Little Red Hen

Centre for Early Childhood Care and Education
8 Lower Shantalla Road Galway


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This Weeks Menu

Junior Montessori
Senior Montessori
After School
Parents' Info
The Value of Play
Sand Play
Water Play
Heuristic Play
Small World Play
Free Play
Circle Time
Policies & Procedures
Behaviour Management

Small World Play

Small World Play is imaginative play where children are provided with small beautiful objects with which to play.  This type of play is similar to role play put different in that the child creates the small world and transfer their thoughts and feelings onto the objects.  The thoughts and feelings then belong to the object not to the child.  These objects are not "commercially bought toys" and are often made of natural or recycled materials.  Materials are open ended and may include the following:

  • wood or cardboard boxes
  • wooden or cloth family figures, vehicles or animals
  • small blocks, shells, stones, seeds, feathers
  • wooden, metal or porcelain bowls, dishes, bottles, cups, trays
  • fabrics: silk, velvet, lace, voile, wool

The objects are often "fragile" and children learn to play in an appropriate manner.  The child is provided with a clearly defined private and enclosed space such as at or under a small table or in a small secluded corner. This space provides the opportunity for the child to explore the materials alone or in a small group of two or three children. Types of materials provided are simple and appealing and materials are regularly rotated in order to regenerate interest, and extend or change the direction of play.  Children are involved in the swapping of materials and the choosing of new objects which will be incorporated into the small world.

The role of the adult in Small World play is to sit nearby to support and observe the play and to provide sensitive non-intrusive responses.