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Small world resources


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Hi all,

I'm struggling a bit with my small world resources at the moment as in what to have out as 'basic provision' and what to keep back and use as enhancements.

At the moment I have the train track and trains, trees and signs, people and animals. However, I'm thinking that I would like to at least add cars and dinosaurs to the basic provision. (I have to rotate the trains and cars with the Reception class at the moment - but think I should at least have cars all the time).

I also read somewhere that someone provided different base materials and like the sound of this - was thinking along the lines of carpet tiles/squares of different materials for children to choose to make their own scene? Also think I might add some natural mateirals - mini logs, sticks and stones, maybe a couple of spider plants?

I'm just trying to balance up not putting too much out while making sure that there is enough open-endedness to the play as well as leaving something to enhance the area with. Any ideas for enhancements would be also gratefully received!

Thanks

Green Hippo x

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i have a fantastic carpet shop who gives me his carpet rolls . I cut them down to make tunnels for the trains/cars. I also use them for huge tunnels in the garden...lots of coversations about speed/angles etc we have also had a kind of criss cross with them so that they have to guess which tunnel they are going to come out off!.

My train track is in the jungle at the moment (around our large plants!) with added wild animals (which brings the girls in!) We also made car road pieces (copied from another site...precious childhood i think?) made from pieces of card painted black and then lines added. The pieces were about 30 cms long and we had stright/and right/left corners so that they could create their own tracks.

(favourite game with the trains at the mo is building a really long track to get somewhere (snack table /around the carpet/ into the baby zone/to the kitchen etc etc) the children need to work together to get it there!

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Thanks for your replies!

Forgot to mention that I have the dolls house out as well with people and furniture (often find that the boys use this more than the girls.)

I do find that the girls use this area as much as the boys - they often have the animals out and the people. It was a little girl that got me thinking about the dinosaurs and last week it was mainly 3 girls and 1 boy who were playing with the train track!

I have my small world opposite my construction area which include small blocks - this allows the children to use the resources together and also allows for more space for the train-track or road (we have a plastic road which is in sections -straight and curved but have to share this with reception).

Think I'll add a few more natural resources.

What about types of small world - how many different types e.g. people/dinosaurs/animals etc do you have out at anyone time?

Thanks

Green Hippo x

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As a direct result of ECERS we had a movable trolley next to our small world area (well this is where small world started out each day - it invariably moved during the course of the session!) which we stocked with various resources that children could access as their play moved on. When we sensed they were getting a bit bored we would swap the trays around and bring out 'new' accessories to keep things fresh.

 

It worked for us and gave the children great opportunities to sort and categorise as they tidied away, too! As a packaway setting this was a really good way of offering children a wider range of resources without needing to carry out hundreds of boxes every morning.

 

You sound like you've got lots of great ideas for extending your childrens' small world, green hippo.

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Thanks HappyMaz. I'm just trying to establish that happy medium between offering enough choice and also thinking sometimes "less is more".

I think I have these pictures in my head of lovely set-up small world trays with different coloured basis, natural materials, etc with animals/dinosaurs etc stratigically place (like I've seen at the Early Excellence!) and which I know that children will quickly make-their-own shall we say? but wonder if I should be setting-up more of this type of thing? I do have a tuff spot which I use for small-world e.g. compost, rocks, logs and mini-beasts or fake grass with farm and animals etc but they never look quite as inviting. However, I also want to offer this setting-up experience over to the children which has led me down the root of offer more natural resources, coloured fabric piece, pebbles, possible different coloured gravel?

Green Hippo x

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I have a tuff spot out each session and I fill it with different 'themed' habitats each week to which the children can add other small world things as they wish too..... so I might put out plastic fishtank type plants, sequins, glass beads, sparkly material scraps, tinsel to which they might add fairies or fairytale characters or it might be pebbles, stones, plastic grass (although I have used pots of chives instead), coloured gravel, sand to which they can add dinosaurs or bugs. I keep all the 'themes' in labelled boxes in the store room so it easy for me to lay my hands on, for example, the box with pirates, treasure chests, sparkly sand, pirate ships, blue silky cloth, jewels etc if i want to add that to the tray. it has taken a little while to gather all the resources together and each time they are out some inevitably disappear only to turn up weeks later in the bottom of the car box but on the whole it allows me to have some resources which aren't available to the children all the time so that I can ring the changes or respond quickly to a childs interest

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Lovely ideas max321 - thanks. We have some themed resources - space, pirates, fairy-tale, airport etc which we put out separately to the other resources but not quite as extensive a collection of goodies that you have described!

Thanks,

Green hippo x

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  • 4 months later...

Hi all,

Sorry for returning to this thread but I'm still wondering whether my basic provision is 'right' for my small-world area.

Just wondering whether others could list what they have out as basic continuous provision - the things that are always on offer as opposed to 'sets' that we get out to respond to particular interests?

Thanks

Green Hippo x

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have a trolley like you happymaz and at the end of the week i have box that comes out with pictures of resources on them and the children choose what they want out for the following week. You have to be resourceful in a packaway :)

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Thanks for your replies.

I have spoken to my head about our resources which are all looking well-used and he is finding some extra money for us to spend, so I will be compiling a list which will definitely include some small world resources. We have space, castles, pirates, dolls house, winter animals and farm house sets which we keep separate and bring out as enhancements but I want to extend the basic resources. I have already bought/got - different coloured felt, interesting wooden pieces and pebbles to include as basic resources so children can create their own 'worlds' - just need a few more open-ended bits to add then I'll see if my idea works? Think I will have to spend some time with the children 'creating' with them!

Thanks

Green Hippo x

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