that I had from my early speech therapy days. For creatures, I used small figurines from our Safari Ltd Farm Toob and some larger animals I got at Michael’s.
Our first little area was a sty for our little piglets and their mama.
I used a little crate from some wooden play food that we own and filled it with wet coffee grounds and straw. The piggies got some corn to eat in a little egg-carton trough. Next up…the poultry house.
I used a covered bridge from our Mickey train set (it was my brother’s as a kid) as our chicken coop. I filled it with straw and an empty section of egg carton so the kids could build nests for the chickens and giant turkey. They also got a generous helping of “birsheed” for dinner. As for the waterfowl…
…a pond complete with pinto bean pebbles and pretty rocks.
And last but not least, a field for our cattle and tractors!
Half of the small cookie sheet was covered in brown home made play dough, and the other half was filled with pinto beans. I “planted” two different textures of grass (from my craft supplies- I never throw anything away) in the mud, leaving plenty of room for animal and tractor-track making.
The twins had been asking for “blue water” all morning, so Mimi and I set up the farm during their nap and let them have at it when they woke up.
Taking the ducks for a swim.
Making animal tracks.
Mr. Turkey in his “nest.”
Giving the mama pig a big drink.
Mama pig rolls in the mud.
Sydney’s favorite animal this time was the turkey. She built nests for it using the egg carton sections and then moved it to the barn. On a whim, I found some round white beads in my stash for her to use as the turkey’s eggs. She has carried those same beads around for an entire week- I actually found them in the bathtub tonight. She likes to sit on them to keep them “waaam!”
I had to share a picture of the aftermath…looks like a tornado blew through the little farm! But that’s ok- a good time was had by all!
Farm Series Posts:
1. Farm Small World