Small World Play: Ocean
Small world play is simply when you set an invitation to explore where children use items to engage in scenes from their own experiences, environments, books, pictures, fairytales, or to expose them to new ones. Since the pandemic has put a halt to experiencing zoos, aquariums, farms, and trips, small worlds are perfect for exposure to different environments.
Many small worlds incorporate sensory play materials to enrich the experience and make it more realistic. In this invitation I placed kinetic sand, spectacular sand, flat marbles, and real shells. The ocean life figurines are from Discount School Supply which also comes in set of four different habitats.
Small worlds are great for many areas of development, including language, imaginary play, and sensory play. This type of play can be defined as where children accept and assign roles, and then act them out. When we have an invitation such as this where it classifies habitats it develops the child's mathematical thinking, observation skills, ability to notice and talk about similarities and differences between things, and language skills. In addition to all of these benefits, this activity where they are able to see the distinct environments allow the child to cover some science concepts and vocabulary: habitat, predator, prey, food chain, land vs. water, the difference between the habitats, and more.