Small World Play: Cars and Tunnels

Last year we had a new fridge freezer delivered and it came in an enormous box which The Boy immediately claimed as his own with his toy cars. Digging out the paints and some props, we set to turning it into a small world haven which is still played with weekly. In fact last week I tried to get it into the recycling, but The Boy cried and I'm a soft mum.

Small world play

What we used:

  • cardboard box
  • green, blue, grey, black and white paint
  • paintbrushes
  • sand
  • PVA glue
  • sponge cloths
  • tissue paper
  • kitchen towel rolls
  • PlayMobil figures
  • Hot Wheels cars

What we did:

  1. Draw a road layout on the map and paint this grey. Once dry, outline this with black paint and paint white dashed lines down the middle of the road. Don't forget to paint roundabouts and give-way lines.
  2. Slice a kitchen towel roll lengthways and fold out tabs along the sides, glue underneath this tabs and place them over the road in various places to creat tunnels. We also placed one tube opening right up against the edge of the box and cut an opening into it.
  3. Cover the tunnels with glue and place a sponge cloth on top, creating the texture of the ground and grass, glue a layer of tissue paper over the top to help hide the join. We filled in the area surrounding the tunnel attached to the wall of the box to create a hill that the tunnel came out from.
  4. Paint a lake onto the ground and a beach area using the blue paint.
  5. Generously glue the area next to the beach and cover with sand to create a beach.
  6. Paint the ground green for grass.
  7. Once dry, use PlayMobil figures (or equivalent) and Hot Wheels cars to role-play everyday scenarios.

Small World Box Play - Cars & Tunnels

Last week, The Boy decided to test his cars to see which was the best at travelling greater lengths and soon created a pile of rejects and those that needed testing again;

"The heavier the car, the slower they go!"

The play opportunities from a small world play box like this are endless and rewarding.

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  1. says

    That is awesome! My kids would love this! You made it so neat and in order!
    My kids always ask me to keep the box! I'm like you, always allow them to keep!

  2. says

    I can see the school teacher coming out in you here, I'm sure I remember making these at school as a child. Something I'd quite forgotten about and such a lovely idea. A new use for my toilet roll crafts I
    think! Thank you for sharing.


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