Eden loves dolls, doll houses, doll accessories... anything that could be considered 'small world play' and she's all over it! I knew she would appreciate it if I made a house for some of her little dolls (I purchased a pack while ago for $1).
|The 'curtains' are just cut from spare tulle|
Now for the furniture! Three matchboxes taped partially open make for cosy little beds, and I added some tissue paper blankets on top to pretty it up. Then I just used craft glue to stick the beds onto icy-pole sticks to form triple bunk beds.
The table was made by sticking a rectangle of cardboard covered in foil on top of a building block. The chairs were tricky to make: I actually did a few versions before these. These ones use the bases from tealight candles and a bit of a paper plate taped to the side to form the back of the chair.
I might attach a velcro tab to open and close the box, and add a handle so that we can take it with us when we go out and about. In the end, the whole thing looked like this:
The best part of all was leaving it open on the kitchen bench and seeing my Eden's face when she saw it!
I guess I would categorise this type of play as small world play. It is a miniature, contained world, focusing on one type of area. For example, you could create a beach scene, or an underwater scene, or a forest scene. It helps kids to fine tune their fine motor skills, as well as providing a starting point for their imaginations!
The only caution I would give is this: please try not to go overboard. Cardboard, paper and matchsticks do not make for enduring playthings. I made this with the expectation that sooner or later the things would break - and that's ok! Naturally, I encourage her to take care of her things, but even so, it will not last forever. To save on stress, don't be precious about your creation, or spend hours on the details. I can tell you firsthand that putting extensive effort and detailing will only make you proud - your child will enjoy it even if the detail is minimal.
Other ideas for this type of box-small-world-play could be to make a car garage, a fairy castle, a post office, a hospital, a vet surgery.... the opportunities are endless! Use your child's interests and existing little toys as a starting point and see what you can create!
Thanks for reading, and enjoy your weekend! ~ L.