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Just wondering what you all feel is useful small world play?

All I have in my classroom is a dolls house and a garage, so i'm finding it really difficult to keep coming up with new ideas for them.


Can anyone suggest some things they have found really beneficial? I'm also on a bit of a limited budget so the cheaper the better.




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dinosaurs and volcano

under the sea









British wildlife/autumn

Fairytale Castle

and theres more


Use the Builders tray for a lot of these

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Our children made a puppet TV, puppets made with photo's of the children/staff attached to loo roll holders, TV made from a box and an A3 sheet of laminate for the screen.


Natural materials are great for small world dinosaur play, logs, hay, wood.


Block play is very versatile as well, although expensive to start with (maybe a tour of boot fairs may help) block play is so open ended.






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Could you creata problem solving opportunity for them? Make up a scenario that they could act out and develop? Why not use a tape player and record the scenario or question, provide a variety of 'materials' (notepad, pens, roleplay phone, junk boxes & scissors with tape etc......) and see how it all unfolds.....

Just an idea, haven't tried it myself but now I might!

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have a look at the little book of small world it has some great ideas . I like shoe box enviroments our out of school club with the older children cut picks out of catalogues and stick them in the boxes and when they get fed up leave them for pre-school who will play for ages with a couple of figures.

I trawl the charity shops for bits and pieces got a Fifi house and figures for £3 and a really old farm house the kids adore them.

TTs have got some good stuff to use in a tough spot though the bases are a bit expensive

shredded paper , natural materials are all good bases for play

our reception class has small shallow trays with small baskets of material carpet twigs pebbles figures so the children can help themselves this could be near the blocks so they can make their own enviroments.

my pre-schoolers are into old mcdonalds figures any type and build dens with the large blocks to put the figures in. They especially like wind up ones that they can build ramps for, long short sloped a bit of LJW problem solving there


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We 'converted' our dolls house into a hotel and put down large sheets of paper underneath (wall paper) and then the children drew their own ideas for things to have inside the hotel complex. We have done the same with the garage and they drew maps and roads and all sorts.


Our children also love photo people, we use their photos (laminated and cut out) and velcro them onto yakult bottles so they can be reused.

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