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Circle Time: Small-World Play

Circle Time: Small-World Play

Circle Time: Small-World Play

PlanToys Circle Time: Small World Play

Small world play offers a thrilling perspective on play. It's an imaginative form of play that encourages people to observe the finer details, enhance their fine motor skills, eye coordination, and spatial awareness, all the while becoming adept at self-expression and representation. In this month's circle time, we're exploring the joys of small-world play and discussing what we love most about it. We'll also be showcasing the PlanToys that contribute to the excitement and possibilities of this imaginative play style!



An Array of Benefits

Through play, we can embark on journeys to distant lands or places we aspire to visit, both in the real world and the realms of our imagination. Play provides us with a stage to revisit cherished memories, such as sailing or exploring another country. Through reenactment and storytelling, we can relive beloved moments and create new ones.

Small-world play supports a variety of developmental needs, some of which include:

  • Language & Socialization: These skills expand rapidly as children verbalize sound effects and animate their characters while speaking on their behalf. They effortlessly weave stories, responding to each character seamlessly and continuously building their narratives. Children are true experts at this!
  • Fine Motor Coordination: Children are putting these skills to the ultimate test by carefully placing small objects into houses, vessels, and habitats. They ingeniously incorporate even tinier props to curate each unique scene.
  • Compartmentalization & Imagination: Some of the most beloved small-world play scenes include farms, castles, and towns. Children delight in recognizing the distinctions within these settings, such as where cows live and where cars travel. However, they also relish challenging these norms by placing characters in unexpected and imaginative scenarios. In their world of play, cows might joyfully ride in cars, breaking free from their everyday scenes and sparking new adventures.
  • Sequencing & Storytelling: Everyone adores a captivating story. Children relive stories from their perspective but also boldly create new tales. The intricacy of their stories increases the more engaged they become. Through this process, children learn the art of crafting effective narratives and discover the importance of a well-structured story.
  • Creativity & Exploration: With limitless play potential at their fingertips, children are pushing themselves to explore beyond the familiar and bring to life anything their vivid imaginations can conjure.
  • Special Interests: Small-world play encompasses anything one can imagine, from insects to spaceships. With this, children have the opportunity to explore their curiosities and interests, awakening a fascination that is likely to stay with them throughout their lives.
  • Empathy: Children's hearts grow with compassion as they play with toy animals and dolls. They step into the role of the ultimate caretaker fostering a sense of care and support for nature and people around them.


Craft Your World

Small-world play presents an ideal chance to foster hands-on creativity and repurpose everyday materials. Children often envision a larger scope for their play, and it may require more than the toys in their playroom to materialize their visions. During these moments, it's time to break out the glue, cardboard, and crayons – let's make it together!

Below are a list of materials you can repurpose into a diorama:

  • Shoe boxes
  • Shipping boxes
  • Pet food boxes
  • Large milk or laundry detergent cartons
  • Mint tins (for tiny dioramas)
  • Paper mache. Learn more about the possibilities of this medium by clicking here. 


Learning Resources

If the list of benefits couldn't get any more extensive, small-world play also introduces children to fundamental mathematical concepts and science.
Children naturally engage with mathematical concepts as they figure out where different elements fit and determine if an area or structure is at its maximum capacity. 

Small world play provides an engaging pathway for children to make exciting discoveries and learn about the world of plants, animals, and insects. Through miniature settings, children can explore various ecosystems and habitats.

Encourage and challenge children by asking thought-provoking questions that fuel their play and curiosity, without interrupting the flow of their imaginative exploration.


Building Strong Connections

Small-world play remains captivating throughout our lives, allowing us to expand upon our interests and passions. Young train enthusiasts have a high likelihood of evolving into advanced train enthusiasts, becoming true masters of their craft, with entire rooms dedicated solely to their intricate train layouts. This form of play unites people of all ages and diverse interests. It creates a common ground where individuals can learn about each other and blend their miniature play worlds, fostering camaraderie and connection. In this world of play, there's always space for new friendships.


Below is a list of small-world PlanToys that are certain to inspire wonder and exploration: 

Creative Blocks - 18M+
Urban City Blocks - 3Yrs+
Countryside Blocks - 3Yrs+

Slide N Go Dollhouse - 3 Yrs+

View our full dollhouse library by clicking here.

Sea Life Set - 12M+
Wild Animals Set - 12M+
DIY Dinos 

PlanWorld Minis - 3Yrs+

Learn more and find direct links to the full collection by clicking here.

Camping Set - 3Yrs+

Tree House - 3Yrs+

Hybrid Train - 3Yrs +

Classic Train - 3Yrs +

Water Play Set - 3Yrs+
Fishing Game - 3Yrs+

DIY Dinos - 3Yrs+


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