Kel has made the great suggestion of introducing some small world play at home, some of you may already do it without knowing. Here is a note from Kel;
We love using small world play at Pre-School, Autumn is the perfect time to go on a walk, as you stroll along pay attention to the natural materials all around you, collecting them as you go. You can then organise your own small world in a pot or a special place in the garden.
This can be a relaxing activity and perfect for creative play with your child/children.
Here are some things you can look out for on your walk: Shells, small stones, twigs, acorns, pine cones, pods, nuts, feathers, small flowers, moss, wood, small plants and succulents.
It’s a cost effective play exercise and will be hours of enjoyment.
Some information about Small World Play and the value it provides to your child’s learning:
Small World Play is creating real life scenarios using small figures and objects. They tend to be set up in themes (ones relevant and meaningful to your child) eg. Farm, Zoo, Dinosaur, Construction, City and often include a sensory element (grains, water, sand, nature, pasta) which adds another level to the learning.
There are many benefits to Small World Play to Children’s learning some include:
•emotional development – children are able to explore and develop their emotions, learning to verbalise emotions is an important development. During the current climate small world play gives children the opportunity to express how they are feeling in a relaxed way.
•problem solving skills – sharing, organising resources and planning the scenes.
•social skills – children will be able to communicate with their peers/siblings, listen to others, compromise and take turns whilst playing in their small worlds
•understanding the world.
To engage a child in small world play it is important to allow them to guide its theme, relating to their own interests, leave it set up for a couple of days at the least so they have the opportunity to continue to revisit and build on their previous experiences. Let them guide what is required, how it is going to be set up and how the play will fold out.