Imaginative play is so much fun, and it can engage kids for long periods of time which makes it awesome for parents too! But sometimes you just don’t have the time or the energy to set up a big, elaborate, imaginative play scene. You just need something quick, easy, and portable.
These fun ‘play plates‘ are just that – a quick and easy small world play option!
Kids of all ages will have with these mini imaginative play set ups, and you can use them in so many different ways!
And because this dramatic play scene is set up on a plate, it doesn’t tale much time or effort to set up or pack up. Using a plate as a defined play area can help keep the mess under control, and it’s easily portable. If your child is in the middle of playing but you need to pack up, you can honor their play by easily popping the play plate on the shelf, without disturbing the scene they have created, so they can pic up where they left off another timer.
How to Set up Small World Play on a Plate.
You only need a handful of items to put together a super fun play plate small world, and you probably have most them already!
What you’ll need to set up play plate:
- A plate.
- A piece of coloured paper or one of our free printable play plate mats (see below to download)
- Some mini animals or other figurines.
- A couple of accessories – rocks, leaves, sticks, gems etc.
We used disposable, plastic, oval, dinner plates that we had in the cupboard, and that you can easily buy at the supermarket. You could use any plastic or paper plate, or even a regular old dinner plate. Simply cut your coloured paper, or the play plate printable to fit the inside of whatever plate you choose.
We set up two play plates – a dinosaur small world and a farm small world.
For the dinosaur play plate we made a printable play mat with rocks and a pond. We used a few small pebbles, some leaves from the daisy bush, and a handful of small plastic dinosaurs. That’s it!
For the farm play plate we made a printable play mat with paddocks and a path down the middle. We used the same small pebbles, some cut grass and a handful of little farm animals.
Both play mats are A4 sized pdf files, sized to fit a large oval disposable plate, you will need a pdf reader such as adobe acrobat to open them. If you are printing on US ‘letter sized’ paper be sure to select ‘fit’ or ‘shrink to fit’ from your printer options.
Please remember that the printables at picklebums.com are for personal use only, you may not sell, share, or link directly to these files.
If your plates are a different size or shape to ours you could cut a piece of coloured paper to fit, or get the kids to draw their own play mat to fit the plate. And you can add whatever accessories you happen to have on hand, just keep it simple!
Once you have the plate set up, it’s time to play!
These play plates are so quick and easy to set up, and once you have a couple of plates made it’s super easy to pull out something fun for the kids to do.