This snow slope small world play idea is easy to set up and a fun way to enjoy some winter sensory play and encourage your kids imaginations!
Even if you don’t have snow where you live, this simple winter small world play set up uses a few items you probably already have at home and is a great way to follow your child’s interests, explore their ideas and have lots of fun!
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In the middle of winter, lots of people are talking about the weather and how cold it is, so it’s no wonder it is a hot topic of conversation for my preschooler.
“Is it cold today? Will it snow at our house? Can we go to the snow? What does snow feel like? What do people do in the snow?”
All these questions makes it easy for me to know that my child is very interested in snow right now, so setting up imaginary play around his interest in snow is a great way to encourage his interest and build on his ideas about snow!
How to set up Winter Small World Play.
I decided to focus on the idea of what people do in the snow, so after a few conversations with my preschooler about skiing, snow boarding and and sledding I decided to create our own mini snow slope with some winter themed small world play.
This snow slope small world play is easy to set up and the plain white rice makes a low mess ‘snow’ that also makes this a lovely winter sensory play activity too.
Materials for the Snow Slope Small World:
- A tub or container – we used a small under-bed storage container.
- Something to make the shape of the slope – we used some bubble wrap but you could use material or a cushion.
- Some white rice – or you could use cloud dough.
- Some accessories – we used wooden trees, some wood off cuts, sticks and stones.
- Some people – we used Lego people and lego blocks to make ski’s, toboggans, and a cool snow board.
Set up your small world snow slope by making one end of your tub higher than the other. We rolled some bubble wrap at one end to make a nice gentle slope. Then cover your slope with rice to be the snow.
We used Lego minifigs for our people, and made skis and toboggans for them, and made sure they had helmets for safety too!
We added some small wooden trees, and a few pebbles just to make it feel like a real snow slope!
As my preschooler played with the snow slope small world we remembered visiting the snow last year, and talked about how snow feels and how it feels to race down the hill on the toboggan – working on lots of language skills.
As I left my preschooler to play on his own I could hear him chattering as he played. I heard him crash a person into the snow and exclaim about snow getting down his back and how he wanted to go home because he was cold. It was a recreation of what happened when he visited the snow, and it was interesting to hear him voice another person telling the cold wet guy that he’d be alright, that he could change his wet shirt and get warm and keep playing. He was using lots of social language and problem solving skills!
This was a really simple small world play set up, but because it was inspired by one of my preschooler’s current interests it held his attention for a long time, and he revisited the set up often during the day.
Magic happens if we let our children’s interests lead their play and the activities we offer them.
What happens when we follow our child’s interests?
When you provide open-ended, ‘free play’ activities and opportunities that follow your child’s current interest and give them time to explore and revisit them, these are some of the things that happen:
- They are more engaged in the activity and show longer attention spans.
- They can act out and recreate situations they have experiences to help them feel better or make sense of what has happened.
- They build on their current ideas, explore possibilities, and find answers to questions.
- They are more likely to play independently for longer periods of time.
- They learn that their ideas and interests are important and worth pursuing which builds self esteem.
How to extend a child’s interests.
This winter small world play was one way we followed my preschooler’s interested in snow and cold weather. Just setting up this activity on it’s own was a quick, easy and simple way to follow his current interests, but you can easy build on these ideas and extend the play with more simple activities.
Try coming up with some more activities related to your child’s current interest.
Books are also an easy way to follow a child’s interests. A quick visit to the library to borrow a few of these snow themed picture books is a great idea.
There are so many fun ways you can build on your child’s interests and encourage more exploration and learning.
More Seasonal Imaginative Play Ideas
If the weather is not so cold where you live, you might like one of these other seasonal small world play ideas:
You might also like these easy small world play ideas: