We are participating in Suzy Homeschooler's new series The ABCs of Raising Well-Rounded Geeklings! Be sure to check it out, because there are a ton of awesome posts and activities being shared! Today is Letter F and we are sharing our Fantasy Small World!
To create our small world, we used a shallow, round sensory bin, moss, blue and green glass gems, half of a coconut shell, and some Dungeons and Dragons miniatures. We used our D&D miniatures because Munchkin and Bean love playing with them. Plus there are a ton of them and we can pick and choose which "characters" we want in our story. If you don't already own D&D miniatures, then they may be hard to find or just expensive. Our local comic store sells them for a couple dollars each, which I don't find worth it. You can use any fantasy-related toys, like Safari Ltd's Days of Old, Fairy Fantasies, or Mythical Realms toobs.
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Since we recently played with dragons, Bean wanted to continue telling her story about the gold-hoarding dragons who now wanted to lay eggs. We choose a couple dragons, some heroes and villains, and a few random creatures.
I used moss and sticks to create a forest area. We added blue glass gems for a lake.
The coconut shell served as the dragons nest. We added some golden glass gems to the nest as eggs.
It's a humble set-up just waiting for the storytellers to arrive. We set up small worlds like this based on whatever interests them and it serves as not only a sensory bin, but an outlet to work on their literacy skills. Storytelling is a wonderful way to work on language and vocabulary, critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills.
This little guy is a mushroom-man. His story is much like the tale of the gingerbread man, in that he was once a mushroom that gained consciousness. :)
Here are our band of heroes. They are trekking through the underbrush to find the Drow, who are dark elves. Our group was stopped suddenly when the Drow sorceress cast a fire ball at them! Oh no!
Meanwhile the Cold Ones (Bean is convinced the ice zombies are the same guys from Game of Thrones) were busy trying to freeze the lake.
You can barely see it, but the Unicorn is chasing a tiny T-Rex! Apparently he's a bit nippy.
Mama dragon is keeping her eggs safe, while Papa dragon sits on the hill looking for danger.
Bean is convinced the lizard lady is Vastra from Doctor Who. Her job here is to investigate why the villains want to steal the dragon eggs.
Munchkin had a ton of fun playing with the rock golem and telling us all about the types of rocks he likes to eat, from gemstones to granite. Bean meanwhile left the dragons to their baby rearing business, while the unicorn chased the little dinosaur around.
Feeding the Rock Golem!
Despite the small size of the sensory bin, they shared the area well and enjoyed playing together. They even worked together to tell a few different short stories. One of the stories was about how the dragon of the lake learned about camouflage. Bean told Munchkin all about this awesome natural talent!
By the end of the story, the unicorn somehow ended up being the true bad guy, who hired the Drow elves to cause a commotion, while the unicorn made off with the eggs.
You may be interested in these books from Usborne (click on the picture):
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