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Monday, July 6, 2020

How to Create a Fairy Village Small World

Over the past few weeks fairy gardens have experienced a huge resurgence in popularity. It seems everyone's setting up a fairy garden or fairy house. What if you want your children to experience the magic of fairies, but don't have a backyard or garden to create a permanent fairy garden in? A fairy village small world is a great indoor alternative to bring fairy magic to life in your home. In this post I'll show you exactly how to create an enchanting fairy village small world invitation to play for your children.

Fairy village and animal small world invitation to play.

Small world play is my daughter's favourite type of play. She's always had an active imagination and small world play gives her miniature life like environments in which her imagination can run wild. As her play has evolved over the years our small world play set ups have gone from simple trays to more detailed layouts that cover an entire shelf.

Small world play can be as basic or intricate as you desire, so no two small worlds have to look the same, even if they're the same theme. I'm quite partial to setting up more detailed small world scenes because I just find anything miniature so irresistibly cute and I want to add all the things. However, there are no hard and fast rules, so when planning a small world simply choose items you know are age appropriate {no tiny pieces for children who still mouth} and that your child is interested in. I've included items below that we specifically used for our fairy village, as well as similar suggestions, and the process I use when setting up a small world.

*Please note that some items included in this small world can pose a choking risk for small children. The items depicted are intended for children over 3yrs of age and to be used under strict adult supervision*



To begin creating a fairy village it's easiest to have an open ended neutral structure you can build your village around. Something that has a few different levels which will blend in well with other small world items will make the small world visually appealing and entice children to play. A wooden barn, small doll house, log cabin or tree house would all work well. 

For our fairy village we used the magic wood classic tree house as it's carved out of thick tree branches with the bark still on the outside, so it lends itself perfectly to small world play, especially scenes that involve forests.

magic wood classic tree house

We've had the magic wood tree house for a few years now and have used it for countless small world set ups as it's so versatile. It can be taken apart into separate single levels or used connected altogether. I was originally drawn to it because it's quite a sturdy tree house and it's fairly toddler proof {which is what I really needed at the time}. We got ours from Works at Play but you can also find it at The Creative Toy Shop.

When setting up a small world I always set up the main items {in this case the tree house} and then layer up the scene with nature pieces and finally add in the smaller details like miniature furniture and figurines. We use the top of our Ikea kallax cube shelves as our small world shelf so I'll usually set up all of our small world scenes on top of that. My big girl played with this particular small world up on our dining room table before I moved it over to the small world shelf so it could be left set up for the week.

Ikea kallax shelves toy storage and fairy small world village.

For our fairy village I laid our artificial grass runner out and positioned the tree house on top of it allowing ample room in front for animal figurines and other small world items to be added. I built up the scene with papoose trees, artificial plants and a leaf garland around the outside edges of the tree house to create a forest vibe. 

I then added even more nature props by scattering felted rocks and mossy rocks around the grass and tree house. I also used a blue scarf as a waterfall running from the felted pond on top of the tree house to the grass below {Sarah's playsilks are great for this, or you can use old fabric or thrifted scarves}. I then added in some little wood slices as a pathway and a small terracotta pot on its side to add a little more whimsy.

How to create an indoor fairy village small world


My favourite part of setting up a small world invitation to play {apart from watching how my children play with it after} is definitely adding all of the teeny, tiny details. I just love bringing the fantasy lands I'm imagining in my head to life. Because we do small world play quite a bit in our house, I have a never ending collection of small world items, so there's always bits and pieces I can use to bring scenes to life. Collecting teeny little items has become somewhat of an addiction though, so I'm constantly adding to our collection.

I've bought pieces over the years from various places like op shops, dollar stores, Kmart, pet shops, hardware stores and even garden centres. Pretty much anything small can be used as a small world prop, so I always keep my eye out for new pieces. I also buy small world items from many online toy stores, my favourites are The Creative Toy Shop and Etsy and I've also added a small world play section to my Amazon store.

I love to work my way down from top to bottom when I'm decorating the tree house so I started by setting up the pond scene on the very top. We have a small wet felted pond play mat that's pretty much the same size as the top of the tree house so it's perfect to create a little stream pond that cascades down into a waterfall over the edge {our mat was from Works at Play, but you can find loads of gorgeous wet felted play mats on Etsy}. 

I surrounded the edge of the play mat with small branch offcuts, mossy rocks, tiny mushrooms and added a fairy bridge at the front {which conveniently hides the start of the scarf waterfall}. I then added in some of our Wild Republic fairies and some cute Collecta ducklings {because a pond is the perfect excuse for ducklings!}.

fairy village small world play scene

fairies playing in a pond with ducklings

Once the rooftop was done, I added more fairies to the stairway and the first floor of the tree house. I used blu tack to secure the fairies onto the stairs and our fairy bench seat as they don't stand upright on their own. Of course once my daughter started playing they quickly got moved around anywhere and everywhere as they went on their various adventures. As an alternative to the Wild Republic fairies, Safari have a friendly fairies super toob which has culturally diverse fairies that appear to be freestanding.

fairies in a tree house

I was so excited to add in a mini terracotta pot because I knew it would make the perfect hiding spot for one of the seated fairies. It totally reminds me of when I was a child and fully believed that fairies were secretly hiding everywhere all around us. Even now as an adult my inner child still holds onto a tiny hope that just maybe there really are fairies among us. Can you tell I was as excited about this fairy village small world as the girls?!

fairies hiding in a pot in the forest

miniature fairy village and forest sign post

The final touches were the cute ceramic fairy signpost and some more Collecta woodland animals. I always add animal figurines to our small world play, even if we're using other figurines, because they're a great springboard for imaginary play and I just love watching how the girls make each different animal interact together.

Our fairy village ended up being set up on our kallax shelves for a good three weeks with pieces being added and moved around as the girls played with it. The beauty of small world play is that they can come and go and each time they interact with it they come up with different scenarios. I really love watching their play transpire and getting an insight into how they perceive things by overhearing the little conversations they make their toys have.


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