3 1/2 years old

Jungle Small World Play


Welcome to the jungle!  I'm quite new to the idea of organised small world play, but decided to give it a try with a small world jungle.  We have loads of little toys and Ethan is pretty good at using his imagination and making up little stories for his favourite toys, but by creating him a specific small world to play in I will be able to encourage him to vary his characters and stories.

I've started quite simply by making a little jungle for Ethan to play with his animals in.  We covered a tray with green tissue paper, then used other green craft materials to make trees and create different textures and levels.  Under a strip of green construction paper we used some cotton balls to make it a higher area of hills.  Then Ethan helped me to add some pipe cleaner trees and pom pom trees as well.  We just put in a little blue bowl to be the lake for the animals to bathe in and drink from.

I also used it as an opportunity to allow Ethan to work on his cutting skills.  He cut out some little strips that we stuck together to make even more tree shapes and to use in his play.  That way he could move trees as well as animals around whilst he played.

He made up some great little stories about the animals interacting with each other and going on all sorts of adventures.  I didn't lead his play at all, so some of the stories were of the animals going around the jungle and washing in the lake and some were more 'people' stories like going to the dentist!  His animals all played nicely together, there was no danger in this jungle of the tiger trying to eat a zebra (although I'm sure that his play will get that way eventually!)

We also attempted a bit of jungle small world play outside using our builders tray as a base.  Unfortunately we didn't get to finish as we got rained out, but it was fun trying to create a jungle outside with natural materials.  We put some leaves and flower petals around the tray as well using play dough to stick leaves in to make trees.  Of course we also had a lake in the middle for the animals to play in (and Ethan really enjoyed being able to really let the animals splash around in the water!)

We may be new to the exciting play opportunities of small worlds, but there are plenty of bloggers who have been doing some fantastic ones for a while now!  So we've joined in with this A-Z of Small World Play on Still Playing School, and this is 'J for Jungle'.  You should definitely have a look at the incredible list of other ideas that have been shared over there!

You Might Also Like


  1. Animals (and kids!) always love splashing in the water! I love that builders tray - that must come in handy for some many things!


Like us on Facebook