One of the things I love about wooden train play is how versatile it is. You can add to the track layout, combine rail with road or adapt the play area into a themed small world for different seasons or events. Since winter is here, we thought it would be fun to create a winter small world with our wooden trains. Using our new Bigjigs rail crazy track we set up a snowy scene for our trains and ride through.

Winter small world wooden train play

For the snow in our Winter scene we used simple cotton wool balls. It’s amazing how the addition of one simple material can fuel kids imaginations. They played for hours in the snowy train scene making up little stories and transferring the cotton wool “snow” from place to place!

If you want to try different materials for the snow then you can see a tutorial for how to make fake snow here. We’ve made that snow a few times but I wanted to go with something less messy for the trains on this occasion so that we could relax more and not worry about it getting spilled out of the tuff spot and all over the room.

When adding extra materials like this, using a tuff spot to define the area for the track really helps. A train table with slightly raised edges would also work just as well.

winter snow small world with wooden railWe also added some shiny silver card to use as icy water, since we have the Bigjigs container shipping yard and some ships to go along with that.

using silver card as water for small worldAdding the shiny card was another really simple and mess free way to just add to the set and allow the children to use their imaginations with it. We played ice skating with some of the little Bigjigs people on the ice, and had fun looking at the reflections of the boats in the “water” too.

cotton wool balls for snow for small worldHere’s the boat loading up some of the snow to help clear the roads!

winter small world play with wooden trainsThe boys had lots of fun moving the snow around the site, and commenting about what they were doing. The options with this type of imaginary play are endless. It’s so open ended and allows the children to bring their own interests to the play and make up whatever type of stories they prefer.

playing together with snowy winter small world wooden railwayIt’s also a great activity for children to enjoy together. If you use a tuff spot to make your train scene then there is plenty of space for a few children to join in.

snowy winter small world wooden train playWe also added some little buildings that we had previously made, with LED tealights shining inside to give that glowing lights on a winter evening feel to the small world. These fitted in really nicely alongside the Bigjigs buildings we got with our roadway set and added a personal touch to the small world since the boys made these themselves. (I keep meaning to post about the activity when we decorated these – they are ceramic and decorated with ceramic / glass pens)

tealight houses winter smallworldThe crazy tracks are very handy when setting up this kind of small world scene, since they are so flexible if you are working within a fixed area (like the tuff spot) you can bend those to fit around the corners as needed, and they give you a bit of extra leeway. Mr Z said that they can also be used to make a roller coaster since you can turn them on their sides if you want.

bigjigs crazy track

The crazy track can be bought separately and is 6.99 for a set of two from the Bigjigs shop.

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