We had fun making our own 'diy' play map complete with roads, railway, parks and shops for lots of small world play with train, cars and little people. Simple and fun play.
I drew a simple map on a piece of A3 card. (I cribbed most of my ideas from the Usborne Farmyard Tales Train Book, below). We had some shops, a station, a farm, the seaside, a camp site and park.
I then collected up various bits and pieces from our toy boxes to make a small town scene. I included some farm animals, brio trains, trees and signs, a few small people figures, a London bus, a roundabout and some toy cars.
Sometimes we make these sorts of scenes together, this time I set it up in the evening for them to play with the next day, as a little surprise. Although we do have a bought road map play mat, I often find that presenting the same activity in a new way or different environment provides the starting point for some lovely in depth play. Little Chick also added a lego boat, a see-saw and a few other things, once she started playing with it.
We had lots of train crashes and rescues and the police coming to sort things out. We had a horse loose on the campsite and the farmer rounding up his sheep in the field.
And yes she is wearing her swimming costume in the house (I think she's trying to suggest something to me!)
The trains had to stop at the stop sign.
Susannah loved moving all the people about and driving the trains along the tracks, chattering away all the time, most of the time I didn't really have any idea what she was on about, but it was lovely to hear her chatter and see her concentration.
For older children you could also draw the map of your real town or neighbourhood. I think Little Chick would love one of London, with an Uncle and Aunty living there she is always asking when we are going to London and what are we going to see in London!
Also see here for a lovely small world play town all in a large cardboard box, from the Imagination Tree. Or take the chalks and create a road map outside, this is always popular in our house.
Little Chick 4 years
Shoeshine 2 years