The Winter Olympics are nearly upon us and it seemed like a good time to do some Winter sports. Of course not everyone has the right weather or the opportunity to take part in some of these Winter sports so we made a Winter Olympics small world for the girls to play with so they can enjoy some adrenaline sports in the comfort of the warm indoors and without the risk!
We love ice skating and are really excited that at the end of the year will be going on our first ski trip as part of the Mark Warner Mums ambassador program which we won before the holidays. The original part of this small world was made as part of our competition entry. We made it fairly late in the evening and I didn’t manage to get many pictures of the process but I think most of it is self explanatory.
The twins painted the back drop blue sky with some silver clouds. I cut some mountain shapes out of silver wrapping paper and we stuck on some glitter and fake snow and a few print outs of some of the Mark Warner ski lodges.
The ski ramp was made with a cardboard box covered in cotton wool and given a dusting of fake snow. This was lent against a shoe box to give it a bit of height. We also made a few signs using craft sticks and some lodges using small cardboard boxes.
I made a ski lift using some cylinder shaped boxes with bottle tops hung onto the string with pipe cleaners. We put a small string of fairy lights inside to make them glow.
We made a cardboard skier for each member of the family. I drew a picture of each of us onto the back of a cereal box and them suck a photo of our face in the gap. Molly coloured in the bodies and then we carefully attached them to craft sticks, using pipe cleaners for the skis.
The finished family looked really cute.
The Winter Olympics small world takes up the whole table. Before setting it out we covered it with a white paper table cloth and then tipped a mix of fake snow, glitter and packing noodles on top. The girls absolutely love playing with this but it does get everywhere.
As Molly is such a big ice skating fan she was very keen to have an ice rink. I used a large tin foil tray and filled it with water and added a few drops of blue food colouring and – you guess it – some glitter, and froze it over night. The girls were very excited when it had turned to ice. It looks really lovely as it glows in the light and the blue colour is mainly at the bottom so it looks quite realistic. The only problem is that it does take a whole shelf of the freezer.
I think the best thing about having a small world like this is that it gives children the opportunity to play however they want. We added lots of Playmobil characters and then I just let them play however they wanted. Molly had her characters building a snowman. She loved covering them with snow.
The twins played really well together. They enjoyed getting the characters to skate on the ice rink.
As the small world is in the kitchen it means they only play with it every so often. When they do they are totally absorbed and will play for about an hour to an hour and a half which is really wonderful. It is particularly good when I’m cooking or getting on with other jobs in the kitchen.
Of course it doesn’t need to be this big but the size does mean the girls have more room to play without squabbling and getting in each other’s way.
We always choose one of each toy to be the girls. This one is Molly winning a trophy at the Olympics.
I do need to attach the ski slope a bit better as the twins wanted to push the toys quite hard down the slope and it kept falling off.
I think this is a really good way for children to prepare for a trip. It always helps if they can act it out. The twins will be four when we go next year but it will be such a new experience for them and I think playing it out first will be really good.
I am so excited for the year ahead. I’ve always wanted to learn to ski and thanks to Mark Warner we will be able to for real. Lets just hope I don’t turn into a snowman as I do in our stop motion video at the top!
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We have also made a Summer small world made from a cardboard box.
For more Winter Olympics Activities for Kids check out my roundup.