Hello all! I have been invited by the lovely Melinda to talk a bit about creating a Christmas Small World. For those who don't know, a small world is a bit like an interactive whimsical, seasonal or educational display that helps your child fully immerse in a certain subject or celebratory time in life. Be it animals, mermaids, Halloween or Christmas - they are really fun and enjoyable way to create an interactive space for your child.
In our home we definitely view Christmas as a season and usually around mid November I set out our Christmas small world.
I absolutely love creating these spaces. I was always an imaginative child and it not only brings my children joy, but it brings out my inner child creating beautiful spaces for them to find magic in our home.
For Christmas I usually start with just a base of plain white felt, we are lucky enough to have built up a collection of stunning supplies for our small world play. Some of our favourites and most diverse are all papoose pieces. We sit our house on one of their beautiful woodscape slices (the house is also Papoose) and have our pine trees which we use in almost every small world set up we do but certainly go extra well with the Christmas display.
Another collection we are lucky enough to have built up is our Ambrosius flower fairy collection. These wee folk look absolutely gorgeous and are made to represent different plants and flowers of the season. Plus we have some beautiful Christmas editions!
As well as our fancy felt collection we have a few glittery trees that we got from Target or Kmart that give it some sparkle, and last year we had our little battery operated fairy lights out. This year they are hidden away from a certain little busy younger sibling, but they'll be out again next year.
Another really simple addition of course is nature! A pinecone here or there or some beautiful gum leaves are a really beautiful and economical way of adding to your display.
Something we have really embraced this year now that my youngest is a bit older and more self sufficient we have got right back into crafting so our set up this year is full of DIY small world fun, and I have to say - I think I love it just as much as our store bought items. You can absolutely be thrifty and eco-conscious and still create a magical small world. Your children can even take part in the creation of their little world. Simple ideas such as these pinecone trees and this 'Frozen Castle' (particularly good for the diehard Frozen fans out there) which are really simple for children to do independently.
Something else to add a special touch is to try your hand at DIY additions you make yourself to add to their space. I find it to be a special kind of joy to see little hands at work playing with items I have made especially for them. This year I added this super sweet little house for our Christmas display made of a cardboard frame, with twigs glued to the body of the frame and pinecone spikes pulled off and used as shingles for the roof. I added a little acorn cap 'mushroom' growing out the side as an extra whimsical touch - the possibilities are endless!
I also added in an acorn reindeer to make use of the nuts whilst I used the caps for different elements
Such as this sweet bell post - made using a woodslice, twigs, acorn caps and a small golden bell with cotton wool for the snow effect.
It is really such a joy to create these spaces for children and even more special to add elements made with or for children. I am a passionate advocate for the benefit of this style of play and encourage everyone to give it a go. Any small shelf or table that is easily accessible for your child makes a wonderful base and is a beautifully interactive way for them to engage in the Christmas spirit. You may find them acting out Christmas stories they've been told, or inventing their own precious tales. And if you choose to add your own crafting elements, and create opportunities for them to create bits and bobs of their own, it is truly a remarkable thing to see the pride and joy they feel when showing friends and family what they have made.
Anyway, thank you so much if you have read this far. It was a real joy to be able to write about something I am so passionate about, so thank you Melinda for the opportunity.
If you do have a go at creating a Christmas themed small world this year, please do tag me @little_faerie_folk_ so I can share in the magic you've created! Happy creating and crafting everyone - enjoy this beautiful holiday season with your family.
Mother to two little people, Bekah is passionate about creating magical spaces for their imaginations to thrive.
Beginning her journey into the world of play and all its many benefits began when her first child was a little over a year old. She and her husband made the decision to homeschool and this decision opened up a world of learning about how to create an environment for young children to learn and evolve in. From that an understanding of the importance play and imagination have in a child's developing mind.
On imaginative play
I was always a highly imaginative child. Drawn to fantasy stories, you would often find me wandering around the garden picking flowers, pretending I was an elf or a Hobbit. Out of my many childhood memories, the moments of deep immersion in a fantastical world are some of my most beautiful.
When I became a mother it was so important to me to nurture imaginative play. A child-like wonder awoke in me that had been quiet for many years and I harnessed that in creating magical spaces for my children.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing my children enchanted and immersed in a world of their own and I consider it a great honour to foster that and take part in creating areas where their imagination thrives. Childhood is this wonderful moment in time where magic can be everywhere and the only limit is your imagination.
It's my hope that by creating these spaces - as they grow my children will continue to look for, and create magic, for as long as possible.