Mini Me's in play

Do you use mini me's? Have you heard of them before? If not, let me explain. 

A mini me is basically a full length photograph of a child or person which is then laminated and stuck to an empty toilet roll, a little yoghurt drink bottle or a wooden block. This mini version of the child can then be used in many different ways. 

I introduced mini me's in the last nursery I worked in and the children loved them. We also had mini me's of the staff as well. The children often went to find their own mini me and sometimes another child's as well, particularly if that child was absent that day. The children used the mini me's in their play, acted out scenarios, read to them and sang to them as well. 

Mini me's are great for language development and developing personal social skills as well as being fantastic for using in small world play. They can help children to express their feelings and they can use them to act out experiences which helps them to bring their own experiences into their small world play. This type of play gives the children the opportunity to bring their home life and culture into the setting. 

Using family mini me's if you have a child who is struggling to settle into nursery or even into a new classroom can help them to feel secure. They can use the family mini me's in their play and gives them a sense of connection with their home life. Children do seem to naturally engage with mini me's. You may find that the children can do a good impression of you when they use your mini me in their play! 

You can also use mini me's at story time and when singing. Retelling a familiar story but using the mini me's and the children's names instead of the characters in the story certainly brings story time to life. Sometimes the children love this new experience of sharing a story and they then go on to act out stories in a similar way, or they strongly object that you have used the incorrect name and that those children are not in the story! 

I like to use mini me's for one of my favourite finger rhymes, Two Little Dickie Birds. Instead of using your thumbs to be the birds, hold two of the mini me's. You can go through the whole class if you have time. I find the children always like to be involved with this one. 

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