Create a winter fairy garden and invite children to engage in small world imaginative play with this frozen winter wonderland. Pretend play allows children to flex their creative muscles and develop their imaginations.
This DIY winter fairy garden small world can provide hours of unlimited imaginary play for a young child. Instructions for this frozen winter wonderland include DIY elements that can help children develop fine motor skills, stimulate the sensory system, and improve literacy skills.
Unlike most fairy garden ideas, this winter wonderland does not contain live plants or soil, instead, it contains twig winter trees and is filled with Epsom salt snow!
Related: Best Open-Ended Pretend Play Toys
Fairy Garden Winter Wonderland Small World Play
While some forms of imaginative play are larger than life, fairy gardens like this winter small world, are miniaturized versions. Dollhouses are probably one of the most well-known forms of small world imaginary play. Our daughter spends hours playing with her tabletop fairy garden during the dark days of winter chittering and chattering away with her fairy friends.
Like most fairy gardens, this fairy winter wonderland small world includes sensory play elements, fine motor activities and can enhance literacy skills. However, unlike most miniature gardens, this winter fairy garden does not require live plants or soil. Instead, invite children to decorate pony bead winter trees and play with the Epsom salt snow!
Epsom salts have a wonderful sensory quality to them. My daughter loves them so much I caught her playing with her bare feet in the tray one day!
Winter Fairy Garden Imaginative Play Supplies
- Wooden Tray – We used the tray that came with this wooden dough tools set. This wooden serving tray would also work well.
- Tea light candle house, tin house fairy lantern, or painted rock fairy houses
- Flameless candles or beeswax tealight candles (optional)
- Fairy toys or DIY Winter Fairies, woodland animals, or Disney Frozen Figurines
- Epsom salt
- Mixed blue pony beads
- Rhinestone pinecones (optional)
- Pruning shears
- Twigs and/or small branches
- Floral foam or old playdough
Related: How to Make a Fairy Garden
Related: Best Winter Art Projects for Kids
Fairy Winter Wonderland Small World Step by Step Directions
Most fairy gardens and small worlds look detailed and complex, however, they are surprisingly easy to put together. This fairy winter wonderland is no exception. My daughter and I made this cute little winter fairy garden in less than 20 minutes.
Follow the detailed step-by-step instructions written below, or, scroll down to print the basic directions.
Related: Beach Fairy Garden Ideas
Step 1 – Gather twigs or small bare branches
Collect twigs and/or small branches. Find bare branches and twigs that have limbs small enough in diameter to decorate with pony beads.
Step 2 – Trim bare branches to look like small winter trees
Use pruning shears to trim twigs and bare branches to look like small winter trees.
Related: Natural Materials for Pretend Play
Step 3 – Trim floral foam or mold old playdough
Trim blocks of floral foam to fit or roll 2-4 cups of old playdough into a large fat worm the length of the wooden tray. Mold and press the playdough or floral foam into the back of the tray lengthwise.
Related: Tree Stump Fairy Garden
Step 4 – Plant twig trees in the playdough
Invite children to place twigs trees into the floral foam or playdough. This is a great activity for developing hand-eye coordination.
Step 5 – Fill the tray with Epsom salts
Epsom salts are a wonderful ingredient for sensory play. My daughter loved the Epsom salts in this winter fairy garden so much I caught her playing with her feet in the tray–Too cute!
Step 6 – Invite children to decorate the twig winter trees with pony beads
This is an excellent fine motor activity that children can continue once the winter fairy garden is finished.
Step 7 – Create a Winter Fairy Garden Scene
Put a flameless tea candle into the fairy house if desired, or make fairy house painted rocks to include in your winter fairy garden DIY. A few other suggestions are listed in the craft supply section above.
Step 8 – Invite children to play with winter fairy garden small world
This fairy winter wonderland small world is fun to put together and provides unlimited hours of pretend play. Playing with it is a wonderful way for children to develop fine motor skills, the sensory system, and literary skills.
Unlike most DIY fairy gardens, this winter wonderland small world does not require live plants or soil. Instead, invite children to decorate winter trees with pony beads and play in the Epsom salt snow! Make one with your child that includes their favorite winter toys for even more fun!
More Fairy Garden Ideas
More Winter Activities
- Winter Solstice Celebration Ideas
- Best Winter Art Projects for Kids
- Winter Bucket List of Fun Activities
- Stone Advent Spiral