When exploring the Remida center during our Tuesday field trip last week, many of the children had two favorite things they got to d0- ride the bus, and play with the ‘tiny realms’. They had set out small divided scenes filled with tiny things for the children to play in. There was a box filled with soil, sticks and moss, a tray filled with sand and cups and a slide, little homes with appliances and creatures, and many reused materials. The children had several rooms to explore in this area but all were entranced at the tiny realms.
I had a chance to talk with the Remida director about the tiny realms and we were so excited to see the children so happily intrigued. “In this world, they are giants.”, she told me. We discussed that children can feel in control of a world with this play and have the opportunity to play the role of a larger entity and a powerful being. We also discussed how children of this age are often so attracted to small things. Maria Montessori called this age a ‘sensitive period’ for many things, including small objects. They seem to have a natural compulsion to master this area and it is so exciting to observe.
After this inspirational field trip, we brought tiny realms to Tulip Tree. We have done work with this throughout the year, but this time intentionally built different terrains and scenes side by side. The children have been happily exploring there all week.