Homemade Fun: Making Little Play Scenes

Do you remember making a diorama in primary school? A miniature replica of a place or scene or event, painstakingly glued together, usually the night before the project was due!

Dioramas can be a fun and easy way to make miniature play spaces too. We used them quite a bit when I was working in child care, as a way of making a little play area suitable for just one or two children to use at a time.

I wanted this beach inspired diorama to be quick and easy to make (it actually took less than an hour)… I simply;
:: Cut open one side of a cardboard box and cut a hole in the back to add some light and interest.
:: Painted the inside quickly with a roller.
:: Used fabric to represent the sand (I toyed with the idea of gluing on sand but thought the fabric was quicker and less messy all around) and felt for the water. I used a few velcro dots to secure these into place, quicker and less messy than glue.
:: Clear contact, cellophane and some sparkles for the underwater window.
:: Taped together a little popstick jetty using yellow electrical tape.
:: Added stones, shells and miniature sea creatures to play with. Including a basket of extras for play.

Now I just need to make some clothes peg mermaids and it will be all done!

So easy, lots of fun to play with and really your diorama could be any scene that your child would enjoy – a jungle for animals, forest for camping, desert for snakes and lizards, fairytale scene for princesses, city with roads for cars, the inside of a circus tent, shop, or even a mechanic’s garage – anything really!

I am feeling so inspired that I am thinking a whole series of them could soon fill our playroom!

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  1. I just love this. While reading this, I was thinking it would be fun to do a winter/Christmas theme (maybe Christmas in the desert since we live in Las Vegas) with my boys. I agree with you, that it would be fun to do a while series of these. Thanks for the idea!

  2. That would be lots of fun to do 🙂 Never mind my children enjoying it, I'd get lots of fun myself.

    Annie creates her own little box worlds and recently got Heidi involved in making a farm with her. It was so much fun to watch the girls creating.

  3. This is such a cute idea! I'm going to try using it this week.

  4. Love this! I also featured your work on my blog, crafting an education. I love the potential this has for the classroom! Thanks!

  5. Great idea. Love the way this combines art and creative play…could keep the kids busy for hours! And portable, so can be a fun toy for a road trip.

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