Easy peasy small world play

My four year old daughter loves all kinds of sensory play. In particular, she loves playing with sand, but we don’t have a sand box in the back yard for her so when she does get a chance to play with it she enjoys it even more. This small world is a fun project that she and I made together using a small wooden tray as a mini sand box with some extra bits and pieces we had floating around the house. This was a spur-of-the-moment activity that was not planned at all, we just needed something to do on a week day afternoon so I hunted down some suitable accessories and grabbed a bag of sand that we had stored in the garage and Miss K and I set to work building the pretend world.


You will need:
• A tray (does not have to be wooden, you can use any tray including a baking tray or disposable foil tray)
• Sand
• Accessories for the world can just be whatever you can find. We used:
– River stones
– craft sticks
– foil
– plastic gems
– Painted pinecones left over from Christmas craft last year (but you could also just use pieces of shrubs from the garden, twigs or plastic plants from the kid’s toy box)
– small toys to live in the world

How to:

To begin with fill the tray with sand. We left a hole in the middle for our lake. The lake is made of foil moulded into a lake shape, filled with blue acrylic gems. Miss K helped me line the outside of the lake with the river stones, then we placed a bridge made from craft sticks over it and created a path from some of the remaining river stones. For the finishing touch we added some pine cone “trees”.

All that was left to do was to go and find some toys to live in the world we’d just made. Miss K went and selected three of her favourites which happened to be a baby duck, a tiny dinosaur and an enormous turtle, haha.

I think the toys liked the lovely new world we made for them, and Miss K really enjoyed playing with it.



For tons more craft for play ideas visit my Craft and Play board on Pinterest


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Kate is a mother of two and blogger at The Craft Train. She aims to keep her craft ideas simple, achievable, inexpensive and creative – oh, and fun too. Hope you like them!

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  1. This looks like such an inviting small world play scene. What fun to create this together. I like that the bits and pieces used are ones that most people have at home, or could easily obtain – very resourceful 🙂
    Elise @ Creative Play Central recently posted…Birthday BookMy Profile

  2. Love this. My girls just LOVE small world play!


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