We love playmobil for extended small world play. I always enjoy watching their adventures change and adapt to include the figures I put out.


  • Playmobil
  • Tuff tray
  • Pirate ship
  • Carpet cuttings for grass and sand
  • Loose parts – I offered ping pong balls, vase fillers and syringe adaptors


Step 1: I set this tray up as an invitation to play. They like having different zones, so there was one area for the sea, one for the zoo and another for a beach and park. Ioan went straight for the pirate ship and Finn for the diggers.

Ioan made up an adventure about pirates and Finn had some unruly motorbike riders disturbing the sleeping zoo animals.

On this occasion, they chose not to play the same game. Instead they were happy to play alongside each other independently.

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)

Communication and language

ELG 03 – Speaking:

Children use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.

Physical development

ELG 04 – Moving and handling:

Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.

Understanding the world

ELG 14 – The world:

Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another.

Expressive arts and design

ELG 16 – Exploring and using media and materials: children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques.

ELG 17 – Being imaginative: children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.