Off with the fairies

Fairyland was my mythical world of choice growing up and the obsession seems to have been passed down. Every night, as part of our bedtime routine, I am asked to tell a story and nine times out of ten, the request is specifically for a fairy story.

Yesterday, instead of sending my daughter off to sleep with the dreamland fairies, we brought them to life in our own backyard. Indulging our mutual love for all things pretty and magical, we set up a miniature fairy garden, complete with clothesline, toadstool, fairy dust, a woodland mouse, coloured pebbles, and all the pink and purple flowers we could find. 



One of the fairy houses was purchased especially for this project, but the other we made ourselves earlier this year. To see details of our painted wooden birdhouse craft, take a look at the blog post here.


Small world play is such a great way to reenact stories or explore different real life (or make-believe) settings, whilst encouraging language development and independent play. Some of my favourite ideas include:

This Autumn fairy small world, by the very creative Bonnie from Make-It-Your-Own:


This farmyard sensory play by UK-based early years teacher and mama of four, Anna from The Imagination Tree:


This dinosaur small world set-up by creative play enthusiast and stay-at-home mum of three, Ann from Little Worlds, Big Adventures:


Other fun small world ideas on my list include:

  • Frog ponds
  • Arctic landscapes
  • Construction zones
  • Deep sea exploration
  • Island and pirate ship seascape
  • Dolls house play
  • Garden life

Setting up a small world invitation to play can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. Most of the best ones I’ve come across include some sensory elements – sand, nature finds, coffee beans, or pasta, rice or lentils, straight from the pantry or died a different colour. For more inspiration, check out this Pinterest board of ideas:


2 thoughts on “Off with the fairies

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