Life in miniature. Small world play offers some special learning opportunities for children. Acting out narratives and ideas through the manipulation of small equipment (animals, dolls, Lego people etc) helps children to reflect on feelings and events in their lives in a safe way.
Small world play is also rich in possibilities for learning about spaces and positions, with many opportunities for putting things inside structures, on top, next to and underneath.
Doll play is also carefully presented and structured. Each doll has clothes, bedding etc which fit and the children are encouraged to imagine the dolls as a real person and respect them as such: we discourage the naked doll face down in the water tray, and other forms of play which devalue the dolls and limit the imaginative richness of play.
Dolls, clothes and bedding all reflect a range of cultural practices.
Children are encouraged to take dolls out, push them in prams and take them around with the same care and respect they would show a baby: if children simply want an object to put somewhere and zoom around, then an alternative is found.
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