Ideas to Invigorate Your Small World Shelves

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Children love to play on surfaces and in nooks. It’s a given that children enjoying playing on the floor because there is room to spread out and take their play as far as they can dream. However, there are also times when children enjoy when the space is limited and they can create within a set of parameters. This is one reason why we love to create small world play on shelves.

We listen and observe our learners continually to stay current with where their interests lie. We offer loose parts to encourage creativity and the opportunity to take their play in multiple directions. When they are free to explore with these materials, children discover ways to express and develop their thoughts and feelings. We provide opportunities for our learners to play with math and literacy by the materials we offer, they add, or together we co-create.

Ideas to Invigorate Your Small World Shelves

  • push lights
  • christmas lights
  • mirrors
  • co-create word wall
  • paint scenes for backgrounds
  • loose-parts (i.e. gems, diamonds, bricks, tiles, tree cookies)
  • letters/sight words/numbers on loose parts
  • figures
  • grass mats
  • playdough
  • blocks
  • rocks
  • fake/real trees, leaves, bushes
  • streamers
  • sticks
  • fabric in shapes (i.e. lakes, rivers, land)
  • bird feeders as homes
  • clipboards/writing utensils
  • books
  • dry-erase boards

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