The Benefits of Small world play - Penguins in Ice and Snow

Dimples adores Penguins. He has gone through many phases with favourite toys and animals but Penguins have always remained a favourite and he loves all the Happy Feet Movies.
After Christmas was over we still had a batch of the fake Snow to play with so I threw together this Small World Sensory tub for him.

Small world play is an easy and cheap way for children to play.
You can use anything really; recycled materials, natural materials, bits and bobs that are laying around or a theme of small toys mixed with other materials. Anything that can represent the real world and that can aide in independent play.

With the Happy Feet Small World Sensory Tub Dimples played with Fake Snow, Water Beads, Real Crushed Ice & Ice cubes, Styrofoam pieces to represent ice capsules, his penguin figures, some small plastic seal animals & sea creatures and some rocks.

He played independently for a long time making up stories about his penguins.
The Ice cubes were used as stepping stones through the melted snow.
The sticks and rocks were used to build planks across melted snow.
The Styrofoam was used as ice capsules, or land for the creatures. Dimples made them "float" through the melting snow and made capsules collide together. Some of the baby penguins got stranded on the ice, crying for their dad.
Then there was a blizzard so Dimples made a cave for all the animals to be safe in.

Benefits of Small World Play:

  • Builds on Imagination
  • Encourages independent Play
  • Sensory and tactile stimulation
  • Develops story telling skills
  • Encourages role-play where the child can re-enact real life scenarios or familiar experiences.
  • Abstract thinking; cognition related to logic and reason as the child makes up real life scenarios and solves 'problems' in their play 
  • Promotes creative thinking

Other Small world ideas we have done are:

Penguin Sensory Play

2 Ocean boxes for small world play

Echidna craft: Imaginary Australian Play

D is for digging.

Small World Sand dough Beach Play & Sea creatures

Magical Gnome garden
Happy Adventures into the New Year


  1. My eldest loves Penguins! We also nicknamed our 2nd child Happy Feet when he was learning to walk because he'd do this little dance before taking a step...very cute :) I love the play that your small world tub provides your son. It's a good size too!

  2. Oh, how fun!! My daughter loves penguins as well. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!



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