Winter is here and learning about igloos through small world play is a great way to learn about the snow houses. An igloo, also known as a snow house or snow hut, is a type of shelter built of suitable snow. The structure is built from blocks of compressed snow which are carefully shaved and placed to fit in optimal positions. The igloo works by the thermal conductivity being low by stopping heat from being transferred into the surroundings which makes for highly effective insulators.
Small world play accompanied with loose parts (flat marbles, snowflakes, bottle brush trees), sensory (insta snow)+ STEM (mini ice blocks) materials, figurines (igloo play set, wooden snowmen, arctic animals, polar animals,) are a great way for extending literacy, language, imaginary play, and tactile play. Through this play they can reenact what they see/hear in stories, movies, shows, experiences, and environments around them to deepen their understanding of the world. This type of play can be defined as where children accept and assign roles, then act them out.
When children engage in this type of play they break through the walls of reality, use their imagination, pretend to be someone or something different from themselves, explore different worlds, and have actions to go along with the roles they have chosen to play.
Play is an integral part of the developmental learning process by allowing children to develop skills in such areas as abstract thinking, literacy, math, & social studies, in a timely natural manner. They are able to play and manipulate a variety of materials and textures that stimulate their mind and body while deepening their connection and understanding of the world.