Mini Playscapes – Small World – Jungle Time

eyfs - toddler - preschool - pre-k - sensory play- messy play - rice play - small world - playscape - playscene - learning through play - play matters


I love using herbs out of the garden in our small world play. The basil we used smelled so strong and any time you touched it there came a more powerful burst of fragrance. The fabulous green rice (dyed rice) works as a great contrast to the black beans. I put some of the basil in a small pot to act as a bush/ tree and also had some loose leaves too. I knew I hadn’t got much time to tidy up after this set up, so used a Grapat blue bowl upturned to act as a small watering hole. I have previously used real water, which Floss loves, but it does take a bit more time and space to dry everything out before packing away. Small world animals are dotted around and Floss used these to act out getting food, water and sleeping more than anything else. The Eric & Albert Safari blocks add a lovely bit of height and places for the animals to hide. As always clearing up is easy too when using a colander to separate the rice and black beans. Rice and black beans I store in airtight jars ready to use again. Scooping, pouring and transferring is still top of Floss’s list, so we had the Grimms Natural Bowls and metal measuring spoons. I also found part of a garlic press and a spirit measure.

Scenery and Characters


  • Which animal do you think is the fastest runner and why do you think that?
  • Where in the world do you find jungles?

Brilliant Books

Floss loves these series of books by Usborne. That’s not 
my… the repetitive nature makes it all the more familiar 
and enjoyable even when it’s a different character.
This is on our wish list. It’s a collection of stories and 
artwork by children who live in the rainforest and they
say what you can do to help save these beautiful places.

I’ve only been able to find this second hand. Stunning 
photos of jungles and their inhabitants.

When They’re Ready Phonics

Learning to be able to split words up into the number of syllables is very helpful when it comes to spelling words. Breaking words up into syllables helps children identify the individual phonemes needs to spell words. Jungle animals are great as there is a good range of animals with varying syllables. You could clap the number of syllables in the name. 

When They’re Ready Maths

Counting – Showing little ones how to count so they know they have counted everything is an important skill to ensure accuracy. Moving animals from the green to the black or vice versa can help to aid counting all the animals in the tray and not missing any or duplicating when counting.

Division – You can also use two colours like this to help introduce division and experimenting with whether all numbers divide evenly or not. This can be the beginning of odds sand evens too. 

eyfs - toddler - preschool - pre-k - sensory play- messy play - rice play - small world - playscape - playscene - learning through play - play matters

Change It Up!

Want to make your playscape last longer. Remove everything except the rice and beans. Mix them around and you’ve got an alien planet. Add monsters/ aliens or astronauts and spaceships.

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