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Roald Dahl inspired small world dream jars

Jars can be magical spaces for creating small world scenes and environments. The BFG's 'dream jars' truly inspired us to create our own. This well-loved story and recent film are fantastic springboards to allow children's imaginations to run wild.

Posted on Wednesday 19th April 2017


You will need:


  1. It is best to think of a theme first; we chose ‘Dragons and Unicorns’.
  2. Ensure your jar is clean and dry before you start to create your scene inside.
  3. Add pebbles or gravel to the base of the jar.
  4. Cut out some drawn or found pictures of unicorns and dragons, rainbows and castles to add to the scene. Or, use small world animals or figures and accessories to include in the jars.
  5. Add additional magical sparkle using iridescent shred, glitter and sequins.
  6. Light the jars from behind using fairy lights. Or, add rechargeable tea lights or Clever Candles to the bottom of the jar before filling

Magical small worlds

Create all kinds of small world jars using these giant magical storage jars. See our 5 ideas below:

1. Minibeasts – use moss, pine cones and other natural finds along with minibeasts.

Minibeast small world jar

2. Under the sea – create an underwater world using plastic aquarium plants, pebbles and add sea creatures.

Aquarium small world scene

3. Polar worlds – create polar scenes with magic snow, iridescent shred and small world polar animals.

polar small world scene

4. Dinosaurs – add soil, pebbles, natural finds and mini dinosaurs.

5. Magical –  fairies and elves are perfect in these jars! Add flowers and natural finds such as acorns, adding sparkle with glitter and iridescent shred. Make the mushrooms using painted corks! Handmade cork characters would look lovely in these jars too! Check out our blog on how to make them here. Including a princess and toadstools! Why not add fantasy small world characters too.

Fairies and elves small world scene

Encourage children to tell stories about their small worlds. Also perfect for messy play potion making!

What would you create?

With thanks to Charlotte Parry for writing this blog post.

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Roald Dahl books